Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #272: June 23, 2021

Documenting America's Path to Recovery

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

  • The end of New York’s statewide COVID-19 emergency
  • A disagreement between the Massachusetts governor and legislature over which branch gets to control federal coronavirus relief money
  • 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 he will end the state’s coronavirus emergency order June 24. Masks will still be required statewide for unvaccinated individuals. 

Since our last edition

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

Georgia (Republican trifecta): On Tuesday, June 22, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) extended the statewide COVID-19 emergency through July 1. Kemp said he would not extend the emergency beyond that date. 

Massachusetts (divided government): On Tuesday, June 22, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 130-30 to reject Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) spending proposal for about $5.1 billion in federal coronavirus relief money. Baker had proposed spending $2.8 billion on housing and infrastructure, leaving $2.3 billion for the legislature. The House on Tuesday approved a different proposal that would leave about $200 million for the governor to spend. 

Michigan (divided government): On Wednesday, June 23, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a bill allocating the remaining $2.2 billion in federal coronavirus relief money to food assistance programs and rental assistance. 

Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced the final county Risk Level list that will take effect June 25 until the state reaches a 70% first-dose vaccination rate for residents 18 and older. When 70% of adults receive at least one dose of a vaccine, the risk level framework will end. Effective June 25, six counties will be in the state’s High Risk level, seven will be at Moderate Risk, and 23 will have Lower Risk restrictions. During the current period from June 18-25, nine counties are in the state’s High Risk level, five are at Moderate Risk, and 22 have Lower Risk restrictions. To see restrictions in a specific county or risk level, click here.  

This time last year: Wednesday, June 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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020:

  • Travel restrictions:
    • Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced that travelers arriving in their states from states with a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days. The infection rate was based on a seven-day rolling average of the number of infections per 100,000 residents. At the time, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah met that threshold.
    • Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) announced that, beginning August 1, out-of-state travelers could avoid a 14-day quarantine requirement if they presented a recent negative COVID-19 test.
  • Election changes:
    • The Tennessee Supreme Court declined to stay a lower court order that had extended absentee voting eligibility to all voters during the pandemic.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Department of Health and Human Services ended support for 13 federally-managed testing sites and encouraged states to take them over. The sites were spread across five states.