TagCoronavirus

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

Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #263: June 9, 2021

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

  • A vaccination campaign in Wisconsin
  • Changes in coronavirus restrictions in Oregon
  • 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.

Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced that effective June 11, 11 counties will be in the state’s High Risk level, four will be at Moderate Risk, and 21 will have Lower Risk restrictions. In the current period from June 4 -10, 13 counties are in the state’s High Risk level, four are at Moderate Risk, and 19 have Lower Risk restrictions. To see restrictions in a specific county or risk level, click here.

South Carolina (Republican trifecta): Gov. Henry McMaster (R) allowed the statewide coronavirus emergency order to expire June 7. McMaster declared the emergency March 13, 2020. 

Wisconsin (divided government): On Tuesday, June 8, Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced he was re-launching the “You Stop the Spread” campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The campaign will include television, radio, and billboard ads. The campaign was initially launched in September 2020 to encourage people to wear a mask and practice social distancing. 

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic. 

  • On Tuesday, June 8, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published data showing that half of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #262: June 8, 2021

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

  • Changes in coronavirus restrictions in Hawaii and New York
  • A law prohibiting proof-of-vaccination requirements in Texas
  • 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.

Since our last edition

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

Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): 

  • Gov. David Ige (D) announced social gathering limits will expand to 25 people indoors and 75 outdoors when 60% of state residents are fully vaccinated. Restaurants will also be able to expand to 75% capacity.
  • Ige said all social gathering and capacity restrictions will end once 70% of state residents are fully vaccinated.

New York (Democratic trifecta): 

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced most coronavirus restrictions will end once 70% of adults 18 and older receive at least one dose of a vaccine. New York Forward guidance will be optional for businesses like restaurants, retailers, and gyms. Masks will still be required for unvaccinated residents, and restrictions will remain in place for large event venues, correctional facilities, and healthcare facilities. 
  • Cuomo also announced school districts can choose to end the indoor mask requirement. 

Texas (Republican trifecta): On Monday, June 7, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill prohibiting state and local government agencies from issuing COVID-19 documentation that could be used to verify a person’s vaccination status. The bill also prohibits government agencies and businesses from requiring proof of vaccination to receive services or enter the premises. Abbott previously issued an executive order prohibiting state agencies and businesses that receive state funding from requiring proof of vaccination. 

Washington (Democratic trifecta): On June 7, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced “Joints for Jabs,” an initiative to encourage adults 21 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Under the initiative, adults who receive at least one dose of a vaccine are eligible to get a free marijuana joint from a state-licensed dispensary. 

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the June 3 edition of the newsletter. As of June 7, 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 1,804 lawsuits, in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 541 of those lawsuits. 
    • Since June 1, we have added no new lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked no additional court orders and/or settlements. 

Details:

  • Noem v. Haaland: On June 2, Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota rejected South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) attempt to hold a fireworks display at Mount Rushmore to commemorate the Fourth of July. Lange, an appointee of President Barack Obama (D), denied Noem’s request for a preliminary injunction after the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) denied the fireworks display. The Interior Department cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and other environmental, cultural, and safety concerns. Noem alleged DOI’s permit rejection letter was “a patchwork of vague and speculative purported concerns” that violated a memorandum of understanding between the state and the Trump administration. Noem said the 2020 fireworks display “was a rousing success, and not a single COVID-19 case was traced back to it.” Lange wrote that “under governing law, the State is unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims and has not met the requirements” to prove DOI acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner. Noem said she would appeal the decision: “[w]e will continue fighting to once again return fireworks to Mount Rushmore.”

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the June 1 edition of the newsletter. Since then, Ohio’s statewide mask mandate ended June 2. 

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

This time last year: Tuesday, June 9, 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.

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 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. The Department maintained travel restrictions for a dozen states.


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.

Additional reading:



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #260: June 4, 2021

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

  • Changes in coronavirus restrictions in New Jersey
  • A vaccine incentive initiative in Washington
  • 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 72 hours

What is changing in the next 72 hours?

