Here are the current COVID19 state restrictions for the southern states, listed below:

Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia

*more states information will be posted soon*

Alabama

  • Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide stay-at-home order effective April 4 through April 30. The order mandated people stay in their place of residence except for performing specific essential activities, closed nonessential businesses and required those still operating on-site to implement social distancing measures. A statewide Safer at Home order eases certain restrictions and will be in effect from 5:00 p.m. on April 30 through May 15.
  • All non-work related gatherings that are larger than 10 people, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between people, are prohibited.
  • Anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus must quarantine in their place of residence for 14 days.
  • Restaurants and bars are only open for takeout or delivery under the Safer at Home order. Entertainment venues, athletic facilities and activities, and close-contact service providers remain closed.
  • All Alabama public schools are closed through the end of the academic year. Ivey has ordered that all public K-12 schools complete the year “using alternate methods of instruction.”
  • Child care facilities may not allow 12 or more children in a single room.
  • Ivey says local authorities can allow law enforcement officers to issue a summons instead of making an arrest for misdemeanors, with some exceptions, to reduce movement in and out of jails. Local officials are allowed to reduce the number of local inmates being held in county jails in a way that does not jeopardize public safety.
  • On April 3, Ivey granted temporary relief from residential evictions and foreclosures for the duration of the public health emergency. The proclamation saves people from being thrown out of their homes but doesn’t relieve them of the need to pay their rent and mortgage.
  • Ivey announced the launch of altogetheralabama.org, a centralized guide to the state’s coronavirus relief efforts.
  • Ivey issued a State of Emergency for severe weather on April 12, which temporarily suspended any provision of the COVID-19 orders “to the extent that its application or enforcement would endanger any person affected” by the weather conditions.
  • A supplemental emergency proclamation issued April 13 allows the Board of Pardons and Paroles to resume parole hearings in a “manner that reduces person-to-person interaction.”
  • Alabama has been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, a program that provides supplemental food purchasing benefits to the families of children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Auto insurers are returning more than $100 million in premiums to two million policyholders across the state.
  • Under the Safer at Home order, most businesses may reopen subject to sanitation and social distancing guidelines. Retail stores can operate, at 50 percent occupancy and in line with safety protocols. Beaches are open, but gatherings are limited to 10 people and visitors must maintain six feet of distance from others.
  • Medical procedures are allowed to resume, in accordance with public health and regulatory guidance. Hospitals and nursing homes must continue to restrict visitation.
  • Ivey is urging people to wear face coverings when in contact with individuals from other households.

Arkansas

  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson has resisted calls to issue a statewide stay-home order as other states have done. He told NPR on April 6 that he did not plan to issue such an order, but said “if we need to do more, we will.” On April 23, Hutchinson announced that certain industries will be permitted to reopen, following specific guidelines, after May 4.
  • The Arkansas secretary of health is prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people “in any confined indoor or outdoor space.”
  • Hutchinson has issued an executive order to “fully leverage telehealth” in the state, and loosened regulations to help patients access therapists over the phone.
  • Hutchinson extended the mandatory closure of all public schools through the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Teachers will continue to provide “alternative methods of instruction” for students, and schools may continue child nutrition services through meal pickup and delivery.
  • The Arkansas Department of Health recommends a self-quarantine for people arriving in the state from New York and all international locations.
  • Occupancy of commercial lodgings and short-term rentals like hotels, motels and vacation rentals is limited to “authorized guests” as directed by the secretary of health. Approved guests include health care professionals, first responders, law enforcement, journalists, airline crew members, hospital patients and their families and people in need of shelter due to domestic violence and homelessness.
  • Bars, clubs and restaurants offer takeout and delivery only, and nonessential businesses including gyms, indoor entertainment venues and spas are closed.
  • On April 9, state lawmakers rejected a proposal that would have allowed voters to cast absentee ballots without an excuse in the November general election. Hutchinson had previously waived that requirement only for the state’s primary runoff in March.
  • Hutchinson signed an executive order making health care workers immune from liability in coronavirus cases. He also ordered health care workers and first responders eligible for workers’ compensation if they are exposed to coronavirus on the job.
  • The state will use Medicaid funds to increase the weekly income of “long-term services and support direct care workers” such as nurses, home health aides and hospice service staff. The payments will be made to Medicaid-enrolled agency providers each week through May.
  • Hutchinson announced that $10 million in community development grants will be distributed to 27 hospitals in the state.
  • Hutchinson has asked the Department of Corrections to identify nonviolent offenders who are not sex offenders and are due for release within six months, to be evaluated and considered for early release.
  • The newly-created Governor’s COVID-19 Testing Working Group will make recommendations to improve testing “capacity and performance” across the state.
  • Medical service providers can resume certain nonessential outpatient procedures beginning April 27 as long as they meet specific health department requirements.
  • Hutchinson announced that certain dental procedures can resume on May 18, subject to protective guidelines.
  • The Arkansas Economic Development Commission approved $5 million in loans benefiting 246 businesses. The governor approved an additional $1 million to cover approximately 100 more businesses.
  • Hutchinson said no traditional graduation ceremonies may take place before July 1.
  • Hutchinson announced a limited reopening of some state park facilities for Arkansas residents only. Beginning May 1, residents with self-contained RVs will be allowed to stay overnight in campgrounds. On May 15, state parks will open facilities such as visitor information centers, equipment rentals and gift shops. That same day, state residents can rent cabins, lodges and RVs for weekends. Certain high-use trails will remain closed.
  • Restaurants are permitted to resume limited dine-in service beginning May 11. They must follow requirements including screening workers daily and limiting occupancy. Face masks are mandatory for public-facing staff and service can be denied to patrons not wearing masks.

