TagCoronavirus

Ballotpedia stories covering coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020.

Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #280: July 6, 2021

Note: Beginning today, Documenting America’s Path to Recovery will switch to a biweekly schedule. 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 you.

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

  • The reopening of courthouses in Vermont
  • An extended utility moratorium in Washington
  • Vaccine distribution
  • Lawsuits about state actions and policies 
  • State-level mask requirements
  • COVID-19 emergency health orders
  • 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.

Since our last edition

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

Maryland (divided government): On July 3, Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill issued a temporary order requiring the state to continue participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) had said the state would stop participating in such programs on July 3.

New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On July 4, health and safety protocols enacted under the statewide public health emergency expired, including those related to social distancing and masking. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed Assembly Bill 5820 on June 4, ending the public health emergency. After signing the legislation, Murphy issued an order allowing health protocols issued under the emergency to remain in place through July 4.    

North Carolina (divided government): On Friday, July 2, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed Senate Bill 116. The legislation would have ended the state’s participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs, which are set to expire in September. The bill passed the Senate 26-22 and the House 66-44. 

Tennessee (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs on July 3. Gov. Bill Lee (R) made the announcement May 11.

Vermont (divided government): Effective Tuesday, July 6, most of the state’s courthouses reopened to in-person proceedings. A Vermont Judiciary news release said some small or poorly ventilated courthouses would stay closed. The release also said that because some judges will choose to hold remote proceedings, visitors should check with the courthouse before arriving in-person.   

Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Friday, July 2, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) extended the statewide utilities moratorium through Sept. 30. The moratorium prohibits utility companies from charging late fees or disconnecting customers for failure to pay bills while the state is under a state of emergency. Inslee said this would be the final extension. 

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the July 1 edition of the newsletter. As of July 2, the states with the highest vaccination rates as a percentage of total population (including children) were:

The states with the lowest rates were:

Lawsuits about state actions and policies

Read more: Lawsuits about state actions and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

  • To date, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,825 lawsuits, in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 555 of those lawsuits. 
    • Since June 29, we have added one lawsuit to our database. We have also tracked one additional court order and/or settlement. 

Details:

  • Alabama Association of Realtors v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: On June 29, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to suspend the nationwide eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Alabama Association of Realtors had asked the Supreme Court to vacate a stay pending appeal issued by U.S. District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, a Donald Trump (R) appointee. The stay keeps the moratorium in effect while the CDC appeals Friedrich’s earlier order, which held that the CDC had overstepped its authority in issuing the moratorium. The CDC moratorium provides eviction protection for tenants who have suffered economic harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In their emergency application, the plaintiffs said that the moratorium constitutes administrative overreach, arguing that “Congress never gave the CDC the staggering amount of power it now claims.” The court denied the application to vacate the stay in an unsigned order. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett said they would have vacated the stay, meaning the remaining justices (Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett Kavanaugh) formed the deciding majority. In a concurring opinion, Kavanaugh said that, while he agreed the CDC had “exceeded its existing statutory authority,” a balance of equities favors the stay because “the CDC plans to end the moratorium in only a few weeks.” 

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the June 29 edition of the newsletter. Since then, a statewide mask order expired in Oregon.

COVID-19 emergency health orders

Read more: State emergency health orders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2021

Governors and state agencies in all 50 states issued orders declaring active emergencies in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These orders allowed officials to access resources, like stockpiles of medical goods and equipment, unavailable to them during non-emergencies and temporarily waive or suspend certain rules and regulations. 

Overview: 

  • COVID-19 emergency orders have expired in 22 states. Emergency orders remain active in 28 states.
  • Since June 29, six states have ended their statewide COVID-19 emergencies. 

Details: 

  • Maine – On June 30, Gov. Janet Mills (D) allowed the statewide COVID-19 civil emergency to expire.
  • Montana – On June 30, Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) ended the statewide COVID-19 emergency.
  • Nebraska – On June 30, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) allowed the statewide COVID-19 emergency to expire.
  • Virginia – On June 30, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) allowed the statewide COVID-19 state of emergency to expire.
  • Minnesota – On July 1, the state House and Senate ended the COVID-19 state of emergency. The vote happened June 30. 
  • Maryland – On July 1, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) allowed the statewide COVID-19 emergency to expire.

