Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: April 21, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

Since our last edition

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

  • Kentucky (divided government): Gov. Andy Beshear (D) updated the state’s Healthy at Work requirements to apply to all businesses, eliminating the need for some industry-specific guidance. Health care facilities, wedding and funeral service venues, restaurants and bars, pools and bathing facilities, and gyms still have supplemental Healthy at Work requirements beyond the minimum guidance.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): On Tuesday, April 20, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed a directive allowing county governments to assume control over most COVID-19 mitigation policies on May 1. Counties will be permitted to set social distancing measures and restrictions on schools and large events. The Nevada Gaming Control Board will continue to have control over mitigation in casinos until June 1, when all state mitigation policies—with the exception of the statewide mask mandate—will end. County commissioners are required to approve a Local Mitigation and Enforcement Plan and submit it to the state for approval before May 1. 
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Tuesday, April 20, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced a joint vaccine initiative with the government of the Canadian province of Manitoba to provide free vaccines to long-haul truckers traveling into North Dakota.
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced that effective April 23 – May 6, 23 counties will be in the state’s High Risk level, three will be at Moderate Risk, and 10 will have Lower Risk restrictions. In the current period from April 9-22, 14 counties are in the state’s High Risk level, six are at Moderate Risk, and 16 have Lower Risk restrictions. To see restrictions in a specific county or risk level, click here.
  • South Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, April 21, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) issued an order banning government entities, including local governments and state agencies, from requiring individuals to submit proof of vaccination to access facilities or services. 

This time last year: Wednesday, April 22, 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 22, 2020:

  • School closures:
    • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced that he would rescind the statewide school closure order on May 7 but that individual districts would be allowed to decide whether to reopen for in-person instruction.
    • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced that schools would not reopen for in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were closed through April 30.
    • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced that schools would not reopen for in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. Prior to the announcement, schools were closed through April 30.
  • Election changes:
    • The Republican Party of Wisconsin postponed its state convention, originally scheduled to take place in May, to July 10-11.
    • Utah Governor Gary Herbert (R) signed HB3005 into law, canceling in-person Election Day voting, in-person early voting, and in-person voter registration in the June 30 election.
  • Federal government responses:
    • President Donald Trump (R) signed an executive order temporarily suspending the issuance of new green cards. The order only covered applicants residing outside of the country at the time Trump issued the order.