Delaware

  • Gov. John Carney ordered people in his state to stay at home when possible, from March 24 through May 15 or “until the public health threat is eliminated.” Carney also ordered nonessential businesses in Delaware to close.
  • A modified emergency order limits public gatherings to no more than 10 people through May 15, and requires essential businesses to enforce specific social distancing measures.
  • As of April 6, the only child care facilities remaining open are those designated as “Emergency Childcare Sites,” which serve just the children of essential personnel.
  • The governor issued an order on March 29 requiring anyone who enters the state and “is not merely passing through” to self-quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of the individual’s stay in the state, whichever period is shorter. Exceptions will be made for public safety, public health or health care personnel.
  • Upstate trout fishing season opened early, on March 31, to “help minimize crowds and accommodate outdoor recreation.”
  • A modification to the state emergency declaration rescheduled Delaware’s presidential primary to June 2, and suspended residential foreclosures and evictions.
  • Another modification to the emergency declaration, effective April 7 at 8:00 p.m., banned all short-term rental units and closed commercial lodging with some exceptions through May 15. It also banned door-to-door solicitation and closed pawn shops, video game stores, and other electronics retailers.
  • The state is urging citizens with health care and child care experience to join its emergency workforce.Carney had previously asked all individuals, businesses and nonprofits to donate critical supplies to the state’s coronavirus response effort, and announced a formal request-for-assistance to private sector vendors.
  • The governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced on April 13 the creation of a multi-state council that will develop a regional framework for safely and gradually lifting stay-at-home orders and restoring the economy.
  • An April 15 modification to the emergency declaration requires nursing homes and long-term care facilities to enact stricter measures to protect workers and residents from COVID-19.
  • An April 23 modification to the emergency declaration allows medical workers licensed out-of-state to provide health care services on a volunteer basis in Delaware, pending authorization from the Public Health Authority. It loosens restrictions on pharmacists, respiratory therapists, paramedics, nurses, emergency medical technicians and physician assistants.
  • Carney announced on April 24 that schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
  • Effective 8:00 a.m. on April 28, Delaware residents are required to wear cloth face coverings in public settings, including stores, doctor’s offices and public transportation.

District of Columbia

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a district-wide stay-at-home order effective April 1, with exceptions for performing essential activities like grocery shopping and obtaining medical care. The order also closes all nonessential businesses and prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. Anyone who willfully violates the order may be found guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fine or imprisonment.
  • On April 15, Bowser renewed D.C.’s public health emergency for an additional month. The move extends the stay-at-home order, nonessential business closures and gathering restrictions until May 15.
  • Officials in the District Of Columbia announced there will be just 20 in-person voting sites for the June 2 presidential primary and urged voters to cast their ballots by mail.
  • D.C. Public Schools are distributing devices and hot spots for K-12 students whose families do not have them at home, to facilitate access to online resources and support remote learning.
  • Restaurants remain open for takeout and delivery only.
  • The D.C. Council passed a relief bill on April 7. The bill freezes rent across the district, requires mortgage companies to offer payment deferrals of up to 90 days, expands protections against utility shutoffs to include cable and telecommunications service and prohibits debt-collection lawsuits and property seizures. It also expands the definition of unemployment to include self-employment, gig workers and “others who otherwise would not qualify,” expanding access to unemployment insurance.
  • Bowser issued an order on April 8 requiring farmers’ markets to obtain specific waivers in order to operate.It also applies safety and social distancing protocols to other retail food sellers, and removes tennis and golf from the list of allowable recreational activities.
  • Shoppers must wear masks inside D.C grocery stores.
  • Bowser granted extra days of good time credits to 36 residents being held in the D.C. Jail on April 10, making approximately half of them eligible for immediate release.
  • Roads in Rock Creek Park, Anacostia Park and Fort Dupont Park will be closed to vehicle traffic through April 30 to better accommodate pedestrians performing “essential exercise.”
  • Bowser announced the launch of 10 additional weekday grocery distribution sites at D.C. schools, as well as a COVID-19 Needs Hotline and Web Portal that self-quarantining residents can use to request essential deliveries.
  • Bowser and the DC Department of Health issued an emergency rule temporarily allowing registered dispensaries to provide medical marijuana to qualifying patients through delivery, curbside pickup and at-the-door pickup options.
  • Bowser’s April 15 order makes face masks mandatory for hotel staff and guests, individuals using ride shares and taxis, and workers and customers of food sellers. People taking public transit are “strongly encouraged” to wear masks.
  • Bowser announced on April 17 that distance learning will continue for the rest of the school year.
  • The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is being converted into an alternate care facility. It is expected to have 500 available beds by the first week of May.
  • The District Department of Transportation is temporarily extending sidewalksnear grocery stores and other essential retailers to facilitate proper social distancing. Locations will be based off DDOT’s evaluation and suggestions from the public.
  • On April 23, Bowser established the DC Contact Trace Force to expand the number of contact tracers at DC Health from roughly 65 to 200, saying “up to an additional 700” tracers will be hired through phase one of the reopening plan.
  • Bowser announced on April 24 that an additional $63 million from the District’s Contingency Cash Reserve Fund will go towards purchasing medical equipment and expanding health care staffing.
  • The Department of Health Care Finance is awarding $25 million in grants to 10 District hospitals to prepare for a COVID-19 surge.
  • Criteria for priority COVID-19 testing were expanded to include critical infrastructure workers with a history of exposure to a lab-confirmed case.
  • Bowser announced on April 28 that farmers can sell flowers at D.C. markets, saying markets won’t have to reapply for waivers to add flower vendors.
  • The District invested $25 million in the D.C. Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program when it was created in March. On April 29, Bowser announced an additional $8 million, coming from local and federal sources.