Vermont (divided government): On Friday, June 4, Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced a series of weekend pop-up vaccination clinics around the state. The clinics are part of an effort to get 80% of eligible residents inoculated with at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Scott has said that if the state reaches that 80% threshold, then he would end remaining COVID-19 restrictions. At the time of the announcement, the state said 78.6% of residents had received at least one shot.  

New York (Democratic trifecta): On June 3, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a pop-up vaccination site in Belmont Park to coincide with the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. On June 4 from noon to 6 p.m. and June 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., individuals can receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine along with free general admission to next year’s Belmont Stakes Racing Festival.

Since our last edition

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

Arizona (Republican trifecta): On June 3, the Arizona Health Department announced state-run vaccination sites would be closing by June 28. Vaccines will continue to be administered after that date at pharmacies, doctors’ offices, community health centers, and pop-up vaccination sites.

California (Democratic trifecta): On June 3, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board passed rules requiring masks to be worn in workplaces where not all employees are fully vaccinated beyond June 15, the planned date for California to end its statewide mask mandate.

Maryland (divided government): On Thursday, June 3, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced the state will begin closing its mass vaccination sites. A site in Aberdeen will close June 19, with others around the state closing on July 2, July 3, and July 17. A few have not been given closing dates. Hogan said the state would shift resources to community and mobile clinics. 

New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On June 4, all remaining gathering limits ended in the state, and capacity restrictions on large indoor venues (with fixed seating capacity of 1,000 people or more) were lifted.

Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Thursday, June 3, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced “Shot of a Lifetime,” a vaccine incentive initiative to encourage residents to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinated individuals will be automatically entered into a weekly drawing for a $250,000 cash prize, culminating in a final drawing at the end of the month for a $1,000,000 prize. Vaccinated residents could also win higher education tuition credits, airline and sports game tickets, and gift cards. 

This time last year: Friday, June 5, 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.

Friday, June 5, 2020:

  • Travel restrictions
    • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that travelers from Louisiana would no longer need to self-quarantine for 14 days. The requirements remained in effect for visitors from Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
    • Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that he would lift the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers from counties across New England with similar COVID-19 caseloads to Vermont’s on June 8. Additionally, on June 8, Vermont residents would be allowed to travel to the non-quarantine counties and return home without quarantining for 14 days.
  • Election changes:
    • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed HB751 into law, extending the candidate qualifying deadline for the Nov. 3, 2020, election to July 24.
  • Federal government responses:
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would resume committal services in all but two VA national cemeteries on June 9.


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.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #259: June 3, 2021

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

  • A COVID-19 vaccine initiative in Colorado
  • A bill to prohibit proof of vaccination requirements 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.

Colorado (Democratic trifecta): On June 2, Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced an incentive program for Colorado vaccine recipients between the ages of 12 and 17. Each week, for five weeks, five eligible individuals who receive a vaccine will be randomly selected to win $50,000 towards the postsecondary education of their choice.

Illinois (Democratic trifecta): On June 2, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed a law allowing businesses that serve alcohol to provide a free drink to patrons with proof of vaccination. The law also extends pickup and delivery allowances for businesses selling cocktails.

Michigan (divided government): On Wednesday, June 2, the Michigan House of Representatives voted 62-47 to pass a bill that prohibits state agencies and state-funded entities—including universities—from requiring people to show proof of vaccination to receive services. Four Democrats joined with all Republicans to pass the bill, which now goes to the Senate. 

New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): On June 2, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced the state would be shutting down its mass vaccination sites between June 18 and July 23. The approximately 1,800 community vaccination sites in New Jersey will continue to operate. Closure date details can be found here.

New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): On June 2, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced all counties in the state were at the least restrictive, “Turquoise,” COVID-19 regulation level. This lets counties allow higher maximum capacities in certain businesses and higher gathering limits.

Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): On June 2, Gov. Dan McKee (D) announced the state would be hosting its first public drive-through vaccination clinic. The clinic will provide Pfizer vaccines to individuals age 12 or older on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Fidelity Investments parking garage located at 100 Salem Street in Smithfield.

