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Looking back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, July 6-July 10, 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.

Here are the policy changes that happened July 6-July 10, 2020. To read more of our past coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, click here

Monday, July 6, 2020

  • Travel restrictions:
    • Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady issued an order requiring travelers entering the city of Chicago from states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases to self-quarantine for 14 days. At the time, the order applied to travelers from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.
  • Election changes:
    • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed a bill extending vote-by-mail eligibility in the fall primary and general elections to all qualified voters.
  • School closures and reopenings:
    • The Florida Department of Education ordered that all school boards and charter school governing boards must physically open schools for at least five days per week for all students beginning in August.
    • The Kentucky Department of Education released guidelines on reopening schools in the fall. The document, a complement to interim guidance the Kentucky Department of Public Health issued in June, did not mandate a uniform course of action for reopening schools. Instead, the document was intended as a guide for local districts. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • North Carolina Business Court Judge James L. Gale ruled that bowling alleys could reopen immediately. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) had closed them in March. Cooper filed for a stay until the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court could hear the case.
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced that Delaware, Kansas, and Oklahoma had been added to the joint travel advisory requiring visitors from those states to quarantine for 14 days upon entering Connecticut, New York, or New Jersey. 
  • Federal government responses:
    • The federal government awarded $1.6 billion to Novavax Inc. for clinical studies of a coronavirus vaccine, and $450 million to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. to manufacture doses of an experimental treatment for COVID-19.
  • Mask requirements:
    • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) issued an executive order requiring everyone over the age of nine to wear a face covering in indoor public places when social distancing isn’t possible.
  • School closures and reopenings:
    • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) released guidance for universities and colleges planning on reopening in the fall. The guidance called for reducing capacity in dining halls and requiring all students to receive testing at the beginning of the year. 
    • Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath released guidance for reopening schools in the fall. The guidance said parents would be able to choose between on-campus and distance learning options. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • Long Island, New York, entered Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. 
  • Election changes:
    • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced the cancellation of the Republican Party of Texas convention. The convention had been scheduled for July 16 through July 18 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
    • The South Carolina Election Commission announced that return postage for all mailed absentee ballots in the November 3 general election would be prepaid.
    • Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) signed HB1521 into law. The legislation extended the postmark deadline for absentee ballots to Nov. 3 and the receipt deadline to Nov. 10. The legislation also established that an individual under a physician-ordered quarantine, or an individual caring for a dependent under quarantine, due to COVID-19 was eligible to vote by absentee ballot.
    • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) ordered the state board of elections to send absentee/mail-in ballot request forms to all qualified voters in the Nov. 3 general election.
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia Judge Eleanor L. Ross issued an order in Cooper v. Raffensperger, reducing the petition signature requirement for independent and minor-party candidates in Georgia to 70 percent of their original numbers.
  • Mask requirements: 
    • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an executive order requiring individuals to wear face masks outdoors when social distancing is not possible. 
  • School closures and reopenings:
    • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Sept. 8 as a target date for reopening schools.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

  1. Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    1. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a proclamation suspending elective surgeries in hospitals in 11 of the state’s 22 trauma service areas. The proclamation was aimed at expanding hospital capacity to deal with a surge in coronavirus cases.
  2. Mask requirements: 
    1. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves issued an executive order requiring individuals in certain counties to wear face masks in public. The order applied to counties with 200 new cases in the past 14 days or with an average of 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the same period.
  3. Election changes:
    1. Texas 80th District Court Judge Larry Weiman rejected requests from both the Republican Party of Texas and Steve Hotze, a Houston Republican, to bar Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner from cancelling the state Republican party convention, originally scheduled for July 16-18.
  4. School closures and reopenings:
    1. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced that when K-12 schools reopen, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors would be required to wear masks in buildings and on buses.

Friday, July 10, 2020 

  1. Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    1. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced malls could reopen as part of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. Cuomo required malls to implement ventilation protocols with HVAC systems capable of filtering the coronavirus before they reopened. 
    2. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered bars in several counties, including Washoe and Clark, to close effective 11:59 p.m. on July 10. Under the order, restaurants will not be allowed to seat parties larger than six and must close their bar areas.
  2. Mask requirements: 
    1. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) issued a statewide indoor mask mandate. The order applied to people five and older, and included public transportation in addition to places like restaurants and grocery stores. 

