Since our last edition
What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.
- Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, April 22, the legislature passed House Bill 1405, which includes language prohibiting state and local government agencies from requiring anyone, including employees, to show proof of vaccination. The bill does not prohibit agencies from keeping immunization records and does not apply to private companies or public schools. The House passed the bill 88-10, while the Senate passed it 48-1. It now goes to Gov. Eric Holcomb (R).
- New York (Democratic trifecta):
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) released a list of 16 mass vaccination sites that will begin accepting walk-ins age 60 and older on April 23.
- Spectators are allowed at horse and auto races at 20% capacity starting April 22.
- North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, April 22, the legislature voted to override Gov. Doug Burgum’s (R) veto of Hill Bill 1323, which prohibits statewide mask mandates. The House voted 66-27 to override the veto, while the Senate voted 32-15 to do the same. Burgum vetoed the bill on April 21. Under the law, local governments and public schools can still require masks.
- South Carolina (Republican trifecta): Gov. Henry McMaster (R) extended the state’s coronavirus emergency order through May 7.
- Virginia (Democratic trifecta): On Thursday, April 22, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced a series of changes to statewide coronavirus restrictions beginning May 15. The limit on indoor gatherings will increase from 50 to 100 people, while the outdoor limit will increase from 100 to 250 people. Indoor venues will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity or 1,000 people, while outdoor venues will be permitted to operate at 50% capacity with no absolute limit on the number of people allowed in. Additionally, indoor sports venues will be permitted to allow up to 250 spectators or 50% capacity, whichever is less, while outdoor venues will be permitted to seat 1,000 people or 50% capacity, whichever is less. Restaurants will also be allowed to sell alcohol after midnight.
This time last year: Friday, April 24, 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 24, 2020:
- Stay-at-home orders:
- Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) ended the statewide stay-at-home order, becoming the first state to do so. Dunleavy’s new order allowed several types of nonessential businesses to reopen with restrictions, including barbershops, tattoo parlors, and nail salons.
- School closures:
- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced that K-12 public schools would not reopen for in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools were closed through May 15.
- Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) announced that K-12 public schools would not reopen for in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year. Before the announcement, schools were closed through May 15.
- Election changes:
- Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) issued an executive order directing all voters to use absentee voting by mail for the June 23 primary election if they were able to do so.
- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) issued Executive Order No. 202.23, requiring that all eligible voters in the June 23 election be sent absentee ballot applications.
- Federal government responses:
- President Donald Trump (R) signed the $484 billion Paycheck Protection and Health Care Act Congress passed on April 23. The law included renewed funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and funding for hospitals and testing.