Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: February 19, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 72 hours

What is changing in the next 72 hours?

  • Georgia (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Feb. 18, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced the state will open four vaccination sites on Monday, Feb. 22. Each site will dispense around 22,000 shots a week. 
  • Kentucky (divided government): Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that starting Feb. 20, indoor visitation can resume for non-Medicare-certified long-term care facilities that have gone through the state’s vaccination process. 
  • Louisiana (divided government): On Feb. 22, school staff and people ages 55-64 with certain high-risk health conditions will be eligible for vaccination. Qualifying conditions include cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Pregnant women of all ages will also become eligible.
  • Minnesota (divided government): On Feb. 22, all middle and high school students can return to the classroom for either full-time instruction or a hybrid approach that combines remote and in-person instruction. Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he expects schools to offer some in-person instruction by March 8. Under the plan, families can still opt to keep their children home for remote instruction.
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): School teachers and staff will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Feb. 22. Adults under 65 with certain health conditions, such as hypertension and diabetes, will also become eligible.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Individuals 65 and older will become eligible to register for vaccination on Feb. 22. Currently, anyone age 75 and older can schedule an appointment. 

Since our last edition

What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.

  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Feb. 18, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill making it harder for individuals to sue businesses, hospitals, schools, and nursing homes for exposing them to COVID-19. Under the law, individuals who think they were exposed to COVID-19 at one of these locations must provide evidence of “gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.” 
  • Minnesota (divided government): On Thursday, Feb. 18, the Minnesota state Senate passed a bill that would limit Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) peacetime emergency authority over school reopening decisions. The law would leave it up to local school boards to decide how and when to reopen. The bill passed 40-27, with all Republicans, four Democrats, and two independents voting in favor of it. The bill next goes to the Minnesota House for consideration. 
  • New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Feb. 18, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced he would sign an executive order Friday, Feb. 19, requiring schools to provide at least two days of classroom instruction per week beginning March 8. Sununu had not signed the executive order as of this writing. 
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the North Carolina state House of Representatives passed a bill 77-42 that would require schools to provide daily in-person instruction. The Senate passed the bill 47-31 on Feb. 16. It now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper (D). If Cooper takes no action on the measure before Feb. 28, it automatically becomes law.  
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Feb. 18, Gov. Spencer Cox (R) announced that residents age 65 and above are now eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. That demographic was previously scheduled to become eligible on March 1, but Cox shifted the timeline forward because of an increased supply of vaccines. 
  • Vermont (divided government): On Friday, Feb. 19, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that fully vaccinated out-of-state travelers will no longer need to quarantine upon entering the state beginning Feb. 23. Scott also announced that gatherings will be allowed on Feb. 26 at nursing homes whose residents have been fully vaccinated. 
  • Wisconsin (divided government): On Friday, Feb. 19, Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed a law allowing pharmacy technicians and pharmacy tech students who’ve completed two years of school to administer vaccines.