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the June 1 edition of the newsletter. As of June 2, 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 May 27. 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 May 27, no states have ended or modified their travel restrictions.  

Federal responses

Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On June 2, President Joe Biden (D) declared June a “National Month of Action,” part of an effort to reach his goal of having 70% of U.S. adults vaccinated by July 4. Biden pointed to a range of private company vaccination incentives, including free beer from Anheuser-Busch and free flights from United Airlines.
  • On May 26, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the Celebrity Edge to be the first cruise ship in the United States to operate with paying customers since March 2020. The Celebrity Cruises ship will set sail from Florida on June 26 with a fully vaccinated crew. Guests over the age of 16 will be required to have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

This time last year: Thursday, June 4, 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.

Thursday, June 4, 2020:

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) allowed the statewide stay-at-home order to expire. Wolf first issued the order, which applied to seven counties, on March 24. A subsequent order expanded that number to 26 counties. On April 1, the stay-at-home order applied to all 67 counties. 
  • Election changes:
    • A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted a district court order that all eligible Texas voters be allowed to cast absentee ballots throughout the pandemic in order to avoid transmission of COVID-19.
    • The Chancery Court for Tennessee’s Twentieth Judicial District ruled that Tennessee’s absentee voting law, which limits eligibility to those meeting certain criteria, “during the unique circumstances of the pandemic, constitutes an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution.” The court ordered the state to extend absentee voting eligibility to all Tennessee voters during the course of the pandemic.
    • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed SB631 into law, permitting any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in any 2020 election, subject to a notarization requirement.


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #258: June 2, 2021

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

  • Vaccine incentive initiatives in Kansas and New Mexico
  • The end of federal pandemic unemployment programs in Texas and Maryland
  • 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.

Illinois (Democratic trifecta): On June 1, Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said the state was scheduled to move to Phase 5 coronavirus restrictions on June 11. Phase 5 would allow for large gatherings of all sizes to resume and remove capacity restrictions for businesses, schools, and recreation.

Kansas (divided government): On June 1, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced a vaccination incentive program called The Race to End COVID-19. Individuals who receive a COVID-19 test or vaccination from the University of Kansas Health System or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are entered into a raffle to win tickets to the NASCAR Cup Series Race, gift cards for the NASCAR Racing Experience Ride Along, and the opportunity to drive two laps around the Kansas Speedway. The event will be held on June 4 and 5.

Kentucky (divided government): On June 1, Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that senior centers in the state would reopen at full capacity on June 11 due to increased vaccinations.

Maryland (divided government): On Tuesday, June 1, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced that Maryland would end its participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs on July 3. Hogan also said he would reinstate weekly work-search requirements starting July 4. 

New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): On June 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced a vaccination incentive program, Vax 2 the Max, that would allow vaccinated New Mexico residents to enter into a lottery for cash prizes. Four participants will win $250,000 in each of the five weekly drawings and one participant will win $5,000,000 in the final statewide drawing.

Ohio (Republican trifecta): Effective Wednesday, June 2, most of the statewide COVID-19 restrictions ended, including restrictions on capacity limits and the mask mandate. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) made the announcement on May 12.

Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): On June 1, Gov. Dan McKee (D) announced that the state would be lifting its outdoor mask requirement for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals on Wednesday, June 2. In his press release, he recommended that unvaccinated individuals continue wearing masks in crowded outdoor settings or when in close proximity to other unvaccinated individuals.

Texas (Republican trifecta): On Monday, May 31, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that Texas will end its participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs on June 26. 

This time last year: Wednesday, June 3, 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 3, 2020:

  • Election changes:
    • Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) issued an executive order extending the voter pre-registration deadline in the July 14, 2020, election to July 7.


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery #257: June 1, 2021

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

  • Changing coronavirus restrictions in Ohio
  • An order in Oklahoma prohibiting state agencies from requiring masks or vaccines
  • 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 Thursday? Click here.