For the most recent coronavirus news, including the latest on vaccines and mask mandates, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery



A look back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, June 29-July 3, 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.

Here are the policy changes that happened June 29-July 3, 2020. 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. Under 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 announced that it had 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 August 1.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) moved the state into the third phase of reopening. Phase 3 allowed gatherings of up to 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors. It also allowed entertainment businesses (like bowling alleys and movie theaters) and some larger events (like concerts and festivals) to reopen with restrictions.
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced that eight more states had been added to a June 24 joint travel advisory requiring out-of-state visitors to self-quarantine for 14 days. The eight states were California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee.
    • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that visitors to Massachusetts from Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, and New Jersey would no longer need to self-quarantine for 14 days. The advisory to self-quarantine remained in effect for visitors from other parts of the country.
    • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) extended the mandatory 14-day quarantine for all out-of-state travelers.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Treasury Department and the IRS announced that the deadline to file taxes would not be extended beyond July 15. The IRS postponed the original April 15 deadline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • School closures and reopenings:
    • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) released the “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap,” a set of guidelines local districts could use to draft their own reopening plans for the fall. 
  • Eviction moratoriums:
    • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a bill to extend the state’s moratorium on commercial and residential evictions through Sept. 30. The bill also gave renters until March 31, 2021, to pay back nonpayment balances. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders and reopening plans:
    • Maine moved into a new phase of reopening, allowing indoor amusement facilities, movie theaters, outdoor amusement facilities, performing arts venues, casinos, and close-contact personal services like nail salons to reopen at varying capacities. 
  • Election changes:
    • In New York, the filing deadline for independent nominating petitions was extended to July 30.
    • Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) signed HB346 into law, providing for the state election commission to automatically deliver a vote-by-mail application to every qualified voter in the 2020 primary, general, and special elections.
  • Mask requirements: 
    • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) issued a statewide mandate requiring people to wear masks in indoor public spaces. 
  • Ballot measure changes:
    • Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden (R) filed an emergency motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to stay a lower court’s ruling allowing for electronic gathering of petition signatures. The case had been brought by Reclaim Idaho, an organization aiming to qualify an initiative for the ballot to raise the state income tax to fund K-12 education.
    • The Colorado Supreme Court rejected Gov. Jared Polis’s (D) executive order allowing for ballot initiative petitions to be signed through the mail and email and instead ruled that initiative proponents must gather signatures in person.
  • School closures and reopenings:
    • The Iowa Department of Education allowed K-12 public schools to reopen. Officials announced there would be no requirement for students or staff to wear face coverings, undergo health checks, or social distance.
    • The Wyoming Department of Education released guidance for reopening schools in the state. The state’s 48 school districts were responsible for developing reopening plans in accordance with the guidance and submitting those plans for state approval. 
  • Eviction moratoriums:
    • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed an order that allowed residential evictions to resume for actions that did not include the non-payment of rent.
    • New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) ended the statewide moratorium on evictions.

Thursday, 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 implement modifications to election procedures without the approval of the governor.
    • 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 Supreme Court of the United States temporarily stayed 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 implemented the stay to give 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 in the state. The guidelines included a requirement that all staff wear masks and a recommendation that students in third grade or higher wear masks.

Friday, July 3, 2020 

  • Travel restrictions:
    • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) exempted visitors from Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York from the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing alternative.
  • Mask requirements:
    • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) issued a statewide mask mandate requiring individuals older than five to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing could not be maintained.
    • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a mandate requiring people living in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases to wear a mask in indoor and outdoor settings when social distancing wasn’t possible. Counties with fewer than 20 coronavirus cases could choose to opt out of the requirement.

For the most recent coronavirus news, including the latest on vaccines and mask mandates, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery.



Michigan, West Virginia end statewide face-covering requirements

Two states ended statewide public mask requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated people between June 18-24.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ended most remaining statewide coronavirus restrictions, including the statewide mask mandate, on June 22. Vaccinated and unvaccinated people still have to wear masks on public transportation and at public transportation hubs (like bus stations and airports).

