As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise nationwide, some states are halting phased reopening plans or imposing new coronavirus-related restrictions.
Several are putting limits on social gatherings, adding states to travel quarantine lists, mandating face masks and encouraging residents to stay home, as many did in the spring. Others are restricting business hours of operation and limiting restaurant capacity.
Thirty-eight states – plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – require people to wear face coverings in public statewide, according to a list maintained by AARP. Iowa, Utah, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Wyoming joined the list in recent weeks.
Is your state reimplementing COVID-19 restrictions? See the list below.
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Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Nov. 5 extended the state’s face mask order until Dec. 11.
“I’m willing to keep the mask order in place while acknowledging that sooner rather than later it will be up to each of us to do the right thing, regardless of a government mandate or not,” Ivey said.
The governor also announced two changes to occupancy rates and business social distancing rules beginning Nov. 8.
Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Nov. 15 that local communities in Alaska can enact travel restrictions. Some other travel requirements, some involving recommendations on testing, went into effect Nov. 16.
Dunleavy issued a statewide emergency alert Nov. 12 and implored Alaskans to take steps to slow the spread for the next three weeks, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
On Dec. 1, a modified stay-at-home order began in Anchorage and is scheduled to go until Jan. 1, 2021.
Alaska does not have a statewide mask order.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey on Dec. 2 unveiled a series of new mitigation measures. Saying Arizona’s numbers were “heading in the wrong direction,” he announced expanded health and safety requirements for public events approved by cities and counties. He relaxed regulations on restaurants to encourage a shift from indoor to outdoor dining. And he declared that businesses that repeatedly disregard safety guidelines would face closure.
But the strategies stopped short of what health leaders had asked for. The governor did not implement a statewide curfew or a shutdown or put a stop to athletic events – all measures recommended by public health researchers and medical providers within the past week. He also did not put in place a statewide mask mandate, which critics including Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman had called for.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Dec. 3 that he’s looking at requiring state approval for smaller indoor events.
Hutchinson issued new guidance for Arkansas churches Nov. 10 that said masks should be worn at all times except those exempted under existing Arkansas Department of Health guidelines.
Arkansas has had a statewide mask order since July.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Dec. 3 announced plans for a regional stay-at-home order based on hospital capacity. The new approach divides the state into five broad regions and closes businesses and curbs travel in those with intensive care unit bed capacity below 15%. Previous stay-at-home rules were based on infection rates. A day later, five San Francisco Bay Area counties said the new stay-at-home orders would take effect Dec. 6 and last for at least three weeks.
Meanwhile, a 10 p.m. curfew started Nov. 21 and will last for a month in California counties that are in the strictest level of the state’s pandemic restrictions. Nonessential work and gatherings must shut down from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the 41 counties in California’s purple tier, which includes 94% of the state’s nearly 40 million residents. The order will be in effect until Dec. 21 but could be extended.
Indoor restaurant dining and indoor church services remain prohibited in those counties. Los Angeles County, on its own, also ordered the closing Nov. 22 of outdoor restaurant dining for three weeks. A three-week stay-at-home order in the county took effect Nov. 30.
California has had a statewide mask order since June.
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Democratic Gov. Jared Polis announced Nov. 17 that that indoor dining at restaurants will be banned in counties that have the most severe risk when it comes to the coronavirus. Gyms were limited to 10% of capacity.
The state held a three-day special legislative session that ended Dec. 2 with lawmakers extending millions in relief to businesses in cities that adhere to the state regulations even if the cities are in a county that refuses to follow the regulations.
Colorado extended its face mask order Nov. 9 for 30 days. Polis urged Coloradans to buckle down in the coming few weeks by avoiding social interactions outside of their households, washing their hands and wearing a mask.
On Nov. 18, school officials announced that public schools in Denver were temporarily pausing in-person learning.
Polis extends mask mandate:Governor urges Coloradans to ‘buckle down’
Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont on Nov. 24 signed an executive order, effective Nov. 26 that increased the amount that businesses can be fined for violations of the state’s COVID-19 rules and capacity limits to $10,000.
Lamont rolled back Connecticut’s reopening plans on Nov. 6, meaning a 10 p.m. closing time for restaurants, entertainment venues like movie theaters or bowling alleys, and indoor and outdoor events. At restaurants, last service for in-person dining is 9:30 p.m., though they can stay open for takeout and delivery. Diners that operate 24 hours normally can reopen for indoor dining at 5 a.m.
