Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #264: June 10, 2021

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Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery. Today we look at:

  • Changes in coronavirus restrictions in Kentucky
  • The end of social distancing in Maine schools
  • Vaccine distribution
  • School closures and reopenings
  • Travel restrictions
  • Federal responses
  • 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?

Illinois (Democratic trifecta): The state will enter Phase 5 of reopening June 11. On that day, the statewide mask requirement will end, and large events and gatherings can expand to full capacity.

Kentucky (divided government):

  • Gov. Andy Beshear (D) will end the statewide mask requirement for everyone (including unvaccinated people) on June 11.
  • Senior centers in the state will reopen at full capacity on June 11.

Since our last edition

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

Maine (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced all social distancing requirements will be lifted for schools in Fall 2021. Mills said she expected all schools to offer full-time, in-person instruction when the requirement ends. 

Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Wednesday, June 9, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) confirmed that venues that can hold 10,000 or more people will still be restricted to 75% capacity once the state lifts most COVID-19 restrictions. Inslee said he would lift most restrictions once 70% of eligible residents get vaccinated. 

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the June 8 edition of the newsletter. As of June 9, the states with the highest vaccination rates as a percentage of total population (including children) were:

The states with the lowest rates were:

School closures and reopenings

Read more: School responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during the 2020-2021 academic year

We last looked at school closures and reopenings on June 3. Since then, no states changed school reopening guidelines.


  • Two states (Del., Hawaii) and Washington, D.C. had state-ordered regional school closures, required closures for certain grade levels, or allowed hybrid instruction only.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 403,664 students (0.80% of students nationwide)
  • Thirteen states had state-ordered in-person instruction.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 15,432,755 students (30.51% of students nationwide)
  • One state (Ariz.) had state-ordered in-person instruction for certain grades.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 1,123,137 students (2.22% of students nationwide)
  • Thirty-four states left decisions to schools or districts.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 33,628,303 students (66.48% of students nationwide)

Travel restrictions

Read more: Travel restrictions issued by states in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020


  • Since the start of the pandemic, governors or state agencies in 27 states and the District of Columbia issued executive orders placing restrictions on out-of-state visitors. At least 24 of those orders have been rescinded. 
    • Since June 3, one state has announced plans to alter its travel restrictions.   


  • Hawaii – Governor David Ige (D) announced that fully vaccinated travelers who have been vaccinated in Hawaii will be able to bypass the quarantine or test requirement when flying in from out of state beginning June 15. He also announced all inter-county travel restrictions will end on June 15.

Federal responses

Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On June 8, Department of Defense (DoD) press secretary John Kirby announced the DoD would close three mass vaccination sites, leaving five in operation around the country. The DoD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) operated 35 sites earlier in the year when demand for vaccines was highest.
  • On June 3, President Joe Biden (D) announced the U.S will share 25 million coronavirus doses with foreign countries. Nineteen million will go to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX initiative, while the remainder will go directly to countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

This time last year: Friday, June 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.

Friday, June 12, 2020:

  • Election changes:
    • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed HB1169 into law, reducing the witness signature requirement on completed absentee ballots from two to one.
    • California Judge Perry Parker of the Sutter County Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order suspending Executive Order N-67-20, which authorized counties to consolidate polling places in the Nov. 3 general election, provided the counties offered three days of early voting.