Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: March 29, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • New York (Democratic trifecta): 
    • On March 29, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced all residents age 30 and older will be eligible for vaccination starting March 30. Cuomo also said residents 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination starting April 6. Currently, people 50 and older are eligible.
    • On March 26, Cuomo announced the launch of Excelsior Pass, an app that provides digital proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test. The app is optional for individuals and businesses that require such proof to allow people to enter (like wedding reception, concert, or sports venues). Individuals can download the app now, and businesses will be able to start using it to verify vaccinations and negative tests starting April 2. Individuals can still provide other documents as proof of vaccination.

Since our last edition

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

  • Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): Connecticut’s limit on early childhood class sizes is increasing from 16 to 20 children on March 29. Gov. Ned Lamont (D) made the announcement March 4.
  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Residents age 60 and older are eligible for vaccination starting March 29. Previously, people 65 and older were eligible to receive vaccines. 
  • Kentucky (divided government): Kentucky public schools must offer at least two days of in-person instruction each week starting March 29. The requirement is the result of HB 208, which Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed on March 4. The bill passed the state Senate 28-8 on March 3 and the House 81-15 on March 4. Parents can still keep their children in fully remote learning.
  • Louisiana (divided government): All residents 16 and older are eligible for vaccinations starting March 29. Previously, anyone 65 and older, or 16 and older with a state-defined essential job or underlying conditions, was eligible for the vaccine.
  • Missouri (Republican trifecta): All residents in Phase 2 (including construction workers, higher education faculty and staff, and homeless people) are eligible for vaccinations starting March 29.
  • New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): Residents 40 and older are eligible for vaccination starting March 29. Residents 30 and older will be eligible March 31. Residents 16 and older will be eligible April 2.
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On March 29, vaccine eligibility expands to include agriculture workers, warehouse employees, clergy, and elections personnel. Starting April 5, all residents aged 55-64, residents 16 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities, educators, and other state-defined essential frontline workers will be eligible. To see a full list of eligible groups, click here.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): Effective March 29, residents 16 and older are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. On March 22, DeWine allowed healthcare providers to administer vaccines to people 16 and older when there were unfilled appointments.  
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): 
    • All counties can start vaccinating people in Phase 1B, Group 6, on March 29. Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced people in Phase 1B, Group 7, will be eligible for vaccinations starting April 5. Previously, Phase 1B, Group 7, was not scheduled to become eligible until April 19. On May 1, everyone age 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination.
    • Public elementary schools must reopen no later than March 29 for hybrid or full-time in-person instruction. Parents can still keep their children in fully remote instruction.
  • Vermont (divided government): On March 29, vaccine eligibility expands to include people 50 and older. Previously, everyone 60 and older became eligible for vaccination on March 25.

This time last year: Monday, March 30, 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 30, 2020:

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) issued Executive Order 55, which directed individuals in Virginia to stay home except for essential activities and closed nonessential businesses.
    • Executive Order 121 took effect in North Carolina. The order directed individuals to stay home except for essential activities and closed nonessential businesses. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued Executive Order 121 on March 27.
  • Travel restrictions
    • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) ordered residents to self-quarantine for any out-of-state travel unless they traveled to care for a person in need, bought groceries or necessary supplies, went to work, were required to travel by court order, or obtained healthcare.
    • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) ordered residents and non-residents traveling to Montana, except those traveling for work, to self-quarantine for two weeks. The order also instructed the Montana National Guard to conduct temperature checks and exposure risk inquiries at airports and rail stations in the state. 
  • School closures:
    • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) announced schools would be closed for the remainder of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools were scheduled to reopen on April 13.
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced the statewide school closure would last indefinitely. It was previously scheduled to end on April 8.
  • Election changes:
    • Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney (R) announced the state’s May 19 primary election would be conducted entirely by mail.
    • Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) signed H0681 into law, making a series of temporary changes to the state’s election laws in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Federal government responses:
    • Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general of the Department of Defense, was selected to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which oversaw the implementation of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The other eight members, who were all inspectors general of various federal departments and agencies, elected Fine.