Connecticut has had a statewide mask mandate since April.
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Starting Dec. 14, the state is advising Delawareans to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19 as the weather cools and more people gather indoors. Delaware will also require people who are indoors with anyone outside their immediate household to wear a mask.
This is in addition to the state’s current mask order, which requires everyone out in public to wear a mask. Delaware has had a face mask order since April.
Democratic Gov. John Carney is also recommending that schools pause in-person learning from Dec. 14 to Jan. 8, with plans to return to hybrid learning on Jan. 11. However, school districts that wish to remain in hybrid learning may do so.
The state has also banned winter sports competitions from Dec.14 to Jan. 11, but athletes can still practice under strict masking and social distancing guidelines.
Carney announced an earlier round of restrictions that went into effect Nov. 23. The restrictions limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and limit indoor dining at restaurants to no more than 30% capacity. The state is also restricting event venues, including weddings, places of worship, performances, political meetings and funerals.
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District of Columbia
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new set of restrictions on Nov. 23, limiting outdoor gatherings to 25 people and indoor gatherings to 10 people.
Restaurants will continue to be allowed to stay open until midnight, but alcohol sales must stop at 10 p.m. Houses of worship can continue at 50% capacity, but the maximum allowed inside will be reduced from 100 to 50.
Florida has not implemented any new restrictions. On Oct. 22, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis loosened restrictions on visits to nursing homes, saying higher risk of infection is outweighed by positive mental health benefits of increased social interaction.
Florida does not have a statewide mask mandate.
On Nov. 25, DeSantis extended a September executive order aimed at preventing business shutdowns during the pandemic. The order barred local emergency ordinances that could “prevent an individual from working or from operating a business.”
It also prevented local governments from requiring restaurants to operate below 50% indoor capacity and required local governments to quantify the economic impact and the public-health need for limits on indoor capacity below 100%. The order suspended the collection of penalties and fines for violations of such things as local mask ordinances, though it did not outright ban the ordinances.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp on Nov. 30 announced that he was extending the state’s existing coronavirus restrictions through Jan. 8.
Kemp extended existing social distancing and sanitization restrictions for businesses, gatherings and long-term elderly care facilities in mid-November. The order keeps in place a ban on gatherings larger than 50 people in Georgia and continues to make wearing a mask voluntary at the statewide level rather than mandatory. Cities and counties have been allowed to impose their own mask mandates since August so long as their local requirements do not apply to businesses and residences.
Democratic Gov. David Ige signed an emergency order on Nov. 16 to clarify the state’s mask mandate by creating identical requirements across all islands. While Hawaii has had a statewide mask order in place since April, the rules varied by county, leading to confusion, Hawaii News Now reported.
“All persons in the State shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in public” except children under the age of 5 and individuals with disabilities or a medical condition, according to the new order.
The new order also says businesses “shall” refuse service to people who refuse to wear a face covering. All hotel operators are now required to “adopt a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for each property.”
As of Nov. 24, anyone flying to Hawaii is required to have a negative COVID-19 test result prior to their departure for the state. Previously, passengers flying to the islands using a pre-travel testing program were permitted to arrive and then upload their negative test results to a state database, allowing them to skip two weeks of quarantine.
Republican Gov. Brad Little announced Nov. 13 that he was moving the state back to Stage 2 of its reopening plan, but he resisted any stricter measures, such as a mask mandate.
The big impact of the move is on private and public gatherings, which were limited to 10 people. Bars, nightclubs and some other businesses had to be closed in the original Stage 2, but that is not the case this time. They may remain open as long as they operate under coronavirus guidelines. At bars, for instance, there can be only table seating, just like in restaurants.
The gathering limits do not apply to religious or political events, according to the governor’s office. Little said his new executive order does not close any business.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced new statewide mitigation measures on Nov. 17. The new measures, effective Nov. 20, affect retail, gyms, hotels, bars, restaurants, manufacturing, offices and more.
Gyms can remain open if patrons wear masks and schedule appointments. Retail and personal care services can operate at no more than 25% capacity. Casinos, museums and theaters will be closed. Indoor recreation activities will pause, and outdoor activities will limited to 10 people or less, with participants wearing face coverings at all times.
