Looking back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, June 1-5, 2020

Although the first case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was confirmed on Jan. 21, 2020, it wasn’t until March when the novel coronavirus upended life for most Americans. Throughout the year, states issued stay-at-home orders, closed schools, restricted travel, issued mask mandates, and changed election dates. Many of those policies remain in place today. 

Here are the policy changes that happened June 1-5, 2020. This list is not comprehensive. To see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, June 1, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders
    • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ended the statewide stay-at-home order, allowing bars, restaurants, and retailers to reopen with restrictions. Whitmer first enacted the order on March 23, and extended it on April 25 and May 7.
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Delaware Gov. John Carney Jr. (D) ended the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers.
  • Election changes:
    • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) issued an executive order extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline for the June 2, 2020, primary to 5:00 p.m. on June 9(with a postmark deadline of June 2) in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
  • Federal government responses:
    • United States Secretary of Energy Dan Brouilette announced the Department of Energy would enter the first phase of its reopening plan June 8, allowing some mission-critical personnel to return to work at facilities in Washington and Maryland.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) issued an executive order extending the voter pre-registration deadline in the July 14, 2020, election to July 7.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) allowed the statewide stay-at-home order to expire. He first issued the order, which applied to seven counties, on March 24. A subsequent order expanded that number to 26 counties. On April 1, the stay-at-home order applied to all 67 counties. 
  • Election changes:
    • A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted a district court order that all eligible Texas voters be allowed to cast absentee ballots throughout the pandemic in order to avoid transmission of COVID-19.
    • The Chancery Court for Tennessee’s Twentieth Judicial District ruled that Tennessee’s absentee voting law, which limits eligibility to those meeting certain criteria, “during the unique circumstances of the pandemic, constitutes an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution.” The court ordered the state to extend absentee voting eligibility to all Tennessee voters during the course of the pandemic.
    • Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) signed SB631 into law, permitting any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in any 2020 election, subject to a notarization requirement.

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Travel restrictions
    • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that travelers from Louisiana would no longer need to self-quarantine for 14 days. The requirements remained in effect for visitors from Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
    • Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that he would lift the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers from counties across New England with similar COVID-19 caseloads to Vermont on June 8. Additionally, on June 8, Vermont residents would be allowed to travel to the non-quarantine counties and return home without quarantining for 14 days.
  • Election changes:
    • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed HB751 into law, extending the candidate qualifying deadline for the November 3, 2020, election to July 24.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would resume committal services in all but two VA national cemeteries on June 9.

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