Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: April 7, 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.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced he is targeting June 15 to fully reopen the economy statewide. If Blueprint for a Safer Economy restrictions are lifted on June 15, masks will still be required. Newsom said the state will reopen if the vaccine supply is sufficient for anyone who wants a vaccine to get an appointment within two weeks and the state considers hospitalizations stable and low. To read more about reopening and the state’s criteria, click here.
  • Georgia (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will ease restrictions on businesses and individuals starting April 7. Once the order takes effect, there will no longer be a ban on gatherings or any social distance requirements in businesses like bars, movie theaters, or gyms. Additionally, Kemp’s order prohibits law enforcement from closing businesses and organizations that do not comply with COVID-19 restrictions.
  • North Carolina (divided government): All residents 16 and older are eligible for vaccination starting April 7. Previously, all of Group 4 was eligible for vaccination.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): 
    • Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced all residents 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination starting April 19. 
    • Brown also announced that effective April 9-22, 14 counties will be in the state’s High Risk level, six will be at Moderate Risk, and 16 will have Lower Risk restrictions. In the current period from March 26 – April 8, two counties are in the state’s Extreme Risk level, six are at High Risk, 14 are at Moderate Risk, and 14 have Lower Risk restrictions. To see restrictions in a specific county or risk level, click here.

Correction: vaccine eligibility

Note: This section may not reflect the most recent stories in today’s The next 24 hours and Since our last edition sections above. This section details eligibility for different age groups in each state. 

In yesterday’s edition, we looked at vaccine eligibility. Some of our data were misordered, causing problems with the map and context. We apologize for this error. Here’s a correction of that feature, as of April 6:

  • Ages 16+: 40 states
  • Ages 18+: One state
  • Ages 40+: One state
  • Ages 50+ or 55+: Four states
  • Ages 60+ or 65+: Four states and Washington, D.C.

For more details on vaccine distribution, including the eligibility of grocery store workers, food service employees, and people with underlying conditions, click here.

In some states, vaccine eligibility can vary by county. The data above details the loosest restrictions in each state. For example, if one county in a state allows vaccines for anyone 55 or older, the state is marked as 55+, even if every other county limits vaccinations to people 65 or older. To see what states allow eligibility for groups in specific counties, check out the New York Times article here.

This time last year: Wednesday, April 8, 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.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020:

  • Travel restrictions
    • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) ordered all people traveling to Arizona from areas of the country with widespread COVID-19 cases to self-quarantine for 14 days. The order specifically mentioned Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey as areas with significant community spread. 
  • School closures:
    • Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) closed schools for the remainder of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools were closed through May 1.
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) closed schools for the remainder of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools had been closed indefinitely from March 16.
  • Election changes:
    • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) postponed Georgia’s statewide and presidential primaries to June 9, 2020, and its primary runoff to Aug. 11. The state had previously postponed its presidential primary to May 19, the original date of its statewide primary.