Florida

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order effective April 3, directing state residents to remain indoors and limit movement to obtaining “essential services” or conducting “essential activities.” The order has been extended until 12:01 a.m. on May 4.
  • Most of the state will enter the first phase of limited reopening on May 4. Shelter-in-place orders and businesses closures will continue in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
  • While houses of worship are exempt from the stay-at-home order, DeSantis has encouraged religious leaders to hold services online or outside to minimize person-to-person contact.
  • Some municipalities across the state have enacted even more stringent measures, with curfews and fines to discourage people from leaving their homes.
  • Beaches in Broward and Palm Beach counties were ordered closed, but beaches in other parts of the state remain open. DeSantis directed those accessing public beaches to limit their gatherings to no more than 10 people.
  • DeSantis moved to allow recently retired law enforcement and health care workers to immediately reenter the workforce.
  • DeSantis issued an executive order directing all Florida residents traveling from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-quarantine for 14 days. It remains in effect during the first phase of recovery.
  • An April 2 executive order blocks the evictions of residents unable to pay rent because of the coronavirus, and suspends all mortgage foreclosures, for 45 days.
  • DeSantis announced on April 11 that more than 32,000 laptop computers are being distributed to 34 small, mostly rural school districts to facilitate distance learning.
  • An executive order prohibiting short-term vacation rentals of homes and condominiums will remain in effect for the duration of phase one.
  • DeSantis issued an order temporarily suspending the “actively seeking work” reporting requirement for Floridians applying for unemployment assistance.
  • DeSantis said on April 17 that some municipalities can reopen parks and beaches with social distancing guidelines in place.
  • DeSantis announced on April 18 that all K-12 schools will continue with distance learning for the rest of the academic year.
  • An executive order outlines which restrictions will be lifted and continued during phase one of the state’s recovery. People must continue practicing social distancing, limit gatherings to 10 people, avoid nonessential travel and self-isolate for 14 days after entering the state. Elderly and medically vulnerable individuals are strongly encouraged to remain at home.
  • The governor’s order allows certain businesses to resume limited operations beginning May 4. Restaurants may reopen dine-in service with 25% indoor capacity and socially distant outdoor seating. Retail storefronts may operate at 25% capacity. Museums and libraries can also open at 25% building capacity pending local government approval. They must keep interactive exhibits and play areas closed.
  • Gyms, fitness centers, bars, nightclubs, personal care services and large venues will remain closed in phase one.
  • Health care providers may resume elective procedures if they meet state requirements for bed capacity and personal protective equipment supply.

Georgia

  • Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statewide shelter-in-place order on April 3, which has been extended through April 30.
  • Kemp announced on April 20 that gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, aestheticians, and massage therapists could reopen for business on April 24. They must adhere to “minimum basic operations” and implement social distancing and regular sanitation.
  • The Georgia Board of Cosmetology and Barbers has issued guidelines for the reopening of salons and spas.
  • Theaters, private social clubs and restaurant dine-in services may reopen beginning April 27.Kemp announced that drive-in movies can operate if they comply with the directives of the shelter-in-place order.
  • An April 27 executive order provides additional guidance for food service establishments, bowling alleys and theaters.
  • Georgia’s public health state of emergency has been extended through May 13. Kemp told elderly and “medically fragile” residents to plan to shelter in place until then.
  • Kemp extended the closure of all public K-12 schools through the end of the school year.
  • Kemp said on March 31 that the Georgia National Guard will be deployed to assisted living facilities and nursing homes to assist with containment measures.
  • Beaches and state parks remain open, though there are restrictions on the use of chairs, tents and umbrellas on beaches.
  • Georgia is working to increase hospital capacity for an anticipated COVID-19 patient surge. It purchased four temporary medical units, for a total of 88 beds, to be deployed across the state in mid-April. It is also reopening two health care facilities to increase the number of general and ICU beds available for coronavirus patients over the course of April and May.
  • An April 8 executive order suspends short-term vacation rentals across the state through April 30.
  • Georgia’s primary elections have been delayed to June 9.
  • The Georgia World Congress Center has been converted into a 200-hospital bed alternate care facility.
  • Kemp signed an order suspending enforcement of the state’s anti-mask statute so that Georgians can comply with public health guidance.
  • An emergency rule allows workers to make up to $300 a week without reducing their weekly benefit amount, enabling employees working reduced hours to qualify for state and federal benefits.
  • On April 23, Kemp signed an executive order for “reviving a healthy Georgia,” which outlines specific provisions for the limited reopening of certain economic sectors effective May 1 through May 13. Georgians must continue following specific social distancing and sanitation practices.

