Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: March 12, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 72 hours

What is changing in the next 72 hours?

  • Arizona (Republican trifecta): Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) executive order requiring public schools to offer in-person instruction will take effect March 15. High schools and middle schools in high transmission counties will be exempt from the order. Parents will still be able to keep their children in virtual classes.
  • Georgia (Republican trifecta): People 55 and older will become eligible for a coronavirus vaccine on March 15. People age 16 and older with high-risk medical conditions, including cancer and diabetes, will also become eligible.
  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Everyone in Phase 1-C of vaccine distribution will be eligible for vaccination starting March 15. Everyone age 65 and older, essential workers, and people with state-defined high-risk underlying conditions will become eligible. Currently, people 70 and older are eligible. 
  • Kentucky (divided government): Individuals age 16 and older with health conditions the Centers for Disease Control says increase risk for severe illness from the coronavirus will be eligible for vaccination starting March 15. Vaccinators must continue to prioritize appointments for people over 60. 
  • Minnesota (divided government): Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced looser mitigation restrictions effective March 15 at 12 p.m. Bars and restaurants will be able to expand operations from 50% to 75% of indoor capacity. Indoor social gatherings can expand from 10 people indoors from two households to up to 15 people with no household limit. Outdoor gatherings can expand from 15 people from three households to 50 people with no household limit. Starting April 1, seated indoor events (like concerts) of up to 3,000 people and unseated events of up to 1,500 people will be allowed.  
  • Missouri (Republican trifecta): Individuals in Phase 1B – Tier 3 will be eligible for vaccinations starting March 15. The phase will include school employees, grocery store workers, and critical infrastructure workers (including people in the energy, food, and agriculture sectors).
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): School staff and homeless people will be among those eligible for vaccination starting March 15. On March 29, eligibility will expand to include agriculture workers, warehouse employees, clergy, and elections personnel. To see full lists of eligible groups for each date, click here.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Weddings and other catered events are scheduled to resume on March 15. Venues will be restricted to the lesser of 50% capacity or 150 people.
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ralph Northam (D) requested that schools provide in-person instruction options for students by March 15. Northam said schools could consult the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Department of Education’s updated reopening guidance released on Jan. 15 as they prepare to return students to the classroom. Although the request is not a mandate, Northam said he expected schools to comply.

Since our last edition

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

  • Maryland (divided government): Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will end capacity limits on most types of businesses, including restaurants, bars, and fitness centers, on March 12 at 5 p.m. Large outdoor and indoor venues, including wedding and sports venues and theaters, will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity. Additionally, Hogan said he will end the state’s quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers and allow adult daycare centers to reopen. The statewide mask mandate will remain in effect.
  • Michigan (divided government): On Thursday, the state Senate voted 20-14 to grant Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R) the authority to sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) if she spends COVID-19 relief money the legislature has not appropriated.  
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): Effective March 15, gatherings of up to 250 people or 50% of the fire code capacity are permitted. Additionally, the capacity limit on businesses like gyms, restaurants, and bars increased from 35% to 50%. Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) eased some restrictions Feb. 12 and announced he would further ease restrictions March 15.
  • New Hampshire (divided government): On Thursday, March 11, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced that, effective immediately, retail businesses can operate at 100% capacity. Additionally, barbershops and salons can allow walk-ins, and bars can allow bands and games like pool and darts. 
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Thursday, March 11, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced that some people in Group 4 will become eligible for a coronavirus vaccine on March 17. Individuals with medical conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as those with asthma or heart disease, will be eligible on that day, while Cooper said eligibility will expand to more people in Group 4 on April 7. 
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, March 11, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced he would ease coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings and indoor sporting events on Friday, March 12. Stitt also said he would end a requirement that people wear masks in state buildings. 
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Dan McKee (D) announced school staff and childcare workers will be eligible for vaccination starting March 12. Previously, Rhode Island prioritized individuals based on age and underlying conditions.
  • Texas (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, March 11, Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) announced he was suing Travis County and the City of Austin for continuing to enforce mask mandates. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) lifted the statewide mask mandate March 10.  
  • Vermont (divided government): On Friday, March 12, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that, effective immediately, two non-vaccinated households can gather together at one time, and restaurants can seat up to six people from different families. 
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Thursday, March 11, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced that all counties will advance to Phase 3 of reopening on March 22. Phase 3 limits capacity at businesses like restaurants and movie theaters to 50% and allows up to 400 people to gather at indoor and outdoor events so long as mask usage is enforced and people keep six feet apart.