South: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions And Reopenings Get the latest on coronavirus-related restrictions in the Southern states — from Texas to Virginia, from Oklahoma to Florida, Georgia and more — plus D.C. and Puerto Rico.
NPR logo South: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

South: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

Towels and sanitizer are available to patrons at the Downtown Gym in Orlando, Fla. As of May 18, fitness centers statewide can operate at up to 50% capacity. John Raoux/AP hide caption

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John Raoux/AP

Towels and sanitizer are available to patrons at the Downtown Gym in Orlando, Fla. As of May 18, fitness centers statewide can operate at up to 50% capacity.

John Raoux/AP

Part of a series on coronavirus-related restrictions across the United States.

Jump to a state: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, other states


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 effective at 5:00 p.m. on April 30, originally through May 15.
  • Ivey announced an amended Safer at Home order will apply statewide from May 11 to May 22. Under the order, restaurants can open at a 50% occupancy rate with six feet of spacing between tables. Personal care services like barber shops and salons can operate according to state protocols. Gyms, athletic facilities and athletic classes can resume under strict sanitation and social distancing guidelines.
  • The amended Safer at Home order removes the 10 person limit on non-work gatherings, including those at beaches. People are still required to maintain six feet of distance from non-household members.
  • Anyone who tests positive for the coronavirus must quarantine in their place of residence for 14 days.
  • 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 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.
  • The state issued general and industry-specific guidelines for businesses operating under the Safer at Home order.
  • Alabama is receiving an additional $3 million in CARES Act funding to support its seafood industry.
  • Children ages 18 and younger can receive two free meals each day while schools are closed through Break for a Plate, a federally-funded and state-administered program.

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.
  • On May 5, Hutchinson extended the state's public health and disaster emergency for an additional 45 days, keeping guidelines and directives in place until mid-June.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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. Beginning May 11, providers can resume medical procedures requiring hospital stays of up to 48 hours.
  • 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. As of May 1, residents with self-contained RVs are allowed to stay overnight in campgrounds. As of May 15, state parks can open facilities such as visitor information centers, equipment rentals and gift shops. Starting 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.
  • Gyms and fitness centers may resume limited operations beginning May 4 if they follow specific health and safety guidelines.
  • Barber shops, body art establishments, cosmetology facilities, massage therapy clinics and medical spas may resume appointment-only operations beginning May 6. They must follow phase one health and safety requirements including pre-screening staff and clients, using gloves and face masks, practicing social distancing and limiting occupancy.  
  • Indoor venues designed for large groups, such as theaters, arenas, stadiums and auction houses, can reopen beginning May 18 on a limited basis. Venues must comply with sanitation and social distancing requirements, including capping audiences at 50 people.
  • Hutchinson issued guidance for faith-based organizations. Places of worship are strongly encouraged to offer online platforms for participation, but may resume in-person services during phase one of the state's reopening if they comply with specific directives.
  • The Arkansas Ready for Business Grant Program has $55 million available for businesses across sectors. At least 75% of funding is reserved for businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and at least 15% of recipients will be minority- and women-owned businesses.
  • Hutchinson announced on May 5 that restrictions are lifted for recreational travelers coming from non-hot spot areas. Travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, New Orleans and anywhere outside of the country must still follow quarantine directives of the state secretary of health.
  • Hutchinson announced that the state's three gaming casinos will open at 1:30 p.m. on May 18, at one-third capacity and with strict social distancing measures.
  • Recreational pools may resume limited operations starting May 22.
  • As of May 18, all retailers are open in accordance with industry-specific Phase 1 restrictions.
  • Hutchinson announced that bars inside of restaurants can open beginning May 19, and freestanding bars can open beginning May 26.
  • Hutchinson announced a goal of testing all nursing home residents and staff beginning June 1.

