Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: April 9, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery

The next 72 hours

What is changing in the next 72 hours?

  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): All residents age 16 and older will be eligible for vaccinations starting April 12. Currently, everyone 65 and older is eligible for vaccination.
  • Maryland (divided government): All providers will be permitted to offer vaccines to residents 16 and older starting April 12. Currently, residents 16 and older can only get vaccinated at mass vaccination sites.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): House Bill 294 will take effect April 10, ending the statewide mask mandate. It also sets 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 will be eligible for vaccination starting April 12. Currently, residents 40 and older are eligible.
    • The state’s phased reopening plan will begin 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, will no longer be 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. 

Since our last edition

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

  • Alabama (Republican trifecta): Gov. Kay Ivey (R) issued a Safer Apart order that takes effect April 9 and runs through May 5. It replaces the Safer at Home order, which was extended and modified several times since it was implemented on April 30, 2020. The Safer Apart order lifts most restrictions on businesses and individuals, including the statewide mask requirement. The order recommends people continue mitigation practices like wearing masks in public and social distancing. The mask order took effect July 16, 2020. For more information on the Safer Apart order, click here.
  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, April 8, the Indiana state Senate voted 36-10 to pass Senate Bill 263, which says “The state, a political subdivision, or an officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision may not restrict the right of the people to worship or to worship in person during a disaster emergency.” The bill does allow governments to require houses of worship to comply with generally applicable laws that are no more restrictive than those other organizations and businesses are required to follow. Senate Bill 263 passed the House 74-20 on April 6 and now goes to Gov. Eric Holcolmb (R) to sign or veto. 
  • Michigan (divided government): On Friday, April 9, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) asked people in the state to refrain from eating indoors for two weeks to reduce the number of coronavirus cases. Whitmer also asked schools to pause youth sports and implement remote learning instruction for two weeks.
  • New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, April 8, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced that all people, including residents of other states, will be eligible for a coronavirus vaccine on April 19.  

This time last year: Friday, April 10, 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.

Friday, April 10, 2020:

  • Election changes:
    • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) signed B23-0733 into law, directing the District’s election officials to send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in advance of the June 2, 2020, primary election.
    • New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner (D) and Attorney General Gordon MacDonald (R) told election officials that any voter in the Sept. 8, 2020, primary or Nov. 3, 2020, general election could request an absentee ballot based on concerns related to COVID-19.
    • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued Executive Order No. 39 FY 19/20, postponing the statewide primary election from June 9 to July 14.
  • Federal government responses:
    • President Donald Trump (R) announced he was forming a new council to discuss the process of reopening the U.S. economy. The President called the group the Opening Our Country Council and said a list of members would be announced on April 14.