One year ago, California became the first state to issue a stay-at-home order

One year ago, as the novel coronavirus spread across the country, California became the first state to order residents to stay home unless engaged in essential activities. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued the order on March 19, 2020. Over the following three weeks, 42 governors would follow suit. South Carolina was the last state to issue an order on April 7. All 24 Democratic governors and 19 out of 26 Republican governors issued stay-at-home orders in their states.

Seven states—Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming—did not issue stay-at-home orders.

Although the specifics of each order varied from state to state, they all closed broad categories of businesses and required residents to stay home unless going to the store for essential supplies or working in essential businesses.

Alaska ended its stay-at-home order on April 24, while Montana and Colorado did so on April 26. By June 29, we classified all but two stay-at-home orders as expired. We classified New Mexico’s and California’s stay-at-home orders as expired in November and December, respectively.