Northeast: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions And Reopenings Get the latest on coronavirus-related restrictions in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
NPR logo Northeast: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

Northeast: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

People walk along a boardwalk at a mostly empty beach in Belmar, N.J. As of May 22, state beaches can open with social distancing measures in place. John Minchillo/AP hide caption

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John Minchillo/AP

People walk along a boardwalk at a mostly empty beach in Belmar, N.J. As of May 22, state beaches can open with social distancing measures in place.

John Minchillo/AP

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

Jump to a State: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, other states


Connecticut

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Ned Lamont signed an executive order directing Connecticut residents to "Stay Safe, Stay at Home" beginning March 23. Lamont extended the stay-at-home order until May 20 and outlined a phased-in approach to reopening beginning on that date.
  • Anyone entering the state "by any mode of transportation for any reason" is urged to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • An executive order requires the use of cloth face coverings in public "wherever close contact is unavoidable," including while using public transit and ride-sharing services, beginning April 20.

Reopening

  • 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.
  • On May 7, Lamont announced the state must meet seven criteria in order to enter the first phase of reopening. On May 9, Lamont released specific rules that businesses eligible to reopen under Phase 1 must follow. He stressed that individual business owners can choose whether to open.
  • In Phase 1, restaurants can reopen outdoor seating only, at limited capacity and with social distancing measures in place. Offices can open at limited capacity, though working from home remains encouraged whenever possible. Retail stores and malls can allow some walk-ins, with safety parameters in place. Museums and zoos can open outdoor exhibits at up to 50% capacity. Businesses eligible to open in Phase 1 must self-certify that they will comply with state rules and regulations.
  • On May 20, the state entered Phase 1 of reopening, which allows certain sectors of the economy to reopen, including retail and malls, outdoor dining, offices and outdoor recreation businesses. An executive order extends the prohibition on large gatherings and restrictions on indoor fitness and movie theaters to June 20. Social and recreational gatherings are limited to a maximum of five people, and religious gatherings are capped at 50.
  • An April 7 executive order implements an additional set of protective measures, called "Safe Workplace Rules," for essential businesses.
  • Lamont issued an executive order allowing restaurants, wineries, breweries and bars to deliver directly to homes. State statutes have been modified to suspend the delivery signature requirement.
  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut announced that marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in their states can operate for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols are upheld.
  • The education committee on the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group released a report recommending the phased reopening of higher education campuses, depending on health conditions and at the discretion of each institution.
  • A May 12 executive order helps expedite various approval processes so that restaurants can expand their outdoor dining areas. It also allows retail stores to get fast-tracked permission to sell goods in certain outdoor spaces, including on sidewalks.
  • Retailers can resume bottling redemption activities on a limited basis on May 20, and resume full operations by June 3.
  • The state released guidance for dentist offices considering resuming elective services after May 20.
  • State parks with beaches along the Connecticut shoreline opened with capacity limitations on May 22, as part of a regional agreement.
  • The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection released an operations plan for state park grounds, trails, beaches and boat launches heading into the summer season. State campgrounds, cabins, youth sites and river camping sites are closed until at least June 11.
  • The Connecticut Judicial Branch announced plans to resume limited operations in three courthouses, beyond the ten that never closed, on June 8.
  • Summer camps will be able to open on June 29, in compliance with forthcoming state guidance.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • In-person classes at K-12 schools will remain canceled for the rest of the academic year, Lamont announced on May 5. Schools must continue providing meals to children under lunch and breakfast programs for consumption at home.
  • The State of Connecticut Judicial Branch announced on April 3 that beginning April 14, all courthouses will be closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays "until further notice."
  • State Supreme and Appellate courts will hear arguments remotely in April and May.
  • The state's 2020 presidential primary election has been rescheduled a second time, to August 11.
  • An executive order modifies the petitioning process for the August primary, including reducing the number of signatures required and extending the deadline for submission.
  • Beaches at inland state parks remain closed, and swimming is prohibited.
  • Lamont announced that hair salons and barber shops will open in early June rather than in Phase 1, in alignment with Rhode Island.
  • An executive order prohibits day camps from beginning seasonal operations until June 22, and requires them to comply with enhanced health procedures. Resident camps may not operate for the duration of the public health emergency. Summer school programs may not begin until July 6.

Testing and tracing

  • Lamont is encouraging Connecticut residents to self-report their daily symptoms through the "How We Feel" app to anonymously provide critical public health information to the medical community.
  • An initiative between Hartford HealthCare and Quest Diagnostics, announced April 21, will increase the state's testing capacity from 500 to 2,500 COVID-19 tests per day.
  • The governors of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are developing a regional contact tracing strategy in partnership with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • Lamont's administration increased access to COVID-19 testing by suspending two regulations: patients no longer need a referral from a medical provider, and pharmacists can now order and administer tests.

