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

Documenting America's Path to Recovery

Since our last edition

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

  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): 
    • Gov. David Ige (D) extended the state’s coronavirus emergency order through June 8. The updated order did not include the Recovery Navigator phases chart. Hawaii has officially remained at the yellow Act With Care level since the framework was released in May 2020. Gov. Ige has allowed counties to set looser or stricter rules with his approval over the last year, depending on county-level data. 
    • Oahu residents age 50 and older are eligible for vaccinations starting April 12. 
  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Friday, April 9, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) vetoed House Bill 1123, which would allow the legislature to call a special session during a state of emergency. Holcomb said he vetoed the bill because the Indiana Constitution gives the governor the sole authority to convene special sessions. The House passed the bill 64-33 on April 5, and the Senate passed the bill 37-10 the same day. The legislature can override Holcomb’s veto with simple majorities in both chambers.  
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): All residents age 16 and older are eligible for vaccinations starting April 12. Previously, everyone 65 and older was eligible for vaccination.
  • Maryland (divided government): All providers are permitted to offer vaccines to residents 16 and older starting April 12. Previously, residents 16 and older could only get vaccinated at mass vaccination sites.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): House Bill 294 took effect April 10, ending the statewide mask mandate. It also set conditions for ending other restrictions based on case rates, percentage of occupied hospital beds, and vaccine supply. The law eliminates all restrictions on July 1, even if none of the conditions have been met. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed the bill into law on March 24. 
  • Vermont (divided government): 
    • All residents 30 and older are eligible for vaccination starting April 12. Previously, residents 40 and older were eligible.
    • The state’s phased reopening plan started April 9 with an easing of the statewide travel restrictions. Additionally, businesses in Group A, which includes outdoor businesses, retail operations, and low or no contact professional services, are no longer required to follow sector-specific guidance. Instead, those businesses must follow universal guidance, which includes keeping employees home if they are sick and requiring that all employees wear masks. 
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Friday, April 9, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) changed the guidelines that determine if a county moves back to a more restrictive phase in the state’s reopening plan. Previously, counties could be moved backward if they failed one of two metrics on new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Now, counties must fail both criteria to be moved back. Large and small counties have different requirements for new cases and hospitalizations. Currently, all counties are in Phase 3 of reopening. 

This time last year: Monday, April 13, 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 13, 2020:

  • Travel restrictions
    • The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommended that out-of-state travelers, especially those from areas with high rates of infection or community spread, self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • School closures:
    • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) closed schools for the remainder of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools were closed through April 30.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear 13 cases by teleconference in May. The court announced it would broadcast live audio of the proceedings to the public for the first time in history.