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. Carney has extended the emergency declaration, stay-at-home order and other modifications through May 31.
  • A modified emergency order limited public gatherings to no more than 10 people and required 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 suspended residential foreclosures and evictions.
  • Another modification to the emergency declaration, effective April 7 at 8:00 p.m., temporarily bans all short-term rental units and closes commercial lodging with some exceptions. It also bans door-to-door solicitation and closes 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.
  • An April 30 modification to the emergency declaration expands renter protections during the pandemic. It also extends the application deadline for Delaware's Senior School Property Tax Credit Program until June 1.
  • The CDC is working with state and regional health officials to increase safety and mitigation measures in poultry facilities.
  • On May 3, the governors of Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Delaware announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and testing. The regional purchasing initiative aims to increase market power and prevent price gouging.
  • On May 5, Carney announced a plan to test all residents and staff of long-term care facilities in the state.
  • Certain small businesses can resume limited operations as of May 8. Retailers including department stores, consumer good rentals and stores selling clothing, shoes, sporting goods, books, tobacco and used merchandise can offer curbside pickup. Jewelry stores may conduct business by appointment only. Hair care services can be offered only to workers at essential businesses and with strict protocols in place. Golf carts at courses are available for one rider at a time, and drive-in movies can operate if patrons remain inside their vehicles.
  • Employees required to report to work under these expanded guidelines are permitted to utilize child care services, provided both parents work outside the home and alternate care is not available.
  • Delaware's presidential primary has been postponed for a second time, to July 7. The state Department of Elections will mail absentee ballot applications to all registered Democrats and Republicans.
  • Carney's order also reschedules school board elections for July 21 and places additional requirements on municipalities conducting elections.
  • Carney announced an expansion of Delaware's testing program, allowing the state to conduct 80,000 tests per month. Under the new program, testing is prioritized for symptomatic individuals, anyone with known exposure to COVID-19, vulnerable populations and certain front-line workers.
  • A modification to the emergency declaration suspends end-of-year evaluations for educators, professional development requirements and assessments due to the suspension of the school year. It also waives the required learning hours for students and teacher days.
  • Farmers' markets statewide can reopen beginning May 15 if they follow Department of Agriculture-issued protocols. The protocols limit the number of visitors per household, require check-in upon arrival and the use of face coverings, ban social gatherings and on-site food consumption, designate a one-way route for patrons and prohibit vendors from having products out for others to handle.
  • The state is partnering with nonpartisan research institute NORC at the University of Chicago to build up its contact tracing program. It will hire approximately 200 Delawareans as contact tracers and support staff, and share information with the state of Maryland.
  • Carney announced that ice cream shops and trucks can reopen, with restrictions, as of 5:00 p.m. on May 15. The state will lift restrictions on beaches and community pools effective 5:00 p.m. on May 22, though social distancing and hygiene requirements will remain in place. The mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers and ban on short-term rentals will remain in effect, though non-residents who have been in Delaware for at least two weeks are permitted to use the beaches.
  • Carney released guidance for Phase 1 of the state's rolling reopening plan, set to begin June 1. The document includes general guidance for businesses and individuals, as well as sector-specific guidelines.
  • Carney released guidance for churches and houses of worship, which are considered essential under the stay-at-home order. Indoor gatherings must be limited to 30% occupancy, and virtual services are encouraged.
  • Beginning May 20, all retail establishments statewide can operate by appointment only. Retailers may accept two appointments per half hour, and must adhere to sanitation and social distancing guidelines.
  • Beginning May 22, restaurants, bars, taprooms and breweries may apply to expand outdoor seating effective June 1.
  • The Delaware Division of Small Business developed "Customer Protection Standards" based on state guidance.

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, extending the stay-at-home order, nonessential business closures and gathering restrictions until May 15. She has since extended the stay-at-home order and public health emergency through June 8.
  • The stay-at-home order requires the use of masks or face coverings for individuals engaging in essential business or travel, if social distance cannot be maintained. Nonessential businesses remain closed, students will continue remote learning and gatherings of more than 10 individuals are prohibited.
  • 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.
  • The DC Board of Elections has waived the signature requirement on the mail-in ballot request form, which can be submitted via email. Signatures are still required on ballots themselves.
  • 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 were ordered 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 has been converted into an alternate care facility. It will be able to house between 500 and 1,500 patients.
  • The District Department of Transportation is temporarily extending sidewalks near 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 directed $2.3 million of the District's Contingency Cash Reserve Fund for initial staffing hires.
  • 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.
  • On May 1, Bowser announced the District joined a multi-state initiative expanding financial relief options for residents struggling to pay private education loans due to the pandemic.
  • Bowser announced that $75,000 in grant funding is available to help nonprofits recruit, retain and engage volunteers in light of the pandemic.
  • According to its three-phase reopening plan, D.C. Metro will not return to pre-pandemic levels of service until early 2021.
  • The Educational and Academic Retail Shops (EARS) Pilot will grant waivers to certain local retail stores to offer curbside and front door pickup. Eligible retailers include book, art supply, music, office supply and toy stores.

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 statewide order was extended until 12:01 a.m. on May 4. As of May 18, all of Florida's 67 counties are in Full Phase 1 of reopening.
  • Most of the state entered the first phase of limited reopening on May 4. Palm Beach County entered Phase 1 on May 11. Miami-Dade and Broward counties were approved to enter Phase 1 on May 18.
  • In Full Phase 1, restaurants and food establishments can increase indoor capacity to 50%, though outdoor seating is encouraged. Retail establishments can operate at up to 50% capacity indoors. Museums and libraries can open at up to 50% capacity if permitted by local governments. Gyms and fitness centers can operate at limited capacity with sanitation protocols. Elective surgeries, as well as certain personal care services, can continue.
  • According to the executive order implementing Full Phase 1, amusement parks may submit reopening plans to the state. Counties can seek approval to operate vacation rentals by submitting a written request and safety plan to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
  • A May 8 executive order extends Florida's state of emergency for 60 days.
  • While houses of worship were exempt from the stay-at-home order, DeSantis 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 extended the order until June 2.
  • 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.
  • Bars, nightclubs and large venues remain closed in phase one.
  • Health care providers may resume elective procedures in Phase 1 if they meet state requirements for bed capacity and personal protective equipment supply.
  • DeSantis and the Department of Children and Families announced extended support for Floridians participating in SNAP and TANF during the public health emergency. Eligible SNAP recipients will automatically receive an additional benefit amount in May, as they did in March and April.
  • Florida State Parks is reopening certain recreational trails and day-use areas, including some beach access, beginning May 4. Selected reopened state parks will have limited facilities. Beach access is limited to active recreation during reduced daily hours, and visitors cannot sunbathe or bring chairs, canopies or coolers. Visitors must practice social distancing and limit groups to a maximum of 10 people.
  • DeSantis announced the launch of the state's mobile testing lab, which will be able to conduct 3,500 COVID-19 tests per week with a turnaround time of 45 minutes. It will focus on testing long-term care facilities.
  • DeSantis has asked the secretary of the state's Agency for Health Care Administration to issue an emergency rule requiring hospitals to test all individuals that will be discharged to long-term care facilities, regardless of symptoms.
  • An executive order permits barbershops, cosmetology salons and cosmetology specialty salons to reopen in adherence with social distancing and other precautionary measures, beginning May 11.
  • The Florida Department of Transportation announced the acceleration of more than 40 additional critical infrastructure projects across all districts, due to continued lower traffic volumes.
  • DeSantis said at a May 13 press conference that professional sports teams are welcome to practice and play in Florida. A May 14 executive order allows professional sports to operate statewide and permits venues to host trainings, competitions, events and games.
  • The state Department of Children and Families received $1.9 million in federal emergency funding to address mental health and substance use disorders resulting from the public health emergency.