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) ended the statewide mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals on June 20. Vaccinated and unvaccinated people still have to wear masks on public transportation and at public transportation hubs. 

In total, 39 states issued statewide public mask requirements during the pandemic. At the time of writing, 10 states had statewide mask orders. All 10 states have Democratic governors. Nine of the 10 states exempted fully vaccinated people from most requirements.

Of the 29 states that have fully ended statewide public mask requirements, 16 have Republican governors, and 13 have Democratic governors. Twenty-six states ended mask requirements through executive order, two (Kansas and Utah) ended mask requirements through legislative action, and one (Wisconsin) ended its mandate through court order.



Reviewing government responses to the coronavirus pandemic from one year ago this week

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.

Here are the policy changes that happened June 22-26, 2020. This list is not comprehensive. To see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, June 22, 2020

  • Federal government responses:
    • President Donald Trump (R) signed a proclamation restricting the issuance of some visas that permit immigrants to work in the United States, citing economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Visas affected included L-1s, H-1Bs, H-4s, H-2Bs, and J-1s. 

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.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed HF2486 into law, barring the secretary of state from mailing absentee ballot request forms to all voters without approval from the state legislature. The legislation also barred county officials from decreasing the number of polling places by more than 35 percent during an election.
    • A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit declined to stay a lower 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.
  • Mask requirements:
    • A statewide mask mandate requiring individuals to wear face coverings in public took effect in Nevada. Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued the order June 24.

Friday, June 26, 2020 

  • Election changes:
    • The United States Supreme Court declined to reinstate a district court order that had expanded absentee voting eligibility in Texas. An appeals court stayed the district court’s order, a decision that was allowed to stand as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision not to intervene.
    • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed SB4 into law, authorizing county clerks to mail absentee ballot applications automatically to registered, mailable voters in the Nov. 3 general election.
  • Mask requirements:
    • Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued a mandate requiring people to wear a face covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces. The order did not require masks outdoors if six feet of space could be maintained between people. Children under two were exempt from the mandate. 

For the most recent coronavirus news, including the latest on vaccines and mask mandates, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery



Vermont ends statewide face-covering requirement

One state ended statewide public mask requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated people between June 12-17.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) lifted all remaining coronavirus restrictions in the state, including capacity restrictions and mask requirements for unvaccinated individuals on June 14. Masks are still required in health care settings, in long-term care facilities, on public transportation, and at transportation hubs (like bus stations and airports). 

The California Department of Health also exempted fully vaccinated individuals from the statewide mask mandate starting June 15. Fully vaccinated residents still have to wear masks on public transit and in transportation hubs, in indoor childcare and K-12 school settings, in healthcare settings, and in congregate settings (including prisons and homeless shelters). The statewide mask requirement still exists for unvaccinated people in all indoor public settings and businesses. 

In total, 39 states issued statewide public mask requirements during the pandemic. At the time of writing, 12 states had statewide mask orders, including 11 of the 23 states with Democratic governors and one of the 27 states with Republican governors. Of those 12 states, 11 exempted fully vaccinated people.

Of the 27 states that have fully ended statewide public mask requirements, 15 have Republican governors and 12 have Democratic governors. Twenty-four states ended mask requirements through executive order, two (Kansas and Utah) ended mask requirements through legislative action, and one (Wisconsin) ended its mandate through court order.



COVID-19 policy changes and events one year ago this week

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.

Here are the policy changes that happened June 15-19, 2020. This list is not comprehensive. To see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, June 15, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • New Hampshire’s statewide stay-at-home order expired on June 15. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) issued Emergency Order #17 on March 26. The order directed individuals in the state to stay at home unless performing essential activities and placed restrictions on non-essential businesses.
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Arkansas Secretary of Health Nathaniel Smith allowed the 14-day travel quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers coming from coronavirus hot spot areas—including New York and New Jersey—to expire. 
  • Election changes:
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Judge Abdul Kallon issued a preliminary injunction barring election officials from enforcing witness and photo ID requirements for select voters casting absentee ballots in the July 14 runoff elections.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