Kentucky

  • Gov. Andy Beshear enacted a statewide “Healthy at Home” order effective March 26. All “non-life-sustaining” businesses ceased in-person services, with exceptions including grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores and firearm and ammunition retailers. The order also halted all residential evictions for the duration of the state of emergency.
  • Restaurants can offer only carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage services. All essential businesses permitted to operate are required to follow social distancing and hygiene guidance from the CDC and state public health department.
  • Beshear signed an order urging Kentucky residents not to leave the state and limited out of state travel for residents of Kentucky, with a handful of exceptions, including when required for employment or to seek or obtain care by a health care provider. The order also requires Kentuckians traveling from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
  • On April 2, Beshear applied travel restrictions to residents of other states seeking to travel into Kentucky, “except in specific circumstances.”
  • Beshear announced plans to commute the sentences of hundreds of nonviolent offenders.
  • Most state parks remain open during the day, but their lodges, cottages, restaurants, and campgrounds are closed.
  • An executive order issued April 8 limits the number of shoppers allowed inside essential businesses to “one adult member per household.”
  • Pharmacists across the state are permitted to dispense emergency refills of up to a 30 day supply of non-scheduled medications for Kentucky residents, and can temporarily operate pharmacies in areas not designated on the pharmacy permit. These provisions are set to expire on May 8.
  • Beshear expanded workers’ compensation eligibility to front-line personnel.
  • The Kentucky Exposition Center is being converted into a temporary 2,000-bed field hospital.
  • Beshear ordered individuals who attended the seven in-person services held on Easter to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Some state facilities will reopen as shelters for people who lack a place in which to self-isolate and can care for themselves with “minimal medical intervention.”
  • The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin announced on April 16 that they will work in close coordination to safely reopen the Midwestern states.
  • On April 17, Beshear announced seven benchmarks the state will use to determine the phases for economic reopening, and outlined the criteria it must meet in order to enter the first phase.
  • On April 20, Beshear advised schools to remain closed to in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. They are encouraged to continue “nontraditional instruction” and food service for students in need.
  • Beshear announced the “Healthy at Work” initiative for the safe and incremental reopening of Kentucky’s economy. He said on April 21 that it is in the first phase, which is a state-readiness evaluation. The second phase will be an individual business-readiness evaluation.
  • The state will begin the gradual restart of some health care services on April 27. Non-urgent services can resume in clinics, medical and dental offices, physical therapy settings and hospital outpatient settings in accordance with public health guidance. Health care providers are directed to maximize telehealth rather than in-person services, prohibit most visitation, eliminate waiting rooms and follow other sanitation and social distancing protocols.
  • Kentucky’s primary election has been postponed from May 19 to June 23. All registered voters will be allowed to vote by mail with absentee ballots. The State Board of Elections is working on a plan to safely conduct limited in-person and potential drive-through voting.
  • Beginning May 1, Kentucky’s local public safety agencies and eligible local governments can apply for some of the $9 million in grant funding newly available from the U.S. Department of Justice.
  • The state will distribute more than $450,000 in federal funding to 93 non-profit arts organizations impacted by the coronavirus.
  • Beshear issued an additional 352 conditional commutations for individuals with five years or less remaining on sentences for non-violent, non-sexual offenses.
  • Beshear released a four-phase plan for reopening the healthcare industry. Phase 2 will begin on May 6, allowing outpatient surgeries and other invasive procedures to resume under strict guidelines. Under Phase 3, which is set to begin on May 13, hospitals and care facilities can begin performing non-emergency surgeries and procedures at 50 percent of their pre-pandemic patient volume. The final phase is scheduled to begin on May 27 and will leave restrictions up to individual facilities.
  • Under Beshear’s plan to reopen Kentucky’s economy, people must wear masks in public when they visit businesses, starting on May 11.
  • Beshear also released 10 rules to help businesses reopen safely under the Healthy at Work plan.

Louisiana

  • Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statewide stay-at-home order, under which nonessential businesses must remain closed and gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited. People can still do essential tasks such as go to the grocery store, pick up prescriptions or go to work “if absolutely necessary.” He has since extended the order until May 15.
  • Edwards declared a public health emergency on March 11. By March 24, President Trump had approved the governor’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration, allowing the federal government to offer more support for state and local agencies.
  • Edwards signed a proclamation relaxing medical licensure laws, making it easier for health care workers from out of state to practice in Louisiana. The proclamation also directs funerals to occur as expeditiously as possible.
  • The Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force set out to examine how health inequities are affecting communities impacted by the coronavirus. The Governor’s COVID-19 Response Fund is making $500,000 available for its research and outreach.
  • Louisiana’s June 20 primary election has been rescheduled for July 11. Its July 25 election has been postponed to August 15.
  • On April 15, Edwards ordered K-12 public schools closed for the rest of the academic year. Students will continue with remote learning.
  • The Louisiana Department of Health issued a revised order for medical and surgical procedures, outlining the conditions under which they can be performed beginning April 27. It loosens restrictions from a previous order, which allowed surgeries only for emergency medical conditions.
  • Edwards is directing everyone to wear cloth face coverings in public.
  • Under the extended stay-at-home order, effective May 1, malls will remain closed but stores may open for curbside delivery. Restaurants can open outside areas only for patrons to eat meals, with no tableside service. All employees of businesses who have contact with the public must wear masks.
  • The State Fire Marshal’s Office released interpretive guidance for restaurants reopening outdoor seating areas, including spacing tables at least 10 feet apart.

Maryland

  • Gov. Larry Hogan announced a statewide stay-at-home order on March 30, demanding residents not leave their homes or travel outside the state unless it is absolutely essential.
  • Maryland residents returning home from out of state are directed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Nonessential businesses are closed, and gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited.
  • All day care facilities were ordered closed by the end of the day March 27. Exceptions will be made for facilities providing child care assistance to essential personnel.
  • The governor also ordered recreational and entertainment facilities such as malls, casinos and racetracks to close. Restaurants and bars that serve food are carryout or delivery only.
  • Maryland postponed its April 28 primary election to June 2. It will be conducted by mail with limited in-person voting.
  • Hogan suspended certain regulations to allow for the temporary expansion of telehealth services.
  • Maryland’s income tax deadline has been extended to July 15.
  • Hogan banned evictions of tenants who are unable to pay rent because of the coronavirus. An order prohibiting utility companies from shutting off residential service and charging residential late fees has been extended through June 1.
  • An April 3 order extended those renter protections and introduced new provisions. Certain repossessions are suspended, residential mortgage closures may not be initiated, and commercial evictions are prohibited as long as tenants can prove they lost income because of the coronavirus.
  • Hogan authorized local health departments to “take action against any businesses, establishments, and construction sites they deem unsafe,” allowing them to work with local law enforcement to modify operations or shut such sites down altogether.
  • On April 10, Hogan announced an immediate hiring and budget freeze on discretionary state spending across all agencies.
  • Maryland courts will remain closed through June 5.
  • Hogan issued an emergency order placing restrictions on dispensing drugs given to COVID-19 patients, including hydroxychloroquine.
  • An executive order requires individuals to wear face coverings when inside any retail establishment or riding any form of public transportation, effective April 18. It also orders all retail locations to put appropriate social distancing measures in place and require staff to wear face coverings.
  • Hogan said on April 15 that the state is “now in a position to begin planning the safe and gradual rollout” of its recovery phase. His plan focuses on increasing testing, hospital surge capacity, personal protective equipment supply, and contact tracing operations.
  • School closures have been extended through May 15, with distance learning to continue.
  • The state invested $8 million in the Capital Area Food Bank and Maryland Food Bank. It also created a $5 million fund to incentivize Maryland businesses to make personal protective equipment.
  • Hogan announced on April 20 that the state secured 500,000 COVID-19 tests from South Korean company LabGenomics.
  • While barber shops and salons are generally closed, recent interpretive guidance permits them to serve certain essential personnel while adhering to specific conditions.
  • Hogan announced Maryland’s three-stage “Roadmap to Recovery” on April 24. He said the state could begin reopening some businesses and lifting certain restrictions by early May if deaths and ICU admissions continue on a downward trend.
  • Maryland has awarded a round of grants totaling more than $1.6 million to 20 local companies for starting or expanding production of personal protective equipment.
  • Hogan issued an executive order protecting CARES Act relief rebates from garnishment.
  • New health directives for nursing homes include universal testing of all residents and staff.