Georgia

  • Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statewide shelter-in-place order on April 3, which expired on April 30. Businesses are ordered to follow strict sanitation and social distancing protocols through May 31. Kemp extended the public health state of emergency through June 12, and has ordered elderly and medically vulnerable individuals to continue sheltering in place until then. All Georgians are encouraged to stay home whenever possible. 
  • A May 12 executive order changed certain rules for some businesses and extended closures for others through May 31. Businesses are divided into three categories, and must follow industry-specific guidelines.
  • Georgians must continue practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings in public. Gatherings of groups larger than 10 people are prohibited, unless individuals can maintain at least six feet of distance from each other.
  • Restaurants can allow 10 patrons per 300 square feet of public space and accommodate tables with a maximum of 10 people, up from six. They must continue to follow specific health and safety protocols.
  • Under the May 12 order, overnight summer camps remain closed but day camps can resume if they meet certain criteria. Child care facilities can expand the maximum number of people allowed in a single classroom from 10 to 20 as long as the required staff-to-children ratio is maintained.
  • Bars, nightclubs, public swimming pools, live performance venues and operators of amusement park rides are closed through at least May 31.
  • 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.
  • 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, which were 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 suspended 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. State officials are directing Georgians to wear face coverings in public settings where social distancing may be difficult.
  • 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. A modified version of the order is extended through May 31.
  • On May 5, the state distributed 150 pallets of personal protective equipment — its largest shipment to date — to hospitals, health care facilities, testing sites and the Department of Corrections.
  • A May 8 executive order temporarily extends the 30-day renewal requirement for weapons carry licenses for those that expire between February 13 and June 12.
  • Through a donation from AT&T, the state is deploying 448 WiFi devices known as WiFi Rangers to 36 rural school districts. Each Ranger can provide internet connections for up to 45 devices at one time.
  • A May 12 executive order clarifies that individuals who received driver's licenses during the pandemic, while road tests were temporarily suspended, must take a road test by September 30.
  • The University System of Georgia said its institutions are planning to resume face-to-face instruction in the fall.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $12 million grant to the Technical College System of Georgia's Office of Workforce Development to address workforce-related impacts of the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 testing is available by appointment for all Georgians, regardless of symptoms.
  • Kemp announced that more than 220 Georgia companies have signed up to provide personal protective equipment and health care supplies to businesses.
  • The state Department of Agriculture launched Georgia Grown To-Go, a series of pop-up markets that will enable customers in metro areas to purchase fresh produce directly from farmers with limited contact, drive-through service.

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. Under the "Healthy at Work" plan, sectors of the economy are reopening incrementally starting May 11.
  • 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 were 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.
  • 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 was in the first phase, which is a state-readiness evaluation. The second phase will be an individual business-readiness evaluation.
  • The state began 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, effective May 6, allows outpatient surgeries and other invasive procedures to resume under strict guidelines. Under Phase 3, effective 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 May 11.
  • Beshear also released 10 rules to help businesses reopen safely under the Healthy at Work plan.
  • Beshear announced a tentative timeline for the reopening of certain sectors in May. As of May 11, manufacturing, construction, vehicle and vessel dealerships, pet grooming and boarding, and spectator-free horse racing can restart if they meet minimum and industry-specific requirements. Professional services may resume at 50% of their pre-pandemic capacity. On May 20, retail businesses and houses of worship may reopen. On May 25, barbers, salons and other personal care services may resume operations, and social gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted. 
  • Kentucky is one of several pilot states for a new program allowing SNAP recipients to use benefits online at certain eligible retailers.
  • Beshear issued an executive order adjusting travel restrictions. Any individual entering the state "with the intent to stay" must self-quarantine for 14 days, with certain exceptions. The order continues to ban anyone with a positive or presumptive positive case of COVID-19 from entering the state, except as ordered for medical treatment. It also continues social distancing requirements for public transit riders.
  • The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet received nearly $22.9 million in federal relief funding, to be distributed to 17 public transit agencies across the state.
  • Beshear announced a second timeline for the reopening of additional businesses, in compliance with the "Healthy at Work" rules and industry-specific guidance. Restaurants can reopen, with "limited 33% capacity and outdoor seating," beginning May 22. Movie theaters and fitness centers can open on June 1. Public and private campgrounds can open on June 11. Reduced capacity child care, and possibly low-touch and outdoor youth sports, can resume on June 15.
  • Government offices and agencies can open on May 18, and funeral homes can reopen on May 20.
  • Beginning May 22, gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted and the state's travel ban will expire.
  • The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet was awarded more than $43.7 million in federal funding for education programs affected by the pandemic.
  • Also beginning June 1, aquatic centers, fishing tournaments and auto/dirt track racing can resume operations. Public pools will remain closed.
  • Businesses can order face masks and hand sanitizer from the state.
  • Certain areas of state parks will reopen on June 1.
  • Museums, outdoor attractions, aquariums, libraries and distilleries will be allowed to reopen on June 8.
  • Beshear announced $300 million in CARES Act funding for city and county governments, to reimburse expenses necessary to comply with public health guidelines.
  • Guidance released ahead of Memorial Day allows socially-distant gatherings of up to 10 people beginning May 22.