  • Travel restrictions:
    • The Hawaii State Department of Health announced that inter-island travelers would no longer need to follow a 14-day quarantine. However, all passengers and crew would need to fill out a travel and health form before boarding.
  • Election changes:
    • As the result of a lawsuit settlement, the absentee ballot postmark deadline in Minnesota was extended to August 11 in the August 11 primary election, while the receipt deadline for absentee ballots was extended to August 13. The witness requirement for absentee ballots was suspended.
    • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) signed SB 863 and HB2238 into law, requiring local election officials to deliver vote-by-mail applications for the Nov. 3 general election to all voters who cast ballots in the 2018 general election, the 2019 consolidated election, or the 2020 primary election.
  • Federal government responses:
    • Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf announced that the U.S. would keep restrictions limiting non-essential travel to or from Mexico and Canada in place through July 21.
    • In a joint press release, the Department of Homeland Security and the Executive Office for Immigration Review announced that Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) hearings and in-person document services would likely resume on July 20. Under MPP, individuals seeking asylum were told to wait in Mexico until their immigration court appointment.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

  • Travel restrictions:
    • The Kansas Department of Health and Environment updated its list of states with widespread community transmission to include Alabama, Arizona, and Arkansas. Kansas residents who had traveled to those states were required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Election changes:
    • The Wisconsin Election Commission voted unanimously to send absentee/mail-in ballot applications automatically to most registered voters in the Nov. 3 general election.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a report for nonessential businesses planning on reopening, titled “Guidance on Returning to Work.” The guidance includes recommendations for a three-phased reopening strategy.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed AB860 into law, requiring county election officials to mail absentee/mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the Nov. 3 general election. On May 8, 2020, Newsom had issued an executive order to the same effect.
  • Mask requirements:
    • Newsom signed an executive order requiring individuals to wear face coverings when outside the home. California was the ninth state to enact a statewide mask requirement. 

Friday, June 19, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) approved Multnomah County’s application to reopen, effectively lifting the state’s stay-at-home order. Multnomah, which includes Portland, was the last county subject to Brown’s original stay-at-home order, Executive Order No. 20-12.  
  • Election changes:
    • Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D) signed H7901 into law, reducing petition signature requirements for both primary and general election congressional candidates in 2020 by half.
    • The Maryland State Board of Elections and the Green Party of Maryland reached a settlement in Maryland Green Party v. Hogan. Under the terms of the settlement, the petition signature requirement for obtaining party status for the Green and Libertarian parties was reduced from 10,000 to 5,000 signatures.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Internal Revenue Service released guidance for individuals participating in retirement plans that describes how they can take advantage of provisions in the CARES Act that related to retirement plans.
    • The Department of Defense (DoD) lifted travel restrictions on additional installations in 46 states and eight host nations, allowing military and civilian personnel to travel to those locations.

For the most recent coronavirus news, including the latest on vaccines and mask mandates, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery



Illinois, Kentucky end face-covering requirements

Two states ended statewide public mask requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated people between June 5-11.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker (D) moved the state to Phase 5 of reopening June 11, ending the statewide mask mandate. The state still requires masks in schools, on public transit, in hospitals, and at congregate facilities like prisons and homeless shelters. Masks are also recommended in indoor public spaces for individuals who are not fully vaccinated. 

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) ended the statewide mask requirement, remaining social distancing requirements, and all capacity restrictions June 11. Vaccinated and unvaccinated people still have to wear masks on public transit, at schools, and in healthcare settings.

In total, 39 states issued statewide public mask requirements during the pandemic. At the time of writing, 13 states had statewide mask orders, including 11 of the 23 states with Democratic governors and two of the 27 states with Republican governors. Of those 13 states, at least 11 exempted fully vaccinated people.

Of the 26 states that have fully ended statewide public mask requirements, 14 have Republican governors and 12 have Democratic governors. Twenty-three states ended mask requirements through executive order, two (Kansas and Utah) ended mask requirements through legislative action, and one (Wisconsin) ended its mandate through court order.