Relief and resources

  • Lamont says the state's small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the virus may apply for "one-year, no-interest loans of up to $75,000."
  • Lamont issued an executive order on April 7 permitting recent graduates of medical school and "other medical profession graduates" who are not yet licensed to begin practicing. It also permits practice before licensure for mental health counselor associates and marital and family therapy associates.
  • An April 10 executive order issues protections for residential renters impacted by the pandemic for the duration of the public health emergency.
  • The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services is extending the filing and payment deadlines for certain tax returns until July 15.
  • The Connecticut Insurance Department said all fully-insured health plan members can now receive COVID-19 testing and treatment with no out-of-pocket costs.
  • Lamont is expanding Medicaid payments to nursing homes across the state by 15 percent, constituting $65 million to be used for coronavirus-related costs. The state Department of Public Health will make on-site visits to all 215 facilities to conduct infection control surveys.
  • 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.
  • The state received a $2 million federal grant to support mental health services, which it will use to launch the Connecticut COVID-19 Behavioral Health Response and Assistance initiative.
  • Lamont and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association are distributing free face coverings to eligible, designated small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.
  • Connecticut is authorized to provide $72.3 million in SNAP benefits to children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, as part of the new Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program.
  • The Connecticut Office of Early Childhood launched the CTCARES for Frontline Workers Program, which expands access to child care for eligible front-line workers by paying subsidies directly to care providers.
  • The Connecticut Judicial Branch announced that parties who have an agreement may have their family court cases resolved remotely.
  • 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.
  • Additional SNAP benefits will go to nearly 100,000 eligible households in May.
  • The state will provide $95.5 million in SNAP benefits to families of children eligible for free and reduced-price school meals through the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program.
  • Lamont announced that residents who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 can receive free assistance managing their student loans through Summer, a resource for borrowers.
  • While visitation to nursing homes is prohibited, an order implements standards to ensure residents can speak with their families through window visits or virtual conferencing.
  • The state is expanding its volunteer recruitment efforts to fulfill needs at certain nonprofit organizations. As of May 10, more than 5,000 medical volunteers and 1,600 non-medical volunteers had provided assistance.
  • Lamont announced on May 12 that the state had received its single largest shipment of personal protective equipment to date from China. The supply will be distributed to front-line workers, and includes 6 million surgical masks, 500,000 protective masks, 100,000 surgical gowns and 100,000 temporal thermometers.
  • Lamont signed an executive order that, among other provisions, extends the suspension of the fee on single-use plastic bags through June 30.
  • The state is receiving $111 million in federal relief aid to help school districts provide continued learning and address coronavirus-related disruptions. The state Department of Education will allocate funding based on need.
  • The state is distributing 50,000 infrared thermometers to small businesses, nonprofits and places of worship.
  • An executive order allows all registered voters to vote absentee in the August 11 primary. The secretary of the state said she intends to mail every registered voter an absentee ballot application.
  • The state is working to implement SNAP online food purchasing at participating retailers, tentatively set to begin June 2.
  • The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles is extending expiration dates by 180 days for licenses, permits, registrations, identification cards and other credentials with original expiration dates between March 10 and June 30.
  • The Connecticut Superior Court ordered a stay of all issued executions on evictions and ejectments through July 1.