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, June 2, most of the statewide COVID-19 restrictions will end, including restrictions on capacity limits and the mask mandate. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) made the announcement on May 12, and said he would keep in place some restrictions on nursing homes. 

Since our last edition

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

Colorado (Democratic trifecta): 

  • On May 31, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment ended its restrictions on large indoor gatherings, effective June 1. Additionally, the department updated its mask requirement policy to exempt children age 11 and under from wearing masks in certain environments. Previously, children 10 and under were exempt.
  • On May 28, Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced the state would be allocating vaccines to community organizations, including: Saunders Construction, The Fax Partnership, Concorde Career College, and Iglesia Nueva Vida.

Delaware (Democratic trifecta): On May 26, Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz announced Delaware courts would resume many in-person proceedings on June 1. The courts are requiring masks and implementing temperature screenings and COVID-19 screening questions.

Georgia (Republican trifecta): On Friday, May 28, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) issued an order eliminating remaining COVID-19 rules on restaurants, bars, conventions, childcare facilities, and live performance venues. Kemp’s order also states that schools cannot use his public health emergency declarations as justification for requiring students to wear face coverings, though his order does not prohibit schools from doing so.

Massachusetts (divided government): Effective Saturday, May 29, all COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and individuals ended, including capacity limits on events and the statewide mask mandate. On Friday, May 28, Gov. Charlie Baker (R) issued an order that will end the COVID-19 state of emergency on June 15.

Michigan (divided government): Effective June 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) eased some coronavirus restrictions, including all outdoor capacity limits on stadiums and venues. Restaurants and bars are also permitted to operate at 50% indoor capacity.  

New Hampshire (Republican trifecta): On Friday, May 28, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) extended the statewide coronavirus emergency an additional 14 days. 

New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): New Jersey held a vaccination program over Memorial Day weekend called Shots at the Shore that offered vaccines at various locations at Monmouth County beaches, including the Grande Arcade on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, the Gateway National Recreational Area in Sandy Hook, and the gazebo at Pier Village in Long Branch.

New York (Democratic trifecta): 

  • On Monday, May 31, the midnight curfew on indoor dining facilities and catered events ended for vaccinated and unvaccinated customers and attendees. The curfew for catered events ended May 17 for events where all attendees are fully vaccinated or provide proof of a recent negative test to event organizers, but remained in place for unvaccinated people. 
  • On May 28, 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced a two-week extension of the Vax and Scratch program, which offers free scratch-off lottery tickets to first-dose recipients 18 and older. Cuomo said the grand prize would be $5 million.

Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): On Friday, May 28, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) issued an order prohibiting state agencies from requiring visitors or employees to wear masks or be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the premises. The order exempts state buildings used for medical purposes. 

Pennsylvania (divided government): Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced all mitigation measures except the mask mandate  ended May 31 at 12:01 a.m. Wolf said the mask mandate will end when 70% of residents age 18 and older are fully vaccinated. Localities will still be able to implement stricter measures.

Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Dan McKee (D) announced on May 25 that the Rhode Island State House would reopen to the public on June 1. The building will be open to visitors Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and visitors will be required to sign a log book, wear masks in public areas, and have their temperatures taken.

Vaccine distribution

We last looked at vaccine distribution in the May 27 edition of the newsletter. As of May 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 1,804 lawsuits, in 50 states, dealing in some way with the COVID-19 outbreak. Court orders have been issued, or settlements have been reached, in 541 of those lawsuits. 
    • Since May 25, we have added four lawsuits to our database. We have also tracked one additional court order. 

Details:

  • Neve v. Birkhead: On April 16, former Durham County, North Carolina, Sheriff’s Department deputy Christopher Neve sued Sheriff Clarence Birkhead, alleging Birkhead had wrongly terminated him for not being vaccinated against COVID-19. Neve filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina seeking a declaration that the department’s mandatory vaccine requirement is unconstitutional, and asking to be reinstated with back pay. Neve alleges Birkhead had denied “each employee’s statutorily guaranteed right to decide for him or herself whether to accept or refuse administration of the COVID-19 vaccines,” a violation of due process. Department representative AnnMarie Breen had no comment on the case. The case has been assigned to Judge Loretta Copeland Biggs, an appointee of President Barack Obama (D).