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 extended the order until the morning of May 15, at which point the state entered Phase 1 of reopening.
  • Edwards announced that Louisiana will be in Phase 1 from May 15 through at least June 5. The stay-at-home order is lifted, though high-risk individuals are encouraged to stay home. All individuals must wear face coverings, practice good hygiene and maintain six feet of distance from non-household members. Certain nonessential businesses can open with occupancy limits. Employers are encouraged to continue allowing employees to telework whenever possible.
  • In Phase 1, the following businesses can open at 25% capacity with sanitation protocols and spacing for physical distancing: dine-in restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, theaters, places of worship, barber shops, nail salons, hair salons, bars serving food, casinos and video poker, museums, zoos and aquariums. Massage parlors, bars without food permits, tattoo parlors, amusement parks, contact sports, playgrounds, theme parks, adult entertainment venues and other similar businesses will remain closed.
  • State buildings began to reopen to the public at 25% occupancy on May 15. State agencies are directed to bring more employees back to work with proper protections in place.
  • 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 were closed but stores could open for curbside delivery. In addition to offering takeout and delivery, restaurants could open outside areas for patrons to eat meals, with no tableside service. Bars, casinos, places of amusement and personal care services remained closed. All employees of businesses who have contact with the public were ordered to 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.
  • The state's Keep Calm During COVID-19 Phone Line offers 24/7 confidential mental health resources.
  • The state launched OpenSafely.la.gov, a web-based program to assist businesses and places of worship safely resume operations. Edwards said it will provide business owners and faith leaders with "up-to-the-minute information" on the phase they are in and the protocols that are required.
  • Edwards announced that the state awarded a $10.4 million grant to New Orleans to support nine affordable rental housing projects that were at risk of losing their funding because of the outbreak.
  • The state is hiring as many as 700 contact tracers in four weeks to operate two call centers. The governor's office said the first group of 250 tracers will undergo training and begin offering services around May 15.
  • The state's departments of health and education issued Phase 1 guidelines for child care centers, camps and summer extracurricular activities.
  • Edwards said evictions will remain suspended through June 5.
  • Louisiana is participating in the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, which provides assistance to the families of children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • On May 18, the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles began providing limited service at 11 locations.

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. Nonessential businesses are closed, and gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited.
  • The state moved to a Safer at Home public health advisory at 5:00 p.m. on May 15. In Stage One, certain businesses and services can reopen with health and safety precautions in place. Residents, especially those who are older or medically vulnerable, are advised to stay home as much as possible. Individuals should continue teleworking if possible, practice social distancing and wear masks in indoor public areas and on public transportation.
  • County leaders have flexibility in decision-making about the timing of stage one reopening in their jurisdictions. Individuals can track progress through an interactive map.
  • In stage one, retail stores can reopen at up to 50% capacity, with curbside delivery and pickup strongly encouraged. Manufacturing operations can resume with specific safety protocols. Houses of worship can hold religious services at up to 50% capacity, with outdoor services encouraged. Some personal care services may reopen by appointment only, at up to 50% capacity.
  • Maryland residents returning home from out of state are directed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • 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.
  • 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 were generally closed, interpretive guidance permitted 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.
  • The CDC is working with state and regional health officials on a public health plan for the Eastern Shore poultry industry after at least 279 Maryland workers at a plant tested positive for COVID-19.
  • School closures have been extended through the end of the academic year. Online and distance learning will continue.
  • The Maryland Department of Health issued guidelines for the resumption of elective procedures at the discretion of local hospitals and health care providers, effective May 6.
  • As of May 7, the list of safe outdoor activities is expanded to include golf, tennis, recreational boating, fishing and camping.
  • An emergency order allows court clerks to issue marriage licenses and conduct marriage oaths remotely.
  • Hogan announced that the Preakness Stakes will be held in Baltimore on October 3.
  • Hogan announced the launch of the Caregiver Services Corps, a program that will deploy volunteers and resources to the homes of seniors who need assistance when their typical caregivers are temporarily unable to help due to COVID-19.
  • Hogan said that through the efforts of local health departments and NORC at the University of Chicago, the state's contact tracing operation can track 1,000 cases and 10,000 contacts daily.
  • Appointment-free testing is available across the state, and is expanded to include asymptomatic individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • An emergency order authorizes the state's licensed pharmacists to directly order and administer COVID-19 tests.
  • Hogan announced that Maryland will conduct universal testing at all state-run correctional and juvenile facilities as part of its long-term testing strategy.
  • The state was approved to expand SNAP to online grocery purchases, curbside pickup and delivery starting May 27.