“This is not a stay-at-home order, but the best way for us to avoid a stay-at-home order is to stay at home,” Pritzker said.
Illinois has had a statewide mask order since April.
On Nov. 17, Chicago Public Schools announced plans to welcome some students back into classrooms in January.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on Dec. 1 extended the public health emergency first declared in March through at least Dec. 31. That order has now been extended nine times.
On Nov. 11, Holcomb moved the state out of its Stage 5 of reopening after seven weeks of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soaring beyond the spring rates. Holcomb placed limits on social gatherings and school events for most of the state, and he also made available $20 million to local officials to help ensure businesses adhere to the state’s mask and social distancing requirements.
“Unfortunately, too many of us and around the country have let our guards down,” Holcomb said. “Stage 5 was being lost on people or it was being misinterpreted. … Stage 5 to many was translated to or received as, ‘We’re past it, we’re at the final stage, there’s nothing more we need to do.'”
Indiana has had a statewide mask order since July.
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced an order Nov. 16 that requires everyone age 2 and older to wear a face covering when in any indoor public area if they will be within 6 feet of people who are not members of their household for 15 minutes or longer.
The order excludes eating at a table in a restaurant or bar or attending a religious service. Mask requirements do not apply to in-classroom education, Reynolds’ staff clarified after she delivered a live, televised address about the new rules.
On Nov. 24, Reynolds said she will continue to monitor changes in the data and work to target her mitigation efforts to the places she feels they will have the most impact.
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Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly ordered Nov. 18 that everyone wear face coverings when inside public spaces, or in situations where physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
The order came after she said Nov. 10 she was not yet considering any sort of statewide mitigation efforts, instead choosing to work with local governments and Republican legislators.
Kansas has had a statewide mask order since July.
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear on Nov. 18 announced multiple new restrictions. Starting Nov. 23, all public and private K-12 schools must stop in-person learning for the rest of the semester. Elementary schools in counties outside of the state’s red zone will be allowed to reopen Dec. 7 if the school follows all guidelines.
From Nov. 20-Dec. 13, restaurants and bars must close indoor dining. Outdoor dining will be allowed with some limitations. Indoor gatherings will be limited to two families with no more than eight people. Gyms are limited to 33% capacity and weddings and funerals are limited to 25 people.
Kentucky has had a statewide mask mandate since July and, in early November, Beshear extended the order through Dec. 4.
The state Supreme Court on Nov. 12 upheld Beshear’s authority to issue executive orders in an emergency following a challenge to those he has issued since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Kentucky.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards announced more COVID-19 restrictions on Nov. 24 as infections spike for the third time in the state, reducing capacity at most businesses and restaurants to 50% with even more limitations for bars.
Gathering limits will be rolled back to 25% with a cap of 75 people for indoor events and 150 for outdoor events. But Louisiana won’t close schools or suspend fan attendance at high school, college or pro sports and will keep the current 75% occupancy limit for churches and other places of worship.
The new order will go into effect Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.
More on this:Gov. Edwards Extends Phase 3 until December 4
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills issued an order Nov. 19 requiring all outdoor and indoor amusement venues, movie theaters, performing arts venues, casinos, and businesses that provide seated food and drink service to close by 9 p.m.
“As we enter the colder months and a holiday season when we customarily gather with friends and family, we are also entering a new and dangerous phase of the pandemic,” Mills said in a statement. “This targeted and temporary step will reduce extended gatherings while keeping the businesses open. Other steps may be necessary in the coming weeks if we do not get this virus under control.”
Mills also issued an executive order Nov. 5 requiring people to wear a face covering regardless of whether they can physically distance from others as. The order strengthened a previously issued mask mandate that required face masks only if physically distancing was difficult to maintain.
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Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced Nov. 23 that state police would launch a COVID-19 enforcement initiative with an added presence in several Maryland cities to halt large gatherings that violate the state’s health restrictions.
Hogan also set new restrictions Nov. 20 aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, including ordering restaurants and bars to close by 10 p.m. and limiting capacity at retail businesses, religious institutions and other venues to 50%.
The state has had a mask mandate since April.
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Republican Gov. Charlie Baker instituted a partial stay-at-home order effective Nov. 6. The revised order seeks to restrict late-night congregating, telling residents to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. ET. But it allows trips to work, running “critical errands,” such as going for groceries or for health reasons, and allows people to take walks.
