Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery. Today we look at:
- An expired eviction moratorium in Connecticut
- A vaccine incentive initiative in Michigan
- 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.
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 30, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) ended the state’s eviction moratorium. In his executive order, he also extended the appeal period for tenants from three to 30 days, and required that landlords apply for federal relief funding dedicated to covering unpaid rent before evicting tenants.
Georgia (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, June 30, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) ended the statewide COVID-19 emergency and issued two orders that maintain several provisions of the emergency order, including the suspension of some rules related to remote notarization and remote grand jury proceedings.
Indiana (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, June 30, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) extended the statewide COVID-19 emergency through July 30.
Maryland (divided government): The statewide COVID-19 state of emergency ended effective July 1. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) made the announcement on June 15, and said some emergency measures, such as an eviction moratorium and a grace period for drivers with expired licenses, will stay in place for an additional 45 days.
Michigan (divided government): On Thursday, July 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) unveiled “MI Shot to Win,” a vaccine incentive initiative featuring a $5 million lottery and up to $500,000 in college scholarships. The lottery includes a $2 million grand prize, a $1 million prize, and 30 daily drawings of $50,000. The initiative runs from July 1 to Aug. 3.
Minnesota (divided government): The statewide COVID-19 peacetime emergency ended effective July 1. The state House and Senate voted June 30 to end the peacetime emergency as part of a budget deal. Gov. Tim Walz (D) originally planned to end the emergency Aug. 1, but said he would not seek an extension beyond July 1 after he struck a deal with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that preserved emergency food aid.
Montana (Republican trifecta): On June 30, Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) ended Montana’s state of emergency.
New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Effective July 1, New Mexico retired its county-by-county restriction system and all business capacity and mass gathering restrictions.
Virginia (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declined to extend the statewide COVID-19 public health emergency beyond June 30.
We last looked at vaccine distribution in the June 29 edition of the newsletter. As of June 30, the states with the highest vaccination rates as a percentage of total population (including children) were:
- Vermont (Republican governor): 79%
- Massachusetts (Republican governor): 70%
- Hawaii (Democratic governor): 70%
- Connecticut (Democratic governor): 67%
- Maine (Democratic governor): 66%
The states with the lowest rates were:
- Mississippi (Republican governor): 36%
- Louisiana (Democratic governor): 38%
- Wyoming (Republican governor): 39%
- Idaho (Republican governor): 40%
- Alabama (Republican governor): 40%
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 24. 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)
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 24, one state has announced changes to its travel restrictions.
- Hawaii – Gov. David Ige (D) announced fully vaccinated interstate travelers will be able to bypass Hawaii’s testing and quarantine requirements starting July 8.
Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020
- On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to keep in place the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) nationwide evictions moratorium. A group of landlords and trade associations filed the lawsuit, which the Court accepted on an emergency basis. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said she would not extend the moratorium beyond July 31, 2021.
This time last year: July 2, 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.
July 2, 2020:
- Travel restrictions:
- The Pennsylvania Department of Health recommended that residents who traveled to 15 states with rising COVID-19 cases quarantine for 14 days upon returning to the state. At the time, those states were: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
- Election changes:
- Vermont S348 became law without the signature of Gov. Phil Scott (R). The legislation authorized the secretary of state to modify election procedures without the governor’s approval.
- Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) and Secretary of State John Thurston (R) announced that voters in the Nov. 3 general election would be allowed to cite concerns over COVID-19 as a valid excuse for voting absentee.
- The U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a district court order barring Alabama election officials from enforcing witness and photo ID requirements for select voters casting absentee ballots in the July 14 runoff elections. The Court’s ruling gave the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit time to hear a pending appeal of the district court’s decision.
- School closures and reopenings:
- Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) released guidelines for reopening schools. The guidelines included a requirement that all staff wear masks and a recommendation that students in third grade or higher wear masks.