Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: March 8, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

Since our last edition

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

  • Arizona (Republican trifecta): Gov. Doug Ducey (R) lifted the state’s capacity limits on businesses, including restaurants, bars providing dine-in services, gyms, theaters, and bowling alleys. Masking and distancing requirements remain in place. 
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) announced the state will host vaccination events for school staff and childcare workers March 13-14 at Dover International Speedway. Carney also said Walgreens, which receives doses through the federal government, will limit appointments to school staff and pause new appointments for other eligible populations. Carney did not say how long Walgreens would exclusively vaccinate school staff. 
  • Georgia (Republican trifecta): Public and private K-12 teachers and staff are eligible to receive coronavirus vaccines starting March 8. Eligibility is also expanding 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): Residents age 70 and older are eligible for vaccinations starting March 8. Previously, people 75 and older were eligible for vaccinations.
  • Idaho (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brad Little (R) announced the state’s pre-registration website for vaccines. The site lets residents join a waitlist regardless of when they are eligible for vaccination in the state’s distribution plan. An enrolled COVID-19 vaccine provider will contact individuals in the system when they become eligible for appointments and the provider has appointments available. Click here to sign up.
  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): On Friday, March 5, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) issued a proclamation that allows dentists to resume providing all dental services if the practice complies with the Iowa Dental Board’s guidance. The practice must also have an inventory of personal protective equipment. The proclamation is scheduled to remain in effect through April 4. 
  • Kentucky (divided government): Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed HB 208, requiring public schools to offer at least two days of in-person instruction each week starting March 29. The bill passed 28-8 in the state Senate on March 3, and the House approved the Senate’s version 81-15 on March 4. Parents can still keep their children in fully remote learning.
  • Michigan (divided government): 
    • People 50 and older with preexisting health conditions, caregiver families, and guardians of children with special needs are eligible for vaccines starting March 8.
    • People who are homeless became eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine March 8. 
    • Restaurants and bars started operating at 50% capacity on 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. 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 begins Phase 1B+ of vaccine distribution on March 8. Eligibility is expanding to individuals aged 60 and older and anyone aged 16-59 with an underlying health condition like asthma, cystic fibrosis, and liver disease.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): On Friday, March 5, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued an order revising the minimum distance requirements at entertainment venues. The order specifies that mask-wearing performers must maintain a distance of at least six feet from members of the audience. Previously, the minimum distance had been 25 feet. Performers who remove their masks must maintain a distance of 12 feet. The order took effect immediately. 
  • 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 state approval. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) issued the requirement in a Feb. 19 order.
    • Sununu announced K-12 teachers and staff can begin registering for vaccination appointments on March 17, with the earliest appointments beginning March 22.  
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced restaurants outside of New York City can expand indoor dining from 50% to 75% capacity starting March 19. NYC restaurants will remain at 35% capacity.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): Gov. Mike Dewine (R) announced coronavirus restrictions would end once the number of cases reached 50 per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks. Cases were at 179 per 100,000 people March 4. 
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced she will issue an executive order requiring public elementary schools to reopen no later than March 29 for hybrid or full-time in-person instruction. The order will also require public schools to open for grades 6-12 by April 19. Parents can still keep their children in fully remote instruction. 
  • South Carolina (Republican trifecta): 
    • The state begins 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 are eligible for vaccination. 
    • Gov. Henry McMaster (R) amended the state’s coronavirus emergency order, lifting the requirement for people to wear masks at restaurants and in state office buildings. The mask requirements went into effect Aug. 5. The current emergency order is effective until March 20.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): On Friday, March 5, the Utah House of Representatives voted 54-18 in favor of HB0294, a bill that modifies the statewide mask mandate and establishes parameters for lifting other coronavirus restrictions. The state Senate passed the bill 23-6 hours earlier. The legislation would end the statewide mask mandate for gatherings of less than 50 people on April 10. County governments could still require that people wear masks, however. The bill establishes that all coronavirus restrictions on businesses and events will end when the state’s 14-day case rate falls below 191 per 100,000 people, COVID-19 patients occupy fewer than 15% of beds on average in intensive care units over a seven-day period, and the federal government has sent 1,633,000 first doses of a vaccine to the state. The bill now goes to Gov. Spencer Cox (R).
  • Vermont (divided government): 
    • On Friday, March 5, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that fully vaccinated people can gather with other fully vaccinated people without limit. Additionally, vaccinated people in a household can gather with one unvaccinated household. 
    • People aged 55 and older with underlying health conditions are eligible to receive vaccines beginning March 8. K-12 teachers and staff and child care workers are also eligible for vaccines.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): On Friday, March 5, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced he was ending capacity limits on restaurants, bars, retail and grocery stores, museums, gyms, and other small businesses, effective midnight. Justice also increased the gathering limit from 75 to 100, though people must continue to wear masks and social distance.