A look back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, June 8-12, 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 8-12, 2020. This list is not comprehensive. To see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, June 8, 2020

  • Travel restrictions:
    • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced that out-of-state visitors from New Hampshire and Vermont no longer had to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
    • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) eased the quarantine requirement on out-of-state travelers from counties across New England with similar COVID-19 caseloads to Vermont. The Agency of Commerce and Community began releasing a weekly map identifying quarantine and non-quarantine counties based on COVID-19 case rates. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) ended the state’s stay-at-home order. Murphy first issued the order on March 21. 
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Department of Defense announced that it was lifting travel restrictions on installations in 38 states, Washington D.C., and five countries (Bahrain, Belgium, Germany, the U.K., and Japan). Service members could travel between those areas without needing permission. Travel restrictions remained in place in 12 states.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

  • Travel restrictions
    • Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) announced he was extending the quarantine requirement for out-of-state and returning travelers through July 31. He first issued the two-week quarantine requirement on March 17.
  • Election changes:
    • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed HB167 into law, extending the deadline by which a ballot-qualified party must notify the state of its presidential nominee from August 18 to August 25.

Friday, June 12, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • North Carolina Governor 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 had authorized counties to consolidate polling places in the November 3 general election, provided they offer three days of early voting.

For the most recent coronavirus news, including the latest on vaccines and mask mandates, subscribe to our daily newsletter, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery



Idaho governor rescinds lieutenant governor’s executive order banning mask mandates

Idaho Governor Brad Little (R) on May 28 rescinded an executive order issued in his absence by Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin (R) that banned mask mandates in the state. Little called McGeachin’s executive order an “irresponsible, self-serving political stunt” that, in his words, “amounts to tyranny—something we all oppose.”

McGeachin issued the executive order on May 27 in her capacity as acting governor while Little traveled to a conference out of state. The order prohibited state and local government entities from issuing mask mandates in order to mitigate the spread of contagious diseases, such as COVID-19. 

In a statement posted to her gubernatorial campaign website, McGeachin claimed that she signed the order, “to protect the rights and liberties of individuals and businesses by prohibiting the state and its political subdivisions—including public schools—from imposing mask mandates in our state.”

Little told the _Idaho Capital Sun_ that McGeachin issued the executive order without his knowledge or approval. He rescinded the executive order the following day.

“Taking the earliest opportunity to act solitarily on a highly politicized, polarizing issue without conferring with local jurisdictions, legislators, and the sitting Governor is, simply put, an abuse of power,” said Little in a statement.

Idaho Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane on May 28 issued an opinion stating that, in his view, McGeachin’s executive order exceeded her authority as acting governor. “Oddly, it seems to have been issued in an effort to undermine the existing authorities of the state and its political subdivisions to issue mask mandates,” wrote Kane. “This executive order appears to run counter to both the Idaho Constitution and the Governor’s statutory executive order authority.” 

McGeachin on May 19 announced her candidacy for Idaho governor in the 2022 election. Little, a first-term governor, had yet to announce whether he will run for reelection as of June 3. The Idaho governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately and do not run on a joint ticket.

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Massachusetts, Ohio end face-covering requirements

Two states ended statewide public mask requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated people between May 29 and June 4.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) ended the statewide mask mandate on May 29, along with other COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and individuals. The state will still require masks in state offices open to the public, schools and childcare centers, on public transportation, and in health care settings. Baker recommended unvaccinated individuals continue wearing masks in public settings.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) ended most statewide COVID-19 restrictions including the statewide mask mandate on June 2. The state left mask requirements in place in nursing homes and residential care settings. DeWine recommended unvaccinated individuals continue wearing masks in public indoor settings.

Thirty-nine states issued statewide public mask requirements during the pandemic. Fifteen states had statewide mask orders as of June 3, including 13 of the 23 states with Democratic governors and two out of the 27 states with Republican governors. Of those 15 states, at least 13 exempted fully vaccinated people.

Of the 24 states that have fully ended statewide public mask requirements, 14 have Republican governors and ten have Democratic governors. Twenty-one states ended mask requirements through executive order, two (Kansas and Utah) ended mask requirements through legislative action, and one (Wisconsin) ended its mandate through court order.