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.
  • A "Safer-at-Home" order took effect April 27 and has been extended until the morning of May 25. The order allows some businesses to reopen if they follow certain guidelines, and continues the ban on gatherings larger than 10 people. Stage 2 of the Safer-at-Home order officially began on May 7.
  • Museums and theaters remain closed, but can sell supplies online or by phone. Casinos will stay closed.
  • A May 4 executive order amends the Safer-at-Home order to allow restaurants and bars to resume limited indoor and outdoor in-house dining beginning May 7. Restaurants must follow sanitation, screening and social distancing guidelines, including limiting capacity to 50%.
  • The May 4 order allows state parks to reopen on May 7 for socially-distant recreation. Municipal and private parks can also open, subject to restrictions imposed by local authority. Outdoor recreational activities are permitted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Group gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors.
  • A May 12 executive order enacts stricter social distancing measures in seven counties for all businesses, retail establishments and people going out in public.
  • 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 were extended to May 15.
  • The Mississippi Public Service Commission has temporarily prohibited utility shutoffs.
  • Salons, barbershops and gyms can resume operations as of May 11, in line with social distancing guidelines and sanitation protocols.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A May 11 executive order waives the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits for all claims filed between March 8 and December 26. It also increases the earning allowance from $40 to $200 until June 27. It suspends additional penalties and requirements for employers and workers.
  • Reeves announced that the temporary suspension on evictions for individuals financially impacted by the pandemic will lift at the end of May, allowing evictions to resume on June 1.
  • Reeves hosted a virtual graduation ceremony on May 16.
  • Casinos are able to reopen with restrictions as of May 21.
  • A May 15 executive order allows tattoo parlors to reopen with specific protocols before the stay-at-home order expires. It also allows restaurants that do not serve alcohol to offer in-house dining 24 hours a day.
  • Reeves issued guidance for houses of worship as they decide when and how to resume in-person gatherings. They are encouraged to continue offering services remotely.

North Carolina

  • Gov. Roy Cooper announced a statewide stay-at-home order directing North Carolina residents to leave only for "essential activities" and maintain social distancing of at least six feet, extended until May 8. Orders closing close-contact businesses and dine-in service at restaurants and bars were also extended through that date.
  • Cooper signed an executive order modifying the stay-at-home order and transitioning the state into Phase 1 of easing restrictions, effective 5:00 p.m. on May 8.
  • When North Carolina enters Phase 2 at 5:00 p.m. on May 22, the stay-at-home order will become a "Safer at Home" recommendation, especially for vulnerable populations. Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors in most circumstances. Certain businesses can open at limited capacity, and teleworking is encouraged. The Safer at Home Phase 2 is set to last through at least June 26.
  • In Phase 2, restaurants, personal care businesses and pools can open at 50% capacity and with distancing and cleaning requirements. Child care facilities, day camps and overnight camps can open with restrictions, and public health recommendations are available for worship services. Bars, nightclubs, gyms, indoor fitness facilities and indoor entertainment venues like bowling alleys and movie theaters remain closed.
  • The modified order stay-at-home order removed the distinction between essential and nonessential businesses. Retail businesses may operate at 50% capacity and must implement health and safety measures for workers and customers. Cloth face coverings are recommended for workers, and teleworking is encouraged whenever possible.
  • In Phase 1, restaurants were limited to drive-through, takeout and delivery service. Bars, personal care businesses, entertainment venues and gyms were closed.
  • Child care facilities can be open during Phase 1, subject to strict cleaning protocols, to serve families of parents who are working or looking for work. Summer day camps can operate in compliance with state guidelines.
  • 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 also 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.
  • Under phase one of the reopening plan, a modified stay-at-home order permitted people to leave home for commercial activity at any business that is allowed to be open. That includes clothing stores, sporting goods stores, book shops, housewares stores and other retailers.
  • During phase one, gatherings remained capped at 10 people and face coverings were recommended in public settings. Parks could reopen subject to gathering limitations. Restrictions on nursing homes and congregate care settings continued. Local emergency orders with more restrictive measures were allowed to remain in effect.
  • Cooper signed two COVID-19 relief bills into law on May 4. The package includes nearly $1.6 billion in relief measures for families, schools, hospitals, state governments and small businesses. Other provisions include extending drivers' license and registration expiration deadlines, modifying end-of-grade testing requirements for public schools and adjusting the 2020-2021 public school calendar to begin a week earlier than usual.
  • North Carolina's Task Force for Emergency Repurposing of Manufacturing is working with more than 300 companies statewide to produce personal protective equipment and other critical supplies for front-line workers. The state also secured a contract with Charlotte-based Honeywell for a monthly delivery of 100,000 N95 masks through August 2021.
  • A federal judge in North Carolina blocked Cooper's executive order enforcing restrictions on indoor religious gatherings, which restricted indoor occupancy while allowing worship services of more than 10 people to be held outdoors if socially-distanced. The governor's office issued a statement saying it disagreed with the decision but would not appeal, and urged houses of worship to follow public health guidance voluntarily.
  • The state is providing personal protective equipment to more than 3,800 long-term care facilities.

