Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: April 26, 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.

  • Multistate news: On April 23, the FDA ended the recommended pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution. The vaccine will not be limited by age or sex, but it will come with a warning label stating a possible relationship between the vaccine and rare blood clotting disorders, especially in women between the ages of 18 and 49. The FDA paused distribution of the vaccine on April 13, and the U.S. government stopped distributing J&J vaccines through federally run vaccination sites. All 50 states paused distribution of the vaccine. At the time of this writing, at least 31 states had resumed or announced plans to resume use of the vaccine.
  • Colorado (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced a mobile state vaccination clinic route on the Western Slope starting April 24. The mobile clinics will offer initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and second doses will be available on a return trip. Appointments are encouraged but not required, and residents do not need ID or health insurance to receive free vaccinations. To learn more about scheduled stops, click here.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced a state partnership with FEMA to open vaccination sites in Laurel and Henderson counties. Laurel’s vaccination site will open April 28, and Henderson’s will open April 29. Both sites will be able to administer up to 7,000 doses daily. For more information, click here.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Friday, April 23, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed House Bill 1175. The law protects businesses and healthcare providers from civil liability lawsuits filed over COVID-19-related deaths or injuries. The law is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020, and does not provide immunity from actions resulting from “reckless” or “intentional infliction of harm” or “willful and wanton misconduct.” 
  • Wisconsin (divided government): On Friday, April 23, Gov. Tony Evers (D) vetoed Assembly Bill 23 and Assembly Bill 24. Assembly Bill 23 prohibits officials from mandating COVID-19 vaccines, while Assembly Bill 24 prohibits local health officials from closing houses of worship in response to COVID-19 or any COVID-19 variant. 

This time last year: Monday, April 27, 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 27, 2020:

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) allowed the statewide stay-at-home order to expire. He first enacted it on April 3. Mississippi’s stay-at-home order was the fourth such order to expire nationwide. Alaska was the first state to end its stay-at-home order, doing so on April 24. Montana and Colorado ended their stay-at-home orders on April 26. 
  • Election changes:
    • The New York State Board of Elections canceled the Democratic presidential preference primary, which had been scheduled to take place on June 23, 2020.