State mask requirements

We last looked at face coverings in the May 25 edition of the newsletter. Since then, New Jersey and Massachusetts ended their statewide mask mandates for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Additionally, we re-classified Virginia’s May 15 mask rule change and Delaware’s May 21 mask rule change as expired mask mandates.

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 May 25, no candidates or officeholders have been diagnosed with, died from, or quarantined because of COVID-19.

This time last year: Monday, June 1, and Tuesday, June 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 see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, June 1, 2020:

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ended the statewide stay-at-home order, allowing bars, restaurants, and retailers to reopen with restrictions. Whitmer first enacted the order on March 23, and extended it on April 25 and May 7.
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Delaware Gov. John Carney Jr. (D) ended the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers.
  • Election changes:
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) issued an executive order extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline for the June 2, 2020, primary to 5:00 p.m. on June 9 (with a postmark deadline of June 2) in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
  • Federal government responses:
    • Energy Secretary Dan Brouilette announced the department would enter the first phase of its reopening plan June 8, allowing some mission-critical personnel to return to work at facilities in Washington and Maryland.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020:

  • No stories for Tuesday, June 2. 


Looking back at government responses to the coronavirus pandemic, June 1-5, 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 1-5, 2020. This list is not comprehensive. To see a list of all policy changes in each category, click the links below.

Monday, June 1, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders
    • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) ended the statewide stay-at-home order, allowing bars, restaurants, and retailers to reopen with restrictions. Whitmer first enacted the order on March 23, and extended it on April 25 and May 7.
  • Travel restrictions:
    • Delaware Gov. John Carney Jr. (D) ended the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers.
  • Election changes:
    • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) issued an executive order extending the absentee ballot receipt deadline for the June 2, 2020, primary to 5:00 p.m. on June 9(with a postmark deadline of June 2) in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties.
  • Federal government responses:
    • United States Secretary of Energy Dan Brouilette announced the Department of Energy would enter the first phase of its reopening plan June 8, allowing some mission-critical personnel to return to work at facilities in Washington and Maryland.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  • Election changes:
    • Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) issued an executive order extending the voter pre-registration deadline in the July 14, 2020, election to July 7.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

  • Stay-at-home orders:
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) allowed the statewide stay-at-home order to expire. He first issued the order, which applied to seven counties, on March 24. A subsequent order expanded that number to 26 counties. On April 1, the stay-at-home order applied to all 67 counties. 
  • Election changes:
    • A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted a district court order that all eligible Texas voters be allowed to cast absentee ballots throughout the pandemic in order to avoid transmission of COVID-19.
    • The Chancery Court for Tennessee’s Twentieth Judicial District ruled that Tennessee’s absentee voting law, which limits eligibility to those meeting certain criteria, “during the unique circumstances of the pandemic, constitutes an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote guaranteed by the Tennessee Constitution.” The court ordered the state to extend absentee voting eligibility to all Tennessee voters during the course of the pandemic.
    • Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) signed SB631 into law, permitting any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in any 2020 election, subject to a notarization requirement.

Friday, June 5, 2020

  • Travel restrictions
    • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced that travelers from Louisiana would no longer need to self-quarantine for 14 days. The requirements remained in effect for visitors from Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.
    • Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that he would lift the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers from counties across New England with similar COVID-19 caseloads to Vermont on June 8. Additionally, on June 8, Vermont residents would be allowed to travel to the non-quarantine counties and return home without quarantining for 14 days.
  • Election changes:
    • Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed HB751 into law, extending the candidate qualifying deadline for the November 3, 2020, election to July 24.
  • Federal government responses:
    • The Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would resume committal services in all but two VA national cemeteries on June 9.

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.