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 eventually applied to all counties in the state, and was extended through May 6.
  • The state entered its first of three phases of reopening on April 24. It began Phase 2 on May 15. Vulnerable populations must continue following safer-at-home guidelines.
  • The Safer at Home order limited gatherings to no more than 10 people, prohibited visitation to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and postponed 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 beginning April 24, and other minor medical and dental procedures may resume as of May 1.
  • Stitt has issued an executive order requiring travelers from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, California and Louisiana to quarantine for 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.
  • 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.
  • State health officials outlined their plan to increase testing and contact tracing throughout May. They aim to collect and process 90,000 specimens by the end of the month and grow their contact tracing team from 150 to 650 trained workers. The state is also partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma to expand COVID-19 testing access to under-served communities.
  • Individuals no longer need to exhibit symptoms in order to be eligible for COVID-19 testing.
  • As part of the state's major disaster declaration, federal funding is now available for crisis counseling and mental health initiatives designed to benefit individuals affected by the pandemic.
  • The state received a donation of 100,000 medical-grade face masks from Taiwan.
  • Stitt amended an executive order to allow the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry to assist livestock processing plants dealing with COVID-19-related disruptions.
  • In Phase 2, organized sports activities can resume with social distancing and sanitation protocols. Bars can operate with limited standing room occupancy. Funerals and weddings can resume under social distancing protocols, and children's nursery areas in places of worship can reopen.

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, now in effect from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., and the governor has extended it to at least May 25. The move does not affect business hours, which were established by executive order.
  • Vázquez announced on April 30 that the island would begin a "slow and gradual" economic reopening.
  • Beginning May 4, some smaller businesses are allowed to open if they practice social distancing and provide protective equipment to employees. Examples include professional services organizations like mortgage brokers, real estate agents, accountants, engineers and medical specialists.
  • Construction and manufacturing firms can begin operating as of May 11, provided they have submitted worker safety protocols to the Department of Labor. 
  • The governor said retail stores, restaurants, barber shops and beauty parlors may be able to reopen the week of May 18 if progress continues.
  • Beach, parks and recreation centers remain closed, but outdoor exercise is permitted.
  • 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 required South Carolinians to remain "at home or work unless visiting family, exercising or obtaining essential goods or services."
  • McMaster lifted the order on May 4. Restaurants are now able to resume outdoor customer dining services in line with sanitation and social distancing guidelines. As of May 11, restaurants can choose to reopen for limited dine-in services if they follow state guidelines, including capping indoor occupancy at 50%.
  • Close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms — including group exercise classes — and public or commercial pools can open in a limited capacity beginning May 18. The state has issued general guidelines for close contact service providers, as well as specific guidelines for cosmetology establishments, pools and fitness centers.
  • McMaster lifted restrictions on boating statewide, effective May 8.
  • 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.
  • 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. The accelerate.sc.gov website, a "one-stop-shop" for COVID-19 help and information, launched on May 5.
  • 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.
  • The governor lifted an order that previously required travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Louisiana to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • The governor lifted an order that had imposed travel and lodging restrictions for individuals entering the state from high-risk areas. Health officials are still urging anyone who is sick or showing COVID-19 symptoms to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • McMaster announced a phased-in return of state government workers to their offices beginning in early June.
  • On May 12, McMaster issued an order extending South Carolina's state of emergency for another 15 days.
  • McMaster signed a bill allowing every eligible voter in the state to request absentee ballots for the June 9 primaries and their runoffs.
  • Beginning May 22, attractions including zoos, museums, aquariums, planetariums, historic sites, water parks, amusement park rides, Go-Kart tracks, bingo facilities and miniature golf facilities can reopen.
  • Youth and adult sports leagues will be allowed to practice starting May 30, with competitive play allowed to resume on June 15.
  • Day camps can operate in line with health and safety guidelines.

Tennessee

  • Gov. Bill Lee issued a safer-at-home order restricting 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 is gradually lifting restrictions on certain businesses and activities in most of the state.
  • 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.
  • Lee extended Tennessee's state of emergency declaration to June 30.
  • On May 15, the state's Economic Recovery Group announced it would lift capacity restrictions on restaurants and retail in all but six counties to focus on social distancing best practices effective May 22 and facilitate the reopening of larger, non-contact attractions around that date. Restrictions on social gatherings of more than 10 people, and social distancing requirements, remain in place.
  • 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. The Mid-South region's alternate care site in Memphis was completed on May 18.
  • 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.
  • 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 as of May 1. Dental procedures can resume as of May 6.
  • 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. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities remain closed to most visitation.
  • On April 29, Lee announced an effort to test residents and staff at the state's more than 700 nursing homes and long-term care facilities. State officials are offering facilities test supplies, personal protective equipment and staff for the campaign, which they expect to take several weeks.
  • Close contact personal service businesses like barber shops and hair salons can reopen at 50% capacity and by appointment only, in most counties beginning May 6. Tennessee's Economic Recovery Group released guidelines for business processes and employee and consumer protections.
  • The state released guidance for faith communities on in-person gatherings. Decisions about when to resume in-person gatherings are left up to individual houses of worship, and faith communities are encouraged to continue conducting as many activities as possible remotely.
  • Individuals can pick up a free, washable face mask from their local county health department on any weekday. All locations also offer free COVID-19 testing every weekday, regardless of symptoms.
  • Small group, non-contact recreation businesses like bowling alleys, arcades, dance classes, water sports and mini golf can reopen in most counties as of May 8. State guidance for these establishments recommends capacity limits, spacing requirements and frequent sanitation.
  • An executive order allows public meetings to be held remotely until June 30.
  • The state issued guidance and protocols for essential industries including manufacturing, construction and lodging. It also released guidelines for office buildings as they prepare to reopen.
  • Tennessee's Statewide Crisis Line is available for 24/7 talk and text support.
  • Tennessee's Day of Service on May 16 included COVID-19 relief efforts, disaster relief efforts and virtual volunteer campaigns.
  • A May 12 executive order amends and continues many provisions of previous orders to "minimize regulatory burdens." It suspends select deadlines and requirements in order to enforce social distancing. Renewed provisions include expanded access to telehealth and unemployment benefits, supply chain and price gouging protections and increased opportunities to work remotely. The order also extends deadlines for motor vehicle registrations, driver's license renewals and hand gun permits.
  • Tennessee State Parks are closing public swimming pools at state parks for the 2020 summer season.
  • Many state park facilities reopened on May 1. Online reservations are available for overnight trips with arrival dates after May 15, and park-hosted events with 10 or more people can resume after that date.
  • Updated guidelines allow restaurants and retail in most counties to increase capacity as long as they maintain social distancing protocols. Bars remain closed, and live music is permissible with specific precautions.
  • The state issued guidelines for the reopening of non-contact attractions and large venues in most counties "on or after" May 22. Establishments include concert and performing arts venues, amusement and water parks, auditoriums, theaters, zoos, museums, roller skating rinks and sporting event venues.