Restaurants, liquor stores, gyms, hair salons, theaters and some other recreational businesses and attractions must close from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. as well. Restaurants, however, may be allowed to stay later for takeout food. Private gatherings at people’s homes, limited to 10 people inside and 25 outdoors, must end by 9:30 p.m.
Massachusetts is also planning to open a field hospital in Worcester to prepare for a possible overflow of COVID-19 patients as the disease continues to surge again in the state.
All residents also must wear face masks even when they can maintain 6 feet of distance from others under the order. The state has had a mask mandate since May.
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Nov. 16 that in-person classes at high schools and colleges statewide will be suspended for three weeks starting Nov. 18, along with eat-in dining at restaurants and bars.
The new public health order includes the cancellation of organized sports and group exercise classes, though gyms may remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures, and professional and college athletics may continue. Casinos and movie theaters will be closed temporarily and gatherings inside homes will be limited to two households
Whitmer also said she has the authority to issue a new stay-at-home order if one is needed.
Democratic Gov. Tim Walz announced Nov. 18 that in-person social gatherings with people outside your household are prohibited, and bars and restaurants will only be allowed to do take-out and delivery service.
Gyms, fitness centers, entertainment and event spaces will close, and adult and youth sports will be paused. But retail businesses, salons and places of worship may continue to operate with proper precautions in place.
Adult and youth sports are paused, according to the order. Organizations and programs must stop all in-person activities — including practices, group workouts, games and tournaments, including outdoor sports like football and soccer.
The restrictions took effected Nov. 20 and go until Dec. 18.
Minnesota has had a statewide mask order since July.
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Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced a new executive order Dec. 1 that put 54 of the state’s 82 counties under stringent COVID-19 requirements, including mask mandates and a 10-person limit on indoor gatherings when social distancing isn’t possible and a 50-person limit at outdoor events.
A statewide mask mandate was in place from early August until the end of September.
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Republican Gov. Mike Parson said Nov. 12 that individuals who properly wear masks in the school setting may not have to quarantine if they are in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This is a major change aimed at keeping exposed, but otherwise healthy, students and teachers in the classrooms.
“We know that COVID-19 is not going away soon, so it is important that we continue to evaluate the guidance we’re issuing at the state level to make sure our procedures are sustainable for the next several months,” he said.
The state does not have a mask mandate, and Parson reiterated on Nov. 12 that he does not support one.
In an effort to “turn things around over the next few months,” Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock on Nov. 17 ordered bars, restaurants and casinos to close at 10 p.m. and announced a round of directives to limit indoor crowd sizes and public gatherings.
The new measures go into effect at 5 a.m. Nov. 20. They require restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos to operate at 50% of capacity, with tables limited to six people and with 6 feet of physical distance between groups. Public gatherings and events must be limited to 25 people where it is not possible to practice social distancing or where social distancing is not being practiced.
“The situation is serious in Montana, and it is serious across the nation,” Bullock said.
Republican Gov.-elect Greg Gianforte on Nov. 10 announced a 21-member COVID-19 Task Force, which he said would be “indispensable” in helping him create a plan for the Treasure State to deal with the pandemic.
Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts warned Nov. 20 that Nebraska was approaching renewed COVID-19 restrictions, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. If the state hits a threshold of 1,170 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, he said he will impose the restrictions. They would limit indoor gatherings in 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 20 people.
Ricketts announced new health measures Nov. 11. The measures require people to maintain 6 feet of separation “in all instances” in various public spaces, requires masks for staff and patrons at indoor businesses, limits fan attendance for all indoor youth extracurricular activities to household members of participants only,and temporarily halts elective surgeries that can wait four weeks or longer without substantially changing a patient’s outcome.
Nebraska does not have a statewide mask mandate.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 13, announced a “statewide pause” with new restrictions on Nov. 22. The new restrictions will go into effect on Nov. 24 and last three weeks.
Sisolak strengthened Nevada’s mask mandate by requiring people to wear a face covering during private gatherings indoors and outdoors, and when around people who are not part of the immediate household. Restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness and dance studios, casinos, public gatherings, museums, zoos, churches, libraries and other businesses are limited to a 25% capacity.
There were no restrictions announced for in-person learning at schools.
