Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: March 22, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced residents age 50 and older will be eligible for vaccinations starting March 23. On April 19, all residents age 16 and older can get vaccinated.

Since our last edition

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

  • Alabama (Republican trifecta): Residents age 55 or older and people ages 16-64 with state-defined, high-risk underlying conditions are eligible for vaccination starting March 22.
  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Saturday, March 20, the Indiana State Department of Health announced that residents 40 and older can receive a coronavirus vaccine starting March 22. 
  • Kansas (divided government): The state is opening vaccinations to all individuals in phases 3 and 4 of the plan starting March 22. Anyone between the ages of 16 and 64 with an increased risk of severe complications from underlying conditions is eligible for a vaccine.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Residents age 50 and older are eligible for vaccinations starting March 22. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) also said anyone 16 and older will be able to sign up for a vaccination appointment starting no later than April 12. 
  • Louisiana (divided government): All state-defined essential workers (including grocery store and food service employees, manufacturing and construction workers, and higher education faculty and staff) are eligible for vaccinations starting March 22. To see a full list of who is eligible, click here
  • Massachusetts (divided government): 
    • On March 22, people 60 and older and certain workers, including restaurant and grocery store workers, are eligible for a vaccine. 
    • The state advanced to Phase IV of the reopening plan on March 22. Under Phase IV, large sports and entertainment venues can operate at 12% capacity if they submit a plan to the Department of Public Health. Additionally, the gathering limit for event venues in public settings can increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors, and dance floors are permitted at weddings. The state’s requirement that travelers quarantine for 10 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test is now an advisory. 
  • Michigan (divided government): Residents age 50 and older or 16 and older with medical conditions or disabilities are eligible for a coronavirus vaccine on March 22.
  • Nebraska (Republican trifecta): The state moved into Phase 2 of its vaccination plan March 22, allowing people 50 and above to receive a coronavirus vaccine. 
  • New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): Vaccinations for private and public K-12 teachers and staff begin March 22. Registration for school staff opened March 17. 
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): 
    • Starting March 22, residential outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed. Indoor gatherings remain capped at 10 people. Non-residential gatherings of up to 100 people indoors or 200 outdoors are permitted.
    • Starting April 1, large sports venues (that hold more than 1,500 people indoors or 2,500 outdoors) will open at 10% capacity indoors or 20% capacity outdoors. Outdoor performing arts venues can also reopen at 20% capacity. 
    • On March 21, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced pharmacies were allowed to start vaccinating individuals 16 and older with comorbidities (including diabetes, cancer, and severe obesity). Previously, pharmacies were required to focus on vaccinating people 60 and older.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Friday, March 19, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced that the general public will become eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine on March 29. 
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Monday, March 22, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) authorized healthcare providers to allow people 16 and older to register to receive a coronavirus vaccine when appointments are available. Previously, people 16 and older were scheduled to become eligible March 29. 
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): 
    • All counties advanced 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 if mask usage is enforced and people keep six feet apart.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): 
    • On Monday, March 22, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that effective immediately, people 16 and older are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. 
    • On Monday, March 22, Justice announced that fairs and festivals can resume May 1. He said more information on rules and guidelines related to those events will be forthcoming. 
  • Wisconsin (divided government): People with underlying health conditions, including those with cancer and diabetes, are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine March 22.

COVID-19 policy changes: Monday, March 23, 2020

The first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed on Jan. 21, 2020. But it wasn’t until March when the novel coronavirus upended life for most Americans. Throughout March and April, many states issued stay-at-home orders, closed schools, restricted travel, and changed election dates. Many of those policies remain in place today. Over the course of this week, we’ll look back at some of the defining policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s what happened this time last year. To see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, March 23, 2020:

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) issued Executive Order No. 20-12, which directed individuals in the state to stay at home unless performing essential activities and placed restrictions on non-essential businesses.
    • Amy Acton, the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued a stay-at-home order on March 22 that directed individuals in the state to stay at home unless performing essential activities and placed restrictions on non-essential businesses. The order went into effect March 23 and was originally set to expire April 6.
  • School closures:
    • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) extended the statewide school closures from March 31 to April 20.
    • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) extended the statewide school closures from March 31 to May 1.
  • Election changes:
    • Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) signed S2608 into law, authorizing municipalities to postpone any elections originally scheduled to occur before May 30, 2020, to any date on or before June 30, 2020.
    • Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) announced that absentee voting in the June 2, 2020, primary election would open on April 23, 2020, 40 days before the primary election.