The next 72 hours
What is changing in the next 72 hours?
- Georgia (Republican trifecta): Public and private K-12 teachers and staff will become eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines on March 8. Eligibility will also expand to include preschool and daycare staff, the parents of children with state-defined complex medical conditions, and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): The Department of Health announced residents age 70 and older will be eligible for vaccinations starting March 8. Currently, people 75 and older are eligible for vaccinations.
- Michigan (divided government):
- On March 3, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced that people 50 and older with preexisting health conditions, caregiver families, and guardians of children with special needs will be eligible for vaccines on March 8.
- Restaurants and bars can operate at 50% capacity starting March 5, with a limit of 100 people. Previously, those businesses were limited to 25% capacity. Additionally, retail businesses, libraries, and museums can increase their capacity from 30% to 50%. Entertainment venues, including movie theaters, amusement parks, and auditoriums, can operate at 50% capacity, with a limit of 300 people. Sports stadiums with a seating capacity of 10,000 or fewer can allow up to 375 fans, while stadiums that can accommodate more than 10,000 can have up to 750 fans. Also on March 5, up to 15 people from three different households are allowed to gather, and outdoor public gatherings can increase to 300 people.
- Montana (Republican trifecta): The state will start Phase 1B+ of vaccine distribution on March 8. Eligibility will expand to individuals aged 60 and older and anyone aged 16-59 with an underlying health condition like asthma, cystic fibrosis, and liver disease.
- New Hampshire (Republican trifecta):
- Beginning March 8, schools are required to provide at least two days of classroom instruction each week. Under the order, schools can switch to fully remote instruction for up to 48 hours without approval from the state. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) issued the requirement in a Feb. 19 order.
- On March 4, Sununu announced K-12 teachers and staff can begin registering for vaccination appointments on March 17, with the earliest appointments beginning March 22.
- Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, March 4, Gov. Mike Dewine (R) announced he would end coronavirus restrictions once the number of cases per 100,000 people reached 50 for two consecutive weeks. Cases were at 179 per 100,000 people March 4.
- South Carolina (Republican trifecta): The state will start Phase 1b of vaccination on March 8. People aged 55 and older, anyone 16 and older with a high-risk health condition (including cancer, heart disease, and obesity), inmates and correctional officers, and homeless shelter residents and workers will be eligible for vaccination.
- Vermont (divided government): People aged 55 and older with underlying health conditions will become eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccines beginning March 8. K-12 teachers and staff and child care workers will become eligible for the coronavirus vaccines on the same day.
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What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.
- Arkansas (Republican trifecta): On March 4, Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said he will not comply with an Arkansas Supreme Court order declaring certain court employees (including security officers, district court judges and their staffers, and all circuit, district, and county clerks and staffers) as essential workers eligible for vaccination under Phase 1-B of the state’s distribution plan. Hutchinson said: “I appreciate the Supreme Court’s concern for judges and staff members of the court system and for attorneys whose cases require them to work in person at a courthouse. Our schedule for vaccinations takes into account the needs and risk level for all Arkansans, and this group is not yet eligible in the 1B phase. As our allocation of vaccine increases, we will be able to move more quickly, but currently, court employees who don’t otherwise qualify for a shot will have to wait for their eligibility.”
- California (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the state will allocate 40% of its vaccine supply to neighborhoods in the bottom quartile of the Healthy Places Index. Once two million vaccines are distributed to those communities, the state will change its reopening plan to make it easier for counties to move out of the purple (most restrictive) mitigation tier into less-restrictive tiers.
- Colorado (Democratic trifecta): The state is starting Phase 1B3 of vaccine distribution on March 5. The phase includes all individuals age 60 and older, people age 16-59 with two or more state-defined comorbidities, and agriculture and grocery store workers.
- Connecticut (Democratic trifecta):
- Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced he will lift some restrictions starting March 19. Restaurants, offices, places of worship, and personal care service businesses will be able to operate at full capacity. Social gatherings at private residences can expand to 25 people indoors or 100 outdoors. Social gatherings at commercial venues can expand to 100 people indoors or 200 outdoors. All school sports practices and competitions will be allowed. Connecticut’s travel requirements will become recommendations.
- Lamont said the limit on early childhood classes can increase from 16 to 20 individuals starting March 29.
- On April 2, outdoor amusement parks can reopen, and outdoor event venues can operate at the lesser of 50% capacity or 10,000 individuals. Indoor stadiums will also be able to open at 10% capacity.
- Maine (Democratic trifecta): On Friday, March 5, Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced “Moving Maine Forward,” a reopening plan for the spring and summer tourism season. Beginning March 26, bars can resume indoor service, and indoor entertainment venues will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. That capacity limit will increase to 75% on May 24. Outdoor entertainment venues will be allowed to operate at 75% capacity March 26 and fully reopen May 24. Mills also announced that, effective immediately, visitors from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are exempt from the state’s quarantine or test requirement.
- Missouri (Republican trifecta): Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced the state will allocate 15% of its vaccine supply to the State Pharmacy Program.
- New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Phil Murphy announced indoor wedding receptions can expand to the lesser of 35% of venue capacity or 150 people starting March 5. Outdoor receptions of up to 150 people will also be permitted. Previously, wedding ceremonies were limited to 35% capacity—up to 150 people. Receptions were limited to 10 people indoors or 25 outdoors. Murphy also announced overnight camps can resume operations for the summer season. The state is expected to release guidance for camps closer to summer.
- New York (Democratic trifecta):
- Billiard halls statewide and movie theaters in New York City are reopening March 5. Billiard halls are open at 35% capacity in NYC and 50% capacity in the rest of the state. NYC movie theaters are open at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 50 people per screen.
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced event, arts, and entertainment venues can reopen at 33% capacity (with a limit of 100 people indoors or 200 outdoors) starting April 2.
- On March 22, residential outdoor gatherings of up to 25 individuals will be allowed. Indoor gatherings will stay capped at 10 people. Non-residential gatherings of up to 100 people indoors or 200 outdoors will be permitted.
- Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced counties that move from the Extreme Risk tier to a lower (less restrictive) risk level for a two-week period will not be moved back to Extreme Risk if their cases increase during the period. If a county remains at Extreme Risk transmission rates for consecutive two-week periods, the state will reimpose Extreme Risk restrictions.
- Utah (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, March 4, Gov. Spencer Cox (R) announced that residents 50 and older are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. Additionally, he announced that people 18 and older with health conditions, such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease, are also eligible for a vaccine.
- Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Thursday, March 4, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced the next phase of eligibility would begin March 22 and include grocery store employees, agriculture workers, firefighters, public transit workers, and people in law enforcement. Inslee said the timeline was dependent on vaccine supplies.