The first-term Democrat has practically begged residents to follow Nevada’s mask-wearing and social distancing orders during recent virus-related press events. Nevada has had a statewide mask order since June.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on Nov. 19 announced a statewide face mask order, requiring people over five years old to wear a mask in public spaces — indoors or outdoors — if they can’t maintain social distancing. The order was effective Nov. 20.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy on Nov. 30 lowered the threshold for the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings from 150 to 25, as of Dec. 7. All indoor youth and adult sports – with exceptions for collegiate and professional teams – will be paused Dec. 5 through Jan. 2, Murphy said.
Murphy said Nov. 16 that indoor gatherings would be limited to 10 people. Towns and counties have the discretion to close bars, restaurants and other businesses by 8 p.m. under an executive order.-
In Newark, a 10-day stay-at-home advisory took effect Nov. 25.
New Jersey has had a statewide mask order since July.
A “Red to Green” system took effect on Dec. 2, allowing New Mexico counties with lower test positivity and per-capita infections to operate under fewer restrictions. The same criteria have already been in use for decisions about reopening public schools and nursing home visits.
Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Nov. 13 announced a two-week “reset” of heightened public health restrictions from late March and early April. Citizens were ordered to shelter in place, leaving home only for essential trips for health, safety and welfare. All nonessential businesses and nonprofits were to cease in-person activities, per the order. Essential businesses were to operate under reduced operations and occupancy to the “greatest possible extent.”
New Mexico has had a statewide mask order since May.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reversed himself by announcing Nov. 29 that in-person learning would resume at public schools, and the weekly number of days when many children would attend class would even increase. Elementary and pre-kindergarten students will be the first ones to return to schools, some as early as Dec. 7.
On Nov. 18, de Blasio had said the nation’s largest public school system would temporarily halt in-person learning again. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Nov. 26 said New York is hoping to expand COVID-19 testing in schools to keep open in-person kindergarten through eighth-grade classes through the winter.
Cuomo, a Democrat, announced Nov. 11 that bars and restaurants with a liquor license would have to close by 10 p.m. and indoor gatherings at private homes would be limited to no more than 10 people under new statewide rules. Gyms also have to close by 10 p.m.
The restrictions, which took effect Nov. 13, came in response to increasing COVID-19 numbers in the state and growing concerns about a second wave of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
The limit on social activities at home, down from the current 50, is sure to draw some backlash, but Cuomo, a Democrat, said on Twitter, “We know indoor gatherings and parties are a major source of COVID spread.”
New York has had a statewide mask order since April.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Nov. 23 unveiled a new executive order strengthening the state’s existing mask mandate and adding provisions for law enforcement to cite people who aren’t wearing face coverings as the order requires as well as businesses or organizations failing to enforce the requirement.
On Nov. 17, Cooper said that 10 “critical” counties, mainly in rural areas, and 44 others with “substantial” spread are being asked to consider cutting off alcohol sales earlier than the current 11 p.m. deadline statewide. And churches in those counties are advised not to hold any indoor in-person gatherings of more than 10 people.
Cooper on Nov. 10 announced the state would remain paused in Phase 3 of its reopening plan for at least three more weeks. He also announced the limit on indoor gatherings will be lowered from 25 to 10 people.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum on Nov. 13 mandated the wearing of masks in businesses and indoor spaces in their states, following increased pressure from doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.
The directive goes into effect Nov. 14 and will last until Dec. 13. Burgum said in a statement that doctors and nurses “need our help, and they need it now.” Burgum also directed all bars and restaurants to limit capacity to 50%, and closed all in-person service between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Large-scale venues are limited to 25% capacity.
Meanwhile, Burgum recently supported a move to allow health care workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus but don’t have symptoms to remain on the job, in an effort to ease stress both on hospitals and medical personnel. Burgum says hospital administrators asked for the action and interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke amended an order to allow it to take effect.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine announced a three-week, overnight stay-at-home order for Ohioans starting Nov. 19. The order, aimed at getting people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, comes as COVID-19 infections as daily cases have tripled in the last three weeks.
DeWine also said most retail businesses will be closed during those hours. “Basically, we want people home by 10 o’clock,” DeWine said, adding people who have to work late nights and early mornings are permitted to do so.