Texas

  • Gov. Greg Abbot issued an executive order directing 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 began its first phase of reopening on May 1, allowing certain businesses and services to resume operations if they limit capacity and follow strict protocols. On May 18 the state began phase two, in which restaurants can increase occupancy to 50% and additional services and activities can open with restrictions. Certain counties experiencing surges in COVID-19 cases will delay phase two until May 29.
  • Abbott issued an executive order allowing additional businesses and activities, like personal care services, gyms and office buildings, to expand during the month of May.
  • 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.
  • While elective surgeries were restricted through May 8, licensed health care professionals could 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 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.
  • Texas Workforce Commission guidance states that Texans can continue to receive unemployment benefits throughout the COVID-19 response if they refuse to return to work for certain reasons.
  • Texas A&M, Texas Tech University and the University of Texas systems plan to reopen their campuses in the fall.
  • The Texas Education Agency released guidance for school districts on graduation ceremonies. They are recommending four options: completely virtual ceremonies, hybrid ceremonies, vehicle ceremonies and outdoor in-person ceremonies. In-person ceremonies will be permitted for certain counties between May 15 and May 31, and for all counties starting June 1.
  • The state received a $3 million emergency grant for aging and disability services.
  • Beginning May 8, personal care services like barber shops and nail salons can open if they ensure six feet of distance between operating work stations. Swimming pools may open, subject to specific limitations.
  • Beginning May 18, office buildings may reopen with occupancy limits and social distancing requirements. Gyms, exercise facilities and exercise classes may reopen at 25% occupancy. Locker rooms and shower facilities must remain closed. Nonessential manufacturing services can open at limited capacity.
  • The state received $5.8 million in federal funding to provide crisis counseling to Texas affected by the pandemic.
  • The Texas COVID Relief Fund will provide funding and resources to organizations working on the ground to support economic recovery in local communities.
  • On May 7, Abbott modified his COVID-19 executive orders to eliminate jail time as a punishment for violations. The change applies retroactively to April 2 and supersedes local orders.
  • Abbott partnered with the Texas Education Agency and Dallas Independent School District to launch Operation Connectivity. The initiative aims to deliver internet connectivity and device solutions to students, families and districts statewide.
  • Through the CARES Act, $5.06 billion in funding is available to local governments across the state.
  • On May 11, Abbott directed state health officials to develop and implement a plan to test 100% of residents and staff in Texas nursing homes. He later announced that local fire departments are partnering with local public health authorities to provide testing in nursing homes statewide, with associated costs eligible for federal reimbursement.
  • Abbott issued a proclamation ordering early voting for the July 14 runoff primary to begin on June 29. Early voting was previously set to begin on July 6.
  • Through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program, Texas will provide more than $1 billion in food benefits to households with children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Abbott extended the disaster declaration for all counties on May 12, providing the state with continued resources.
  • Abbott waived license renewal late fees accrued between March 13 and June 15 for licenses associated with certain professions, including barbers, electricians and speech-language pathologists.
  • The Texas National Guard is mobilizing Facilities Disinfection Teams to nursing homes across the state.
  • The Texas Health and Human Services Commission received more than $3 million in federal funding to provide shelter and services to survivors of family and domestic violence.
  • Additional activities and services may resume in phase two, in line with specific health and safety protocols. Beginning May 18, child care centers, youth clubs and massage and personal care centers can open. Beginning May 22, rodeo and equestrian events, bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks, aquariums and natural caverns can open. That same day, restaurants can increase their occupancy to 50% and bars can open at 25% indoor occupancy. Zoos can open beginning May 29.
  • Day youth camps, overnight camps, youth sports and certain professional sports without in-person spectators can open on May 31. Public schools have the option to offer in-person summer school in line with health protocols beginning June 1.
  • Abbott directed state agencies and institutions of higher education to make plans to reduce their budgets by five percent, with the exception of certain critical government functions.