This time last year: Monday, July 6, and Tuesday, July 7, 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.

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, it was 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 wasn’t possible.
  • School closures and reopenings:
    • Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) released guidance for universities and colleges planning on reopening in the fall. It 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. It said parents would be able to choose between on-campus and distance learning options. 


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



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #278: July 1, 2021

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.

Vaccine distribution

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:

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 24. Since then, no states changed school reopening guidelines.

Nationwide:

  • 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

Overview:

  • 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.  

Details:

  • Hawaii – Gov. David Ige (D) announced fully vaccinated interstate travelers will be able to bypass Hawaii’s testing and quarantine requirements starting July 8.

Federal responses

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.


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #276: June 29, 2021

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

  • Changes in coronavirus restrictions in Washington
  • School mask guidance for the upcoming school year in New Jersey
  • Vaccine distribution
  • Lawsuits about state actions and policies 
  • State-level mask requirements
  • Diagnosed or quarantined public officials
  • 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?

Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Wednesday, June 30, nearly all statewide coronavirus restrictions on businesses and individuals will end. Capacity restrictions on indoor events with more than 10,000 attendees will remain in place after June 30. Those events will continue to be limited to 75% capacity through at least July 31. 

Since our last edition

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

New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On June 28, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced new guidance from the New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Education for mask usage during the upcoming school year. Murphy said, barring changes to CDC guidance or health metrics, masks will not be required for students in schools. School districts can still require mask usage.

Texas (Republican trifecta): On Monday, June 28, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced he was allocating $94.6 million in federal COVID-19 CARES Act funds to the Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Board will use the money to increase student enrollment and help colleges and universities expand or start programs in fields experiencing labor shortages, including healthcare and logistics. 

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the June 24 edition of the newsletter. As of June 28, the states with the highest vaccination rates as a percentage of total population (including children) were:

The states with the lowest rates were:

Lawsuits about state actions and policies

Read more: Lawsuits about state actions and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

  • To date, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,824 lawsuits, in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 554 of those lawsuits. 
    • Since June 22, we have added seven lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked an additional six court orders and/or settlements. 

Details:

  • Klaassen v. The Trustees of Indiana University: On June 21, a group of current and incoming Indiana University (IU) students sued the school, challenging its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The mandate requires that non-exempt students, staff, and faculty be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the beginning of the fall semester. According to IU, non-exempt students refusing vaccination will have their class registrations cancelled and will be barred from participating in any on-campus activities. IU recognizes certain medical, religious, and online student exemptions. The plaintiffs allege IU’s mandate violates their Fourteenth Amendment rights to bodily integrity and refusal of medical treatment. The students say the university is also violating state law, arguing that “state and local units are prohibited from requiring or issuing vaccine ‘passports’ that indicate an individual’s COVID immunization status.” James Bopp Jr., lead attorney for the plaintiffs, said, “They’re suing because they’re being stripped of their constitutional rights to make medical treatment decisions for themselves and to protect their own bodily integrity.” University spokesman Chuck Carney said, “The university is confident it will prevail in this case.” The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and has been assigned to Judge Damon R. Leichty, an appointee of President Donald Trump (R).

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the June 22 edition of the newsletter. Since then, a statewide mask order expired in Pennsylvania.

Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia

Read more: Politicians, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with or quarantined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • Federal
    • Three federal officials have died of COVID-19.
    • Sixty-five members of Congress have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Forty-one federal officials have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • State
    • Ten state-level incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • Two hundred thirty-three state-level incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Eighty-six state-level incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • Local
    • At least five local incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • At least 43 local incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • At least 26 local incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.

Since June 22, no candidates or officeholders have been diagnosed with, died from, or quarantined because of COVID-19.

This time last year: Tuesday, June 30, 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.

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 outstanding balances. 


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.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #275: June 28, 2021

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?

Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) announced a list of community vaccination and pop-up testing sites. A full list of locations can be found here.