Ohio has had a mask mandate since July.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt on Nov. 16 announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants and a requirement that all state employees must wear masks while at work. The restrictions mark the first the governor has implemented as Oklahoma has seen an explosion of new COVID-19 cases and hospitals filling up with with COVID-19 patients.
Effective Nov. 19, bars and restaurants must adhere to a nightly 11 p.m. curfew, except for to-go and drive-thru orders. Bars and restaurants will be required to close by 11 p.m., with no in-person food or alcohol served afterwards.
Stitt, who was the first governor in the nation to test positive for the coronavirus in July, is frequently seen in public without a mask. Oklahoma does not have a statewide mask order.
Democratic Gov. Kate Brown announced new guidelines on Nov. 25 – less than two weeks after announcing a two-week “freeze” for the state that started Nov. 18. The new orders went into effect Dec. 3.
Twenty-one Oregon counties continue to be under strict restrictions. For all counties, the state is introducing a data-driven framework that will set four levels of restrictions depending on a county’s risk for the disease.
In the extreme-risk counties, restaurants and bars will be able to reopen for outdoor dining, although the state is still encouraging takeout instead. Capacity limits in stores and malls are capped at 50%, down from 75%. Church activities are limited to 25% of capacity or 100 people, whichever is smaller.
Oregon has had a statewide mask order since July.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Nov. 23 issued a stay-at-home health advisory advising residents to only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs, like seeking medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up food or exercising. The advisory will remain in place through Jan. 4, unless an additional advisory is issued.
That same day, Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine tightened restrictions on the number of people who can gather indoors and outdoors.
The state also plans to enforce some its rules, including mask wearing and travel restrictions, with fines.
Earlier this month, Levine issued an order that requires anyone who enters Pennsylvania to be tested within 72 hours of arriving. If someone cannot or does not get a negative test, they must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The order took effect Nov. 20, and the only exception to that rule will be those who commute to neighboring states for work or health care.
Pennsylvania’s universal masking order has also been updated to requiring mask-wearing indoors, as well as outdoors if physical distance is not able to be kept. The state also has a 25% indoor occupancy limit for restaurants.
A “Rhode Island on Pause” initiative began Nov. 30 and lasts through at least Dec. 13. Under the restrictions, bars, casinos, gyms and more are to be closed. Indoor dining will be reduced to 33% capacity, with one household allowed per table, and houses of worship will be reduced to 25% capacity.
Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered Nov. 19 that indoor gatherings be limited to single families. Outdoor events can be attended by no more than 75 persons.
Rhode Island has had a statewide mask order since May.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster’s office said Nov. 7 it has no plans to enact any new statewide restrictions.
South Carolina does not have a statewide mask mandate.
Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has repeatedly said she won’t issue a statewide mask requirement and has voiced doubts about health experts who say face coverings prevent infections from spreading.
On Nov. 13, Noem’s office said she has no intention of using state resources to enforce any federal COVID-19 orders on masks that might come from a Biden administration and that she doesn’t have the power to enact one statewide.
Tennessee does not have a statewide mask mandate, but some local officials voted on Nov. 10 to support pushing Republican Gov. Bill Lee to implement a mandate.
On Nov. 18, Lee reiterated his opposition to a statewide mask mandate or simple restrictions for bars, stores or other businesses. Lee recommends county mayors enact mask mandates.
Texas does not have any new statewide restrictions.
Seven hospital regions in the state have hit the hospitalization threshold that triggers tighter limits set by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. In those areas, restaurants and private businesses have been required to reduce capacity from 75% to 50%, and any bars that were allowed to open under previous guidance from Abbott were required to close.
In mid-September, Abbott relaxed capacity limits for businesses in much of the state, including restaurants, retail stores and gyms, citing declining hospitalizations.
Texas, the first state to top 1 million cases of COVID-19, has had a face mask order since July.
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert on Nov. 23 lifted restrictions on social gatherings despite continued high rates of COVID-19 transmission and hospitalizations. He also said that all participants in high school extracurricular activities must be tested every other week.
Additionally, businesses can allow quarantined employees to return to work earlier than was previously allowed. For instance, if an employee is exposed to COVID-19 but tests negative on day seven of their quarantine, they can return to work at the business owner’s discretion.