Virginia

  • On March 30, Northam issued a statewide stay-at-home order, effective immediately, lasting until June 10. Phase 1 of the "Forward Virginia" plan began May 15 for much of the state, with residents in those areas encouraged rather than required to stay home.
  • Northam signed an executive order allowing specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay implementation of Phase 1 until midnight on May 28. He also granted delays to Accomack County and the City of Richmond.
  • Only essential businesses are permitted to operate under the stay-at-home order. Restaurants, bars and other dining services may only offer delivery and takeout. The shutdown order for nonessential businesses and the ban on gatherings larger than 10 people were extended until May 15.
  • On May 4, Northam announced a three-phase plan for easing restrictions on businesses and gatherings. Each phase is expected to last at least two to four weeks. The first phase transitions the stay-at-home order to a "safer at home" guideline and eases certain limits on businesses and faith communities.
  • 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. He took executive action to delay them to May 19. Virginians are encouraged to vote by mail.
  • 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 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.
  • The CDC is working with state health officials to increase safety and mitigation measures in poultry facilities on the Eastern Shore.
  • On May 8, Northam provided additional details about what restrictions will change in Phase 1. Social gatherings will still be capped at 10 people, those who are teleworking should continue to do so and face coverings will be recommended in public. Entertainment venues and summer camps will remain closed. Beaches will remain open only for fishing and exercising.
  • Also during Phase 1, places of worship can continue offering drive-in services and reopen at 50% indoor capacity. Nonessential retail can open at 50% capacity with masks required. Salons and barbershops can open by appointment only, strictly for services that can be done while the client and worker wear masks. Gyms can conduct outdoor classes with up to 10 people. Private campgrounds may reopen, and state parks currently accessible only for day use will be open overnight in phases. In addition to delivery and takeout service, restaurants can offer outdoor seating at 50% capacity if they have the requisite permit.
  • The state issued general and industry-specific guidance for Phase 1 of reopening.
  • The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is reopening nine offices for specific services by appointment only, beginning May 18.
  • Northam announced that public beaches in Virginia Beach can reopen with restrictions beginning May 22.
  • Northam announced the launch of StayHomeVirginia.com, a resource for individuals to navigate housing programs and services. He also signed one bill capping late fees, and one delaying rental evictions and mortgage foreclosures during emergencies.

West Virginia

  • Gov. Jim Justice first 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." A new "Safer at Home" order took 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. The governor's office clarified that the ban on public gatherings does not apply to businesses considered essential.
  • 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 waived the requirement for a fishing license to fish in state-regulated waters, and has since extended free fishing through May 31. 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.
  • Beginning 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.
  • Since the Week 2 phase began on May 4, 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.
  • Week 3 began on May 11. Wellness facilities and drive-in movie theaters are allowed to reopen in compliance with state guidelines.
  • The state is authorized to implement Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer assistance for families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • West Virginia State Park lodges, cabins, campgrounds, restrooms and other facilities are closed. New camping reservations are suspended through May 15. Day-use areas including hiking and biking trails and fishing lakes are open. State park cabins and lodges can reopen to in-state residents on May 26.
  • On May 6, Justice ordered testing for staff at all day cares and staff and residents at assisted living facilities and residential communities statewide, to begin immediately. Health officials announced the results of this testing on May 20.
  • Justice announced that the Hatfield McCoy Trail system will reopen, with limitations, on May 21.
  • Outdoor guided fishing and rock climbing trips can resume beginning May 15, with strict limitations.
  • Justice announced that fitness centers, gymnasiums and recreation centers can resume operations, in line with state guidance, beginning May 18. Low-contact sports training facilities, dance studios and recreational activities including cheerleading and martial arts can also resume limited operations on that date following state guidance.
  • Week 4 began on May 21, allowing the following entities to reopen in line with state guidance: indoor dining at restaurants, large/specialty retail stores, state park campgrounds for state residents only, outdoor recreation rentals, outdoor motorsport and powersport racing with no spectators and tanning businesses. Whitewater rafting and ziplining businesses can also reopen with limitations. Indoor shopping malls can also reopen in line with state guidance.
  • The executive order requiring out-of-state travelers to self-quarantine upon arrival was rescinded on May 21. The state has issued updated guidance for hotels, motels, condo hotels, rental properties and cabins.
  • Certain outdoor, low-contact youth sports, like baseball and softball, will tentatively be allowed to resume on June 8.
  • On May 14, Justice announced a strategy for increasing COVID-19 testing access for minorities and other vulnerable populations. The state will provide free testing to residents, regardless of symptoms and insurance status, in ten counties experiencing higher rates of transmission. The first round of free testing was completed on May 15 and 16.
  • West Virginia courts began the first step of a phased-in resumption of proceedings on May 18, in line with specific protocols that differ for hot spot counties.
  • Justice announced additional business and entities that will open during Week 5, which begins May 26. Museums, visitor centers and zoos can open, and indoor and outdoor bars can open at 50% capacity. Spas and massage businesses will be permitted to open on May 30. Limited video lottery retailers can open on May 30, and casinos statewide can open beginning June 5.
  • State parks will offer a 30% discount on lodging for all West Virginia residents from June 1 through August 31.

The first version of this page was originally published on March 12. This is a developing story. We will continue to update as new information becomes available.

NPR's Brakkton Booker, Merrit Kennedy, Vanessa Romo, Colin Dwyer, Laurel Wamsley, Aubri Juhasz and Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.


This is part of a series about coronavirus-related restrictions across the United States.

Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin

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

West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming