Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: April 5, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery by Ballotpedia

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24/72 hours?

  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced March 23 he would end the statewide mask mandate on April 6. Holcomb said local officials could still enact stricter restrictions, and masks will still be required in schools.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): 
    • Residents 16 and older will become eligible for a coronavirus vaccine on April 6.
    • On April 3, the first public performance on Broadway occurred since all 41 theaters closed on March 12, 2020. Dancer Savion Glover and actor Nathan Lane performed one at a time before a socially distanced and masked audience of 150.

Since our last edition

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

  • Alabama (Republican trifecta): On April 2, Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced the state would expand vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 years of age and older on April 5. The Alabama Department of Corrections announced it would begin vaccinating inmates on April 12.
  • California (Democratic trifecta): On April 2, the state announced that indoor venues can reopen for events beginning April 15. Capacity limits will be based on the county’s color tier and whether the event has testing and vaccination requirements.
  • Florida (Republican trifecta): On Friday, April 2, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued an order banning government entities from issuing vaccine passports. The order also prohibits businesses from requiring vaccine passports. 
  • Kansas (divided government): On Thursday, April 1, the Legislative Coordinating Council (LLC) voted 5-2 (with one absence) to end Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) statewide mask mandate. The LLC is a committee composed of eight legislators. Senate Bill 40, signed by Kelly on March 24, allows the LLC to vote to end COVID-19 executive orders. The LLC’s decision does not affect local mask mandates. 
  • Maryland (divided government): On Thursday, April 1, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced that residents 16 and older can pre-register to receive a coronavirus vaccine. People who pre-register will be notified when they become eligible to receive a vaccine. 
  • Massachusetts (divided government): Residents 55 and older with a medical condition became eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine Monday, April 5. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) made the announcement April 2. Baker also announced the state has adopted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) list of medical conditions that increase the risk of COVID-19. People with a condition on that list are now eligible for a vaccine. 
  • New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, April 1, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced that all K-12 schools must return students to full-time, in-person instruction by April 19. Sununu said parents will still have the option of requesting remote learning.  
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): On April 2, Oregon expanded vaccine eligibility to include all family members of frontline workers and any resident with a condition on the CDC’s expanded list of underlying health conditions.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): On April 5, Pennsylvania entered Phase 1B of vaccinations. This next phase of eligibility includes first responders and manufacturing, education, and public transit workers.
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): On April 5, Rhode Island expanded vaccine eligibility to all individuals 50 years of age and older.
  • Vermont (divided government): 
    • Effective April 5, residents 40 and older are now eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. 
    • On Thursday, April 1, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced on Twitter that residents 16 and older who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color are eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine. 
  • Virginia (Democratic trifecta): On Saturday, April 3, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced that residents 16 and older will become eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, April 18. 

This time last year: Monday, April 6, 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. Each week, we’ll look back at some of the defining policy responses of the early 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, April 6, 2020:

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • The “Stay Home Missouri” order took effect. It directed individuals to stay home unless performing essential activities and placed restrictions on non-essential businesses. Governor Mike Parson (R) and Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services Randall Williams issued the order on April 3, and it was originally set to expire on April 24, 2020.
  • School closures:
    • Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) closed schools for the remainder of the academic year. Before this order, schools in the state were closed through April 17.
    • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) extended the statewide school closure from April 15 to April 29.
  • Election changes:
    • The Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked Governor Tony Evers’ (D) order postponing in-person voting in the spring election, scheduled for April 7, 2020, to June 9, in a 4-2 decision. As a result, in-person voting took place as scheduled on April 7.
    • Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) issued an order authorizing political parties that nominate by convention to postpone those conventions or conduct them remotely.