Mississippi

  • On April 1, Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide stay-at-home order, banning residents from leaving the home for activities deemed nonessential. He announced on April 17 that it would remain in effect for an additional week. The revised order expired at 8:00 a.m. on April 27.
  • “Safer-at-Home” order is in effect from April 27 through May 11. The order allows some businesses to reopen if they follow certain guidelines, and continues the ban on gatherings larger than 10 people.
  • Under the new order, restaurants remain limited to drive-through and takeout, and retail stores may only operate at 50 percent capacity. Museums, theaters, personal care services and gyms will remain closed, but can sell supplies online or by phone. Bars and casinos will stay closed.
  • Reeves is urging people to stay home whenever possible and asking vulnerable populations to continue sheltering in place.
  • The Mississippi State Department of Health is recommending people wear non-medical grade masks when in public.
  • Reeves called on pastors to not hold Easter Sunday services, but said he would not order churches to close.
  • Reeves signed an executive order granting additional civil liability protections for health care workers and facilities responding to COVID-19 outside of their normal duties.
  • Income tax due dates have been extended to May 15.
  • The Mississippi Public Service Commission has temporarily prohibited utility shutoffs.
  • Reeves announced on April 14 that school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, but distance learning will continue.
  • The State Housing Finance Agency for Mississippi has reopened its Home Saver Program to provide short-term mortgage assistance to eligible homeowners who have lost income or employment due to COVID-19.
  • Reeves announced on April 17 that lakes and beaches can reopen to allow people to “fish or relax.” He is also permitting nonessential businesses to conduct sales via drive-through, curbside and delivery services. Businesses like salons may safely sell their excess supplies.
  • Evictions remain temporarily suspended under the “Safer-at-Home” order.
  • Under the new order, recreational boating is permitted with reduced capacity and social distancing. Group activities like sports games are not allowed.
  • Church services can be held in parking lots with individuals staying in their cars, though Reeves is encouraging churches to hold services online or remotely.
  • Beginning April 27, health care providers may resume “non-emergency, elective procedures” in accordance with specific health department guidelines.

North Carolina

  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced a statewide stay-at-home order that directs North Carolina residents to leave only for “essential activities” and maintain social distancing of at least six feet. The order will last until May 8, after which point the state will follow a three-phase plan for the gradual easing of restrictions.
  • Orders closing close-contact businesses and dine-in service at restaurants and bars are also extended through May 8.
  • Cooper announced on April 24 that K-12 public schools will remain closed to in-person learning for the rest of the academic year.
  • The state is temporarily prohibiting utilities from cutting off people who are unable to pay for their “electric, gas, water and wastewater services.”
  • North Carolina’s tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15 for individual, corporate, and franchise taxes, in keeping with the rescheduled IRS due date.
  • On April 7, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services announced it would provide financial assistance to help certain eligible essential workers afford child care, and give bonuses to child care teachers and staff working during the pandemic.
  • The state received approval from FEMA to establish alternative housing for people with unstable housing who must quarantine either as a precautionary measure or after being exposed to the virus. The state aims to provide more than 16,500 individual housing units in hotels, motels, dormitories, and trailers.
  • Cooper called on people to avoid gathering for Easter and Passover.
  • An April 9 executive order requires retail stores still operating to implement stricter social distancing policies, like limiting the number people inside at once requiring specific cleaning measures, and designating certain shopping times for high-risk individuals.
  • The order makes specific public health and safety measures mandatory for nursing homes, and recommends other long-term care facilities follow those directives. It also streamlines the process for employers filing unemployment claims on behalf of their workers.
  • On April 15, Cooper announced a roadmap for incrementally easing certain restrictions, contingent on making progress in “testing, tracing and trends.”
  • The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with universities in the state for a study monitoring the prevalence of COVID-19 cases, especially with mild or no symptoms, in specific counties over several months.
  • North Carolina has been approved for the new Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which helps families purchase food for children impacted by school closings due to COVID-19. The program will provide additional food benefits to more than 800,000 children who would normally receive free or reduced lunch at school.
  • Cooper signed an executive order making furloughed workers eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • The state has partnered with AT&T and Duke Energy Foundation to equip school buses with WiFi hotspots, enabling them to serve students in areas lacking Internet access.
  • The newly-announced Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative will hire and train up to 250 additional local staff to support contact tracing efforts.

Oklahoma

  • Gov. Kevin Stitt issued a statewide “Safer at Home” order for adults over the age of 65 and individuals with serious underlying medical conditions. The order now applies to all counties in the state, and has been extended through May 6.
  • The order also limits gatherings to no more than 10 people, prohibits visitation to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and postpones all elective and non-emergency medical and dental procedures.
  • On April 16, Stitt released guidelines for medical providers determining how to proceed with elective surgeries. Procedures for certain conditions may resume April 24, and other minor medical and dental procedures may resume May 1.
  • Stitt has issued an executive order requiring travelers from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, California and Louisiana to quarantinefor 14 days.
  • On April 2, Stitt declared a health emergency for 30 days, which grants him broader powers to waive certain regulatory requirements and coordinate between local health departments.
  • All delivery personnel must submit to screening if asked at hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and schools before making a delivery.
  • Nonessential businesses are closed, and restaurants may only offer curbside pickup and delivery.
  • Starting April 6, school “districts will be expected to provide distance learning for the remainder of the school year,” according to state officials.
  • Oklahoma State University is ramping up its capacity to perform up 2,000 tests per day.
  • Stitt approved an emergency rule that provides hiring flexibilities for nurse aides for the duration of the emergency declaration.
  • On April 6, the Oklahoma Legislature approved the Catastrophic Health Emergency Act, which gives Stitt the power to temporarily “suspend laws and regulations that interfere with the state’s ability to respond to the pandemic.”
  • Stitt issued an executive order guaranteeing first responders paid time off if they contract COVID-19.
  • Stitt approved the commutations of 452 individuals for early release on April 16.
  • On April 22, Stitt introduced the “Open Up and Recover Safely” plan, a three-phased approach to reopening the state’s economy. The state begins phase one on April 24, and if hospital and incident rates “remain manageable” for 14 days, it will move into the second phase.
  • Beginning April 24, personal care businesses can reopen for appointments if they adhere to strict sanitation protocols and are located in communities without additional restrictions in place. State parks and outdoor recreation areas can also reopen.
  • Beginning May 1, restaurant dining rooms, movie theaters and gyms may reopen, provided they enforce strict sanitation and social distancing measures. Tattoo parlors can reopen only for appointments, and places of worship can reopen if they leave every other row or pew open.
  • Also during phase one, visitation is prohibited at senior facilities and hospitals, and schools, organized sporting events, bars and camps will remain closed. Oklahomans should continue practicing physical distancing and minimizing nonessential travel, and employers should create plans allowing workers to return in phases. Elderly and vulnerable populations should continue following the original “Safer at Home” guidelines.
  • The state plans to test all 42,000 residents and staff at its 306 nursing facilities using saliva testing. Health officials announced the plan on April 28, to be completed in 30 days.

Puerto Rico

  • Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced announced a state of emergency and the activation of the National Guard on March 12. An executive order mandated an island-wide curfew — from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. — beginning March 15.
  • The governor has since changed the curfew’s start time to 7:00 p.m. and extended it to May 3. The move does not affect business hours, which were established by executive order.
  • Outside curfew hours, people may only leave their homes to buy food and medicine or go to the bank. Nonessential businesses remain closed, though hardware stores and car repair shops are now permitted to operate “twice a week on limited schedules.” Everyone must wear a mask when entering any business.
  • The ACLU announced on April 5 it was seeking an injunction to block part of the curfew, calling some of its restrictions unconstitutional.
  • People are allowed out of their homes to receive health care services and buy food supplies, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Supermarkets are not operating on Sundays.
  • On April 8, Vázquez petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily ban all flights from U.S. cities with large numbers of coronavirus cases. She specifically cited New York, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Illinois.
  • The governor signed an amendment making it illegal for media outlets or social media accounts “to transmit or allow the transmission” of “false information” relating to government proclamations or executive orders concerning COVID-19 or other disasters.This move has come under fire from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
  • Puerto Rico postponed its presidential primary to April 26.
  • Health Secretary Lorenzo González said on April 13 that health officials will distribute 200,000 rapid testing kits.
  • Puerto Rico’s $787 million coronavirus relief package includes cash payments to small businesses, self-employed workers, nurses and other first responders.
  • A U.S. federal judge suspended all eviction proceedings until May 30.
  • Residents cannot have their power or water disconnected while the emergency decree is in effect.
  • Anyone arriving on the island must quarantine for 14 days. Ports are closed to all cruise ships.

South Carolina

  • Gov. Henry McMaster announced a statewide “home or work” order, effective April 7 at 5 p.m. The order requires South Carolinians to remain “at home or work unless visiting family, exercising or obtaining essential goods or services.”
  • Entertainment venues, recreational and athletic facilities, close-contact service providers, retail stores and other nonessential businesses were ordered closed beginning April 6.
  • McMaster also ordered all retail businesses still operating to limit the number of customers in one place at a time.
  • An executive order has extended the state’s income tax deadline to July 15, in line with the new federal income tax deadline.
  • The governor has ordered that travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Louisiana must self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • McMaster issued an executive order allowing furloughed employees to qualify for unemployment benefits.
  • An April 15 state of emergency declared in response to severe weather does not impact any coronavirus-related executive orders “in any way.”
  • On April 20, McMaster announced the creation of “accelerateSC,” a five-component economic revitalization plan.
  • McMaster issued an executive order removing restrictions on public access points to state’s beaches, piers, docks and wharfs while giving local officials the authority to restrict access if needed, effective April 21 at noon.
  • The order also reopens certain retail stores beginning 5:00 p.m. on April 20, and requires them to adhere to strict social distancing requirements. Examples of operational retailers include furniture stores, clothing and shoe stores, book and craft stores, flea markets, florists and department stores except for hardware and home improvement stores.
  • McMaster announced on April 22 that public K-12 schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.
  • On April 27, McMaster extended South Carolina’s state of emergency and associated executive orders for an additional 15 days.

Tennessee

  • Gov. Bill Lee issued a safer-at-home order that restricts discretionary travel beginning March 31 at 11:59 p.m. A stronger stay-at-home order required Tennesseeans stay in their place of residence except for carrying out essential activities until April 30. Work-from-home orders for state employees were extended through the same period.
  • Lee announced on April 20 that the “vast majority” of businesses in 89 of the state’s 95 counties would be allowed to reopen on May 1.
  • The deadline to file franchise and excise taxes has been delayed until July 15.
  • The state is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to provide additional hospital beds if needed.
  • Tennessee put out a call to displaced or furloughed health care workers to join its efforts.
  • Lee said the state would follow federal guidelines that extend unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals through pandemic unemployment assistance.
  • The state is distributing $200 million in grants to its county and city governments for one-time, local expenses in fiscal year 2021. Funding is based on population and will be made available after July 1.
  • Lee announced that beginning April 18, free COVID-19 testing will be available for any Tennessean regardless of symptoms for three weekends. On April 20, Lee announced that more than 11,000 individuals had been tested in two days.
  • Schools have been ordered closed for the remainder of the academic year. The commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Education is convening a “COVID-19 Child Wellbeing Task Force” to support communities in caring for their students.
  • Lee announced $10 million in grants to support small and rural hospitals under financial strain, and distributed the first round on April 20.
  • All rural county health departments in the state are offering free COVID-19 testing on weekdays.
  • On April 24, Lee issued guidance for restaurants and retail stores, the first industries to reboot as part of the state’s gradual economic reopening. In 89 of 95 counties, restaurants will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity beginning April 27, and retailers will be able to do the same beginning April 29. The state is recommending that employers meet hygiene and workplace sanitation standards and that workers wear cloth face coverings.
  • An amended executive order, effective April 27, reopened on-site dining in restaurants and allowed them to continue takeout and delivery alcohol sales. Bars, nightclubs and “limited service restaurants” remain closed to on-site operations.
  • Hospitals can resume some elective medical procedures beginning May 1.
  • Beginning May 1, gyms and exercise facilities in most counties can reopen at 50% capacity. The state released guidelines for social distancing and worker and consumer protections.
  • An April 28 executive order encourages Tennesseeans to stay home as much as possible while permitting individuals and businesses in certain industries to return to work, provided they comply with state guidance. The order supersedes any contrary orders in 89 counties. It authorizes health departments in the remaining six counties to issue their own orders related to the operations of businesses, organizations and venues other than places of worship.
  • Under the April 28 order, social gatherings remain limited to no more than 10 people. Close-contact personal service businesses and venues for entertainment and recreational gathering must stay closed. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities remain closed to most visitation.

Texas

  • Gov. Greg Abbot issued an executive order that directs Texans to minimize nonessential gatherings and in-person contact with people who are not in the same household, “except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services.” The order expired on April 30.
  • The state will be in its first phase of reopening from May 1 until at least May 18. Certain businesses and services may resume operations if they limit capacity and follow strict protocols.
  • People are instructed not to visit nursing homes, retirement or long-term-care facilities “unless to provide critical assistance.”
  • Abbott announced that public safety employees who contract COVID-19 during the course of their employment will be reimbursed for reasonable medical expenses related to their treatment of COVID-19.
  • The state’s Comfort Food Care Package program will provide meals for at-risk youth and families. Each package contains enough food from participating restaurants to feed a family of 5 to 6 and will be delivered to recipients’ homes.
  • SNAP and Medicaid benefit renewals currently due will be renewed automatically.
  • Abbott has waived certain Housing and Urban Development requirements in order to use program funds for tenant rent relief.
  • Abbott temporarily waived a series of regulations in order to expand telehealth services.
  • Goldman Sachs, in partnership with the LiftFund and other community development financial institutions, is providing $50 million in loans to Texas small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Abbott announced on April 15 that his Public Safety Office will provide $38 million in federal emergency funding to local units of government.
  • Public and private schools, as well as institutions of higher education, are closed for the rest of the academic year.
  • On April 17, Abbott issued a set of executive orders to begin reopening Texas. Certain activities and services are permitted to reopen using a “Retail-To-Go” model, requiring delivery with minimal contact, beginning April 24. Elective surgeries are still restricted through May 8, but licensed health care professionals can make certain exceptions beginning April 22.
  • State parks are open as of April 20. Visitors must wear face coverings, maintain six feet of distance from those outside of their party, and limit gatherings to no more than five people.
  • The Texas National Guard is mobilizing more than 1,200 personnel as part of mobile testing teams that will expand access to COVID-19 testing statewide.
  • Abbott said on April 21 that nearly 500,000 job openings are listed on WorkInTexas.com.
  • Abbott has temporarily waived certain testing requirements for Advance Practice Registered Nurses. He also temporarily waived certain restrictions on financial assistance from the Texas College Work-Study program.
  • The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received nearly $54 million in federal funds to support services and programs for the elderly and people with disabilities during the outbreak.
  • HOME Tenant Based Rental Assistance funds are newly available for Texans experiencing housing challenges due to pandemic-related income loss. The state can help renters with security deposits, lease payments and utility bills.
  • State officials have launched an online interactive test collection map.
  • Beginning May 1, the mandatory 14-day quarantine period is no longer required for travelers from Louisiana. It remains in place for travelers from California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Washington state, as well as the cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami.
  • Effective May 1, hospitals are ordered to reserve at least 15% of their capacity for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • An executive order effective May 1 through May 15 lifts certain restrictions on businesses. The following businesses can reopen at limited capacity and in adherence with specific health protocols: dine-in restaurant services, in-store retail services, movie theaters, shopping malls, museums and libraries if approved by local governments, golf course operations and local government operations.
  • The order also directs people to minimize social gatherings and in-person contact with non-household members, and encourages Texans over the age of 65 to stay home as much as possible. People should continue to avoid visiting long-term care facilities, gyms, bars, public swimming pools, interactive amusement venues and personal care services.
  • Abbott said that restaurants may continue their alcohol-to-go services even after May 1.