Since our last edition

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

Arkansas (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) made the announcement May 7.

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.

Georgia (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Brian Kemp (R) made the announcement May 13.

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). 

Iowa (Republican trifecta): On Friday, June 25, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) extended the statewide public health emergency an additional 30 days.

Montana (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 27. Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) made the announcement May 4.

Ohio (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) made the announcement May 13.

Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) made the announcement May 17.

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.

Pennsylvania (divided government): Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam is lifting the statewide mask requirement for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on June 28.

South Dakota (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Kristi Noem (R) made the announcement May 12.

Texas (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made the announcement May 17.

Utah (Republican trifecta): The state stopped participating in pandemic-related federal unemployment benefit programs June 26. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) made the announcement May 12.

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.


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.



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.


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #271: June 22, 2021

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

  • A COVID-19 incentive initiative in Louisiana
  • The end of most COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan
  • Vaccine distribution
  • Lawsuits about state actions and policies 
  • State-level mask requirements
  • Diagnosed or quarantined public officials

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.

Louisiana (divided government): Registration for the Shot At A Million vaccination incentive program opened June 21 for all residents with at least one dose of a vaccine. The state will hold weekly drawings to give away $100,000 cash prizes and $100,000 scholarships starting July 14. On Aug. 4, the state will select a grand prize winner of $1 million. For a drawing schedule and more information, click here.

Michigan (divided government): On Thursday, June 17, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced the end of most remaining statewide coronavirus restrictions, including the mask mandate, on June 22. Whitmer said some restrictions on long-term care facilities and prisons and jails would remain in effect.

Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Monday, June 21, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) ended three COVID-19 executive orders. The first suspended job search requirements for workers receiving unemployment benefits, the second provided protections for high-risk workers, and the third limited fees that food delivery services could charge to customers. 

Wisconsin (divided government): On Tuesday, June 22, Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced a new COVID-19 testing initiative for K-12 public, private, and charter schools. The voluntary initiative allows schools to choose from a menu of testing regimes. Options include primarily testing individuals with symptoms and testing unvaccinated, asymptomatic individuals on a routine basis. Testing services are provided to schools from the state free of charge.

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the June 17 edition of the newsletter. As of June 21, the states with the highest vaccination rates as a percentage of total population (including children) were:

The states with the lowest rates were:

Lawsuits about state actions and policies

Read more: Lawsuits about state actions and policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

  • To date, Ballotpedia has tracked 1,817 lawsuits, in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 548 of those lawsuits. 
    • Since June 15, we have added nine lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked an additional six court orders and/or settlements. 

Details:

  • Florida v. Becerra: On June 18, Judge Steven D. Merryday of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida temporarily suspended the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) restrictions for the cruise industry. The restrictions included testing, vaccination, quarantine and isolation, and social distancing requirements. The state of Florida alleged the “CDC does not have the authority to issue year-and-a-half-long nationwide lockdowns of entire industries,” and “even if it did, its actions here are arbitrary and capricious.” Merryday, a George H.W. Bush (R) appointee, sided with Florida, ruling the CDC had exceeded its authority: “Never has CDC implemented measures as extensive, disabling and exclusive as those under review in this action.” Under the terms of Merryday’s ruling, the CDC’s restrictions will become guidance after July 18. The agency has until July 2 to propose narrower restrictions. 

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the June 15 edition of the newsletter. Since then, statewide mask orders expired in Michigan and West Virginia.

Diagnosed or quarantined politicians identified by Ballotpedia

Read more: Politicians, candidates, and government officials diagnosed with or quarantined due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • Federal
    • Three federal officials have died of COVID-19.
    • Sixty-five members of Congress have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Forty-one federal officials have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • State
    • Ten state-level incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • Two hundred thirty-three state-level incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Eighty-six state-level incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.
  • Local
    • At least five local incumbents or candidates have died of COVID-19.
    • At least 43 local incumbents or candidates have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • At least 26 local incumbents or candidates have quarantined after possible exposure to COVID-19.

Since June 15, no candidates or officeholders have been diagnosed with, died from, or quarantined because of COVID-19.



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