Note: Documenting America’s Path to Recovery will switch to a biweekly schedule starting July 6. We will send editions out every Tuesday and Thursday. With state news related to coronavirus restrictions slowing down, we hope this adjusted schedule will better serve our readers.
Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery. Today we look at:
- A vaccine incentive initiative in Connecticut
- An Indiana judge’s ruling that the state must participate in federal pandemic unemployment programs
- 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 Friday? Click here.
The next 24 hours
What is changing in the next 24 hours?
Since our last edition
What rules and restrictions are changing in each state? For a continually updated article, click here.
Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): On June 25, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced a vaccine incentive program called Rock the Shot. Individuals 18 and older who have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine can enter a drawing to win concert tickets. Additionally, the first 24 people vaccinated at certain vaccination sites will receive concert tickets.
Florida (Republican trifecta):
- The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) made the announcement May 24.
- On Saturday, June 26, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) allowed the statewide COVID-19 emergency to expire. DeSantis first declared the state of emergency on March 10, 2020.
Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Friday, June 25, Marion Superior Court Judge John Haley temporarily halted Gov. Eric Holcomb’s (R) decision to end the state’s participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs. Holcomb announced in May the state would stop participating in the programs on June 19, prompting a lawsuit that argued Indiana law requires the state to participate in federal unemployment insurance programs. Holcomb said he would discuss appealing Haley’s ruling with state Attorney General Todd Rokita (R).
Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed an executive order on June 25 that says the state will end mask and distancing requirements, and lift capacity restrictions, when 70% of adults have received one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Friday, June 25, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) suspended capacity limits on government and nonprofit cooling centers in response to a heatwave affecting the region. Under current COVID-19 restrictions, indoor venues cannot operate at more than 50% capacity. Inslee’s order does not apply to for-profit businesses like movie theaters that provide air conditioned spaces.
This time last year: Monday, June 29, 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 read more of our past coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, click here.
Monday, June 29, 2020
- Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
- Kentucky entered the final stage of its reopening plan, effectively ending Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) stay-at-home order. In the final stage, groups of 50 or fewer people were allowed to gather in one location, and bars and restaurants were permitted to reopen at 50% capacity.
- Federal government responses:
- The Defense Department lifted travel restrictions on military installations in ten more states, allowing service members to resume recreational travel and change-of-station moves. The Defense Department also lifted restrictions on troops in Guam, Puerto Rico, and South Korea.
- School closures and reopenings:
- Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) approved a Utah State Board of Education plan for reopening schools in the fall. The Board required all public schools to create and post a reopening plan online by Aug. 1.