Virginia

  • On March 30, Northam issued a statewide stay-at-home order, effective immediately, lasting until June 10.
  • The stay-at-home order says individuals may leave their residence for allowable travel, including to seek medical attention, work, care for family or household members, pick up groceries and prescriptions and engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.
  • Only essential businesses are permitted to operate. Restaurants, bars and other dining services may only offer delivery and takeout. The shutdown order for nonessential business has been extended through May 8.
  • Northam recommended Virginians wear cloth face coverings when out in public. While wearing face coverings is technically illegal in the state, Northam said at an April 6 press briefing that “no citations will be written for wearing protective masks.”
  • All K-12 schools are closed until the end of the academic year.
  • Northam announced that the Department of Education’s online learning system, “Virtual Virginia,” has been expanded to enable all public school teachers to host virtual classes through June 30.
  • Northam moved the state’s primary elections from June 9 to June 23. He has asked the General Assembly to postpone the May General Election and special elections, initially set for May 5, to November 3. As of April 24, he is taking executive action to delay them to May 19.
  • Indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
  • Northam and the state health department are calling for additional medical and non-medical volunteers to join the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps.
  • A $70 million grant from the federal CARES Act will be used to increase the availability of child care services for essential personnel.
  • Northam signed an executive order increasing the eligibility of nurse practitioners, out-of-state doctors and medical students to participate in Virginia’s response to the coronavirus. It also allows for the expanded use of telehealth.
  • In March, Northam issued recommendations to criminal justice officials aimed at decreasing the state’s jail population. On April 17, he announced significant reductions in the state’s jail population and new commitments for misdemeanors.
  • The state is receiving FEMA funding to provide hotel housing for first responders and essential personnel.
  • A multi-state initiative will expand payment relief for people with private and non-federal student loans, which are not covered by the CARES Act. The agreement expands protections to student loan borrowers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
  • At an April 22 General Assembly session, legislators passed a bipartisan plan to pause new spending in the state budget and reconvene in the summer to make adjustments.
  • Northam also extended the closure of the Department of Motor Vehicle’s public-facing offices until May 11. State police will continue suspending the enforcement of motor vehicle inspections through July 31.
  • An April 23 executive order grants additional flexibility to Medicaid providers. It waives co-payments for individuals receiving coverage through the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security program and suspends pre-admission screenings for nursing facilities.
  • Northam signed a bill funding the state government through June 30 that also dedicates funds to the coronavirus response, raises pay for nursing home workers, increases child care funding and allows the Virginia Department of Corrections to release individuals whose sentences are almost completed.
  • On April 24, Northam released the “Forward Virginia” blueprint for incrementally easing public health restrictions. He outlined key principles and benchmarks for the first phase of the plan, which he said would not begin for at least two weeks.
  • The Virginia Growth and Opportunity Board will use $14.6 million to create an Economic Resilience and Recovery Program for regional councils to address business needs in their communities.
  • Northam signed an executive order reinforcing liability protections for health care workers and first responders during the pandemic.
  • Northam announced that non-emergency surgeries and dental procedures can resume beginning May 1, and must adhere to safety and supply guidelines.

West Virginia

  • Gov. Jim Justice issued a stay-at-home order, “directing all West Virginia residents to stay at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs.” The order allowed people to pick up essentials such as groceries and medicine; people could also exercise outside while maintaining a 6-foot distance from each other and “care for or support a friend or family member.”
  • A new “Safer at Home” order takes effect May 4, and will be modified each week in conjunction with the state’s six-phase reopening plan.
  • Under the Safer at Home order, people are “strongly encouraged” to remain in their homes, especially if they are elderly or medically vulnerable. Some businesses and services can resume limited operations. Public gatherings of larger than 25 people are prohibited.
  • Justice directed people not to visit loved ones in hospitals or nursing homes.
  • All child care sites except those serving parents working in “essential” jobs were ordered closed.
  • Justice announced a month of free fishing for state residents, waiving the requirement for a fishing license to fish in state-regulated waters. Anglers must practice social distancing.
  • The governor issued an executive order on March 30 requiring travelers from area “with substantial community spread” to quarantine for 14 days. He also closed state park campgrounds.
  • The state has delayed primary elections, moving them from May 12 to June 9. The accompanying state holiday has been moved accordingly.
  • President Trump granted Justice’s request for a major disaster declaration for the state on April 3, making available federal funding for emergency protective measures.
  • Justice issued an executive order requiring that all private and public golf courses follow proper cleaning protocols and enforce social distancing measures, including limiting one individual per golf cart for people who don’t live together.
  • Every West Virginia county received a $100,000 grant for purposes of awarding “hero pay” to first responders and front-line personnel.
  • The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources will issue a one-time $500 payment to current recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
  • Justice signed an executive order requiring the West Virginia Division of Health and Human Resources to “test or re-test” all workers and residents at every nursing home in the state.
  • An April 21 executive order outlines the process for hospitals across the state to apply to the Department of Health and Human Resources to resume elective procedures. The earliest procedures can begin again is April 28.
  • Justice announced on April 21 that schools will remain closed to in-person classes for the rest of the academic year.
  • The West Virginia Department of Education’s Graduation Task Force will address high school seniors’ graduations and transitions onward.
  • Justice and the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources launched a free smartphone app with resources for individuals recovering from substance use disorder.
  • The West Virginia National Guard says it is the first in the country to be approved by the Department of Defense to provide mobile COVID-19 tests, and has activated two mobile testing laboratories.
  • On April 27, Justice released West Virginia’s “Comeback” plan, a phased approach to reopening certain aspects of the state and its economy over six weeks. On April 29, Justice announced that the first phase of reopening would officially begin the following day.
  • In the Week 1 phase, hospitals are able to resume elective medical procedures provided they follow CDC guidelines and have plans for preserving personal protective equipment supply and responding to potential surges. Outpatient health care operations may resume in line with board and association guidance. Daycare services can resume, and testing of daycare staff will begin.
  • Week 2 is set to begin on May 4. In that phase, small businesses, personal care service businesses, outdoor restaurant dining and in-person religious services can reopen in compliance with strict guidelines.
  • Justice has issued reopening guidance for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, restaurants with takeout service or outdoor dining options and religious entities and funeral homes.

 

*By Rachel Treisman via WUFT.org (NPR)*