Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery. Today we look at:
- Changes in coronavirus restrictions in Michigan
- Pop-up vaccination sites in New York
- Vaccine distribution
- Lawsuits about state actions and policies
- State-level mask requirements
- Diagnosed or quarantined public officials
- COVID-19 policy changes from this time last year
We are committed to keeping you updated on everything from mask requirements to vaccine-related policies. We will keep you abreast of major developments—especially those affecting your daily life. Want to know what we covered yesterday? Click here.
The next 24 hours
What is changing in the next 24 hours?
- New York (Democratic trifecta):
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced eight pop-up vaccination sites are opening at MTA stations from May 12-16. The sites will offer Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Locations will include Penn Station, Grand Central Terminal, and Broadway Junction. For a full list of the sites, click here. Each site will accept up to 300 walk-ups per day and offer free seven-day metro cards, Long Island Railroad tickets, and Metro-North tickets to recipients.
- Cuomo also announced the state’s and New York City’s public university systems will require vaccinations for Fall 2021 in-person classes. Cuomo encouraged private colleges to require vaccines.
Since our last edition
What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.
- Multistate news: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in children ages 12-15 on May 10. The CDC’s advisory committee is scheduled to meet May 12 to recommend changes to the agency’s guidance. If CDC Director Rochelle Walensky approves the changes, states will be able to start vaccinating children 12 and older.
- Alabama (Republican trifecta): Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced the state will stop participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs starting June 19. Alabama is one of seven states that have announced federal benefits will end by June 30 or earlier.
- Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Monday, May 10, the Indiana legislature voted to override Gov. Eric Holcomb’s (R) veto of Senate Bill 5. The law requires county commissioners or city councils to approve local public health orders that impose additional restrictions to the governor’s health orders. The override also invalidated all local health orders that go beyond the state’s requirements. Local elected officials will need to re-approve the stricter measures.
- Iowa (Republican trifecta): Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced the state will stop participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs starting June 12. Iowa is one of seven states that have announced federal benefits will end by June 30 or earlier.
- Michigan (divided government): On Monday, May 10, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced she would end the requirement that businesses mandate remote work when feasible on May 24 because 55% of residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. On April 29, Whitmer announced a series of vaccination benchmarks that would end COVID-19 restrictions. The next set of restrictions—including capacity limits on stadiums and gyms and curfews on bars and restaurants—will be eased when 60% of residents have received at least one vaccine dose.
- Mississippi (Republican trifecta): Gov. Tate Reeves (R) announced the state will stop participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs starting June 12. Mississippi is one of seven states that have announced federal benefits will end by June 30 or earlier.
- North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Monday, May 10, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced the state will stop participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs starting June 12. North Dakota is one of seven states that have announced federal benefits will end by June 30 or earlier.
We last looked at vaccine distribution in the May 6 edition of the newsletter. As of May 10, the states with the highest vaccination rates as a percentage of total population (including children) were:
- Vermont (Republican governor): 62%
- Massachusetts (Republican governor): 61%
- Hawaii (Democratic governor): 59%
- Connecticut (Democratic governor): 58%
- New Hampshire (Republican governor): 58%
The states with the lowest rates were:
- Mississippi (Republican governor): 32%
- Alabama (Republican governor): 34%
- Louisiana (Democratic governor): 34%
- Idaho (Republican governor): 35%
- Wyoming (Republican governor): 35%
Lawsuits about state actions and policies
- To date, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,790 lawsuits, in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 537 of those lawsuits.
- Since May 4, we have added nine lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked an additional two court orders and/or settlements.
- Alabama Association of Realtors v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: On May 5, Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Donald Trump (R) appointee, overturned the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) nationwide eviction moratorium, which was issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plaintiffs, a group of realtors and real estate management companies, alleged the moratorium was an “improper exercise of executive authority that does not comply with federal law.” Friedrich posed the issue before her as: “Does the Public Health Service Act grant the CDC the legal authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium?” Friedrich found that while the Public Health Service Act “authorizes the Department to combat the spread of disease through a range of measures,” it nevertheless “unambiguously forecloses the nationwide eviction moratorium.” The Department of Justice filed a notice of appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and moved to block Friedrich’s order pending appeal.
State mask requirements
We last looked at face coverings in the May 4 edition of the newsletter. Since then, no new states have adopted a statewide public mask mandate or let a face-covering requirement expire.
Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia
- Three federal officials have died of COVID-19.
- Sixty-five members of Congress have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Forty-one federal officials have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
- Ten state-level incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
- Two hundred thirty-one state-level incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Eighty-six state-level incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
- At least five local incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
- At least 42 local incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- At least 26 local incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
Since May 4, one state representative has tested positive for COVID-19.
- On May 6, 2021, Texas state Rep. John Raney (R) announced he tested positive for COVID-19.
This time last year: Tuesday, May 12, 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.
Tuesday, May 12, 2020:
- Travel restrictions:
- Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) issued Amended Executive Order 2020-13, which ended the requirement for out-of-state travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana, and Washington to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering the state. The amended order asked out-of-state travelers to adhere to all CDC recommendations.
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment mandated that residents who had traveled to Maryland self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Election changes:
- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz (D) signed HF3429 into law, authorizing general election candidates to submit filing forms and petitions electronically.
- The Republican Party of Indiana announced it would cancel its in-person state convention, which had been scheduled for June 20, 2020. Instead, the party opted to conduct convention business virtually and by mail.