After weeks of surging coronavirus cases and deaths, Herbert introduced a new tiered “Transmission Index” that will be used to place each county into one of three levels of alert — high, moderate and low. Based on the index, which calculates each county’s level of transmission using metrics like cases per capita, transmission rates and hospital capacity, each county will need to follow new requirements regarding masks, social distancing, and rules for going out in public.
Herbert declared a state of emergency and issued a statewide mask mandate Nov. 8. Local government officials and hospital leaders who had been calling on Herbert to impose a statewide mask order lauded his decision, but some sheriffs have said they refuse to enforce it.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced Nov. 10 that all travelers going in or out of Vermont for nonessential reasons are required to quarantine. The state has also revised its guidance for recreational sports and college athletics, and it has issued some of the most stringent restrictions to ski resorts.
On Nov. 13, Scott announced new restrictions on social gatherings, with early closing for bars and a ban on multiple household gatherings. The restrictions take effect at 10 p.m. on Nov. 14, when bars and social clubs will be closed to in-person service but may offer take-out. Restaurants must close to in-person service by 10 p.m. each night. The state is requiring restaurants, gyms, museums, and other establishments to keep a daily log of visitors.
In Burlington, the city council unanimously voted Monday to extend its gathering size limits until the first week of March.
Vermont has had a statewide mask mandate since August.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on Nov. 13 said in a news release that the state’s cap on gatherings will be reduced from 250 to 25, the state’s mask requirement will be applied to younger children, and alcohol sales will be prohibited at dining establishments, breweries and wineries after 10 p.m. Those and other new restrictions took effect at midnight Nov. 15.
The gathering ban will apply to events such as weddings, but won’t impact schools or restaurants. Restaurants were already subject to capacity limits due to rules requiring that patrons remain socially distanced.
Virginia has had a statewide mask mandate since May.
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Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee on Nov. 15 announced new restrictions on businesses and social gatherings for the next four weeks as the state continues to combat a rising number of coronavirus cases.
Starting Nov. 17, a host of businesses must close their indoor services, including fitness facilities and gyms, bowling centers, movie theaters, museums, zoos and aquariums. Retail stores — including grocery stores — must limit their indoor capacity to 25%. Indoor social gatherings with people from more than one household are also prohibited unless attendees have either quarantined for 14 days before the gathering or tested negative for COVID-19 and have quarantined for seven days.
Starting Nov. 18, restaurants and bars will be limited to to-go service and outdoor dining with tables seating no more than five people.
Washington has had a statewide mask mandate since June.
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Gov. Jim Justice on Nov. 13 ordered the wearing of masks at all times in businesses and other indoor spaces starting at midnight. Justice’s first indoor mask order in July did not require masks if social distancing was possible. The new order requires masks at all times except when eating or drinking.
The Republican governor said businesses will need to post signs notifying entrants of the mask requirement under his executive order. Justice urged businesses that encounter patrons not wearing a mask to call the police.
“It’s just silly to be in a public building with strangers walking around without a mask on,” Justice said at a press conference Friday. “Even if you have this macho belief or whatever it may be, it’s silly.”
Justice said public and private schools must use remote instruction from Thanksgiving through Dec. 3. All winter high school sports are postponed until Jan. 11.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Nov. 10 delivered a statewide address and issued an executive order to make his case to the public: please stay home. It was the first time the governor has used a prime-time platform to ask the public to begin to take the pandemic seriously, nine months into the outbreak.
“Wisconsin, this is serious. This crisis is urgent,” Evers said in a speech from the state Capitol. “It’s not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others over — it’s just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while yet.”
Evers’ order recommends Wisconsin residents to stay home as much as possible and to limit gatherings to households only. It also asks business owners to require masks in the workplace and allow employees to work from home. The order suggests restrictions required in Evers’ stay-at-home order that was struck down earlier this year.
Wisconsin has had a statewide mask mandate since August.
Republican Gov. Mark Gordon on Dec.7 announced that the state will require people to wear masks in indoor public spaces starting Dec. 9.
Previously, Gordon had left decisions on mask mandates to county governments and 16 of the state’s 23 counties had local orders.
“These new orders are meant to support local leadership and we should all know that in Wyoming these mandates are not about citations, but about caring for others,” Gordon said.
Also announced: indoor and outdoor gatherings without distancing will be limited to 10or fewer, and bars, restaurants and cafes will be prohibited from serving in house between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz, Lindsay Schnell and Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY; The Associated Press; USA TODAY Network