Maine

Status of Stay-at-Home order

Reopening

  • On April 23, Mills outlined a vision for the gradual reopening of Maine's economy based on four principles: protecting public health, maintaining health care readiness, expanding reliable testing and prioritizing public-private collaboration.
  • On April 28, Mills introduced a modified stay-at-home order effective through May 31 and introduced a plan to gradually lift certain restrictions. The plan establishes four stages, starting with resuming low-risk business operations. It's designed to progress on a month-by-month basis depending on the success of each step. The first stage started May 1.
  • As of May 1, some business and quality of life activities can resume with specific limits and safety precautions in place. They include: personal care services, drive-in religious services, drive-in movie theaters, auto dealerships and car washes, and most state parks and historic sites. Guided outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, as well as restricted use of golf and disc golf courses, are permitted. Retail stores can offer curbside pickup.
  • Also starting May 1, state-licensed health care providers can resume operations if they implement certain protocols and maintain capacity for potential outbreaks.
  • As of May 1, gatherings larger than 10 people remain prohibited and anyone entering the state must self-quarantine for 14 days. People who can work from home must continue to do so.
  • Spring regular turkey hunting season opened early on May 2. Hunters do not have to register their harvested birds.
  • Mills announced a rural reopening plan for the resumption of certain services and activities in 12 counties where community transmission is not believed to be present. Retail stores can reopen as of May 11, with added health and safety precautions. Restaurants there can reopen beginning May 18 with additional precautions. Also on that day, remote campsites and sporting camps in these counties can reopen with public health safeguards, only to Maine residents or those who have completed a 14-day quarantine.
  • The state has released general and industry-specific guidelines for the first phase of reopening, as well as the rural reopening plan.
  • Statewide as of May 11, fitness and exercise gyms can reopen for outdoor classes capped at 10 people and one-on-one personal training indoors.
  • Effective May 14, Maine lodging providers can begin accepting reservations for stays with an arrival date of June 1 or later for Maine residents and non-residents who comply with the state's two week self-quarantine mandate. Lodging establishments must "be prepared" to cancel and fully refund reservations if they cannot open under Stage 2.
  • Campgrounds and RV parks are open to Maine residents only as of May 22.
  • The state will move into Stage 2 of reopening on June 1. Counties that have not already reopened retail businesses to indoor shopping can do so voluntarily with strict precautions. Another county can join the 12 rural counties that allow restaurants to open for outdoor and indoor dining, and three counties can reopen restaurants for outdoor dining only.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • The governor and commissioner of education recommended that public and private schools continue remote learning for the duration of the academic year.
  • Mills issued an executive order mandating that all travelers entering Maine, regardless of their state of residency, self-quarantine for 14 days. It exempts individuals who are providing "essential services." It also suspended lodging operations such as hotels and short-term rentals until June 1.
  • Maine's primary election has been rescheduled to July 14. Applications for absentee ballots can be made, without specifying a reason, up to and including the day of the election.
  • Mills instructed all state government departments to freeze non-emergency spending and hiring and prohibited state employees from traveling outside of Maine on government business.
  • The Mills Administration said it does not anticipate accepting cruise or commercial passenger ships with more than 50 people this summer, excluding passenger ferries working between Maine ports.
  • Mills announced that the reopening of gyms, fitness centers and nail salons, initially set for June 1, will be delayed.
  • Mills is postponing the full reopening of dine-in restaurant services in three counties that were tentatively scheduled to do so on June 1. They can expand to outdoor dining only, in addition to existing delivery and takeout.

Testing and tracing

  • Through a partnership with Maine-based IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Mills' administration is purchasing enough COVID-19 testing kits to "more than triple" the state's testing capacity. Mills said the state is purchasing enough test kits to run at least 5,000 tests per week "for the foreseeable future."
  • As of May 18, Maine has eliminated its testing prioritization system and is allowing health care providers to seek testing for anyone suspected of having COVID-19, including individuals showing symptoms or those who have had close contact with a confirmed case.
  • Mills announced that the state is expanding its contact tracing efforts by enlisting more staff and volunteers, deploying new technology and expanding social supports for individuals self-quarantining because of exposure.

Relief and resources

  • The state legislature approved Gov. Mills' emergency package worth roughly $11 million that expands eligibility for unemployment benefits and prohibits utilities from terminating residential electric and water service.
  • Mills issued an executive order on April 7 that expands access to health care by allowing licensed social workers, psychologists and physical therapists to provide services via telehealth. It also allows certain health care providers like respiratory therapists and pharmacists to receive temporary licenses to provide care if licensed in another state, or reactivate their Maine license if retired within the last three years.
  • Preparation is underway to open two alternative care sites in Portland and Bangor.
  • An April 16 executive order limits evictions during the state of emergency.
  • Mills announced a rental assistance relief program for people affected by COVID-19. Eligible households will receive a one-time payment up to $500 that will be paid directly to their landlord.
  • Maine received nearly $11 million in federal funds to support access to child care for essential workers and offer relief to child care providers affected by the pandemic.
  • The state launched its "FrontLine WarmLine," a volunteer phone support service to help health care workers and first responders manage stress.
  • Mills has postponed the deadline for estimated second quarter state income tax payments from June 15 to July 15, in alignment with the federal due date. Maine's income tax return filing deadline has also been extended to July 15.
  • Mills extended Maine's state of civil emergency a second time, through June 11, allowing the state to continue accessing federal resources.
  • Through federal funding and private donations, Mills' administration secured internet access and learning devices for "100 percent of Maine school children for whom there was a reported need."
  • The state provided 1,900 cloth face coverings to the Maine Association of Broadcasters, for use by broadcast media outlet employees.
  • The state received $52.7 million in federal funding, which will be used primarily to expand laboratory capacity, particularly at rural hospitals, and establish more drive-through testing sites.

Massachusetts

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Charlie Baker ordered nonessential businesses to close throughout the state, and limited restaurants to carryout and delivery service only. He extended the stay-at-home order, including the closure of nonessential businesses and limit on gatherings larger than 10 people, until May 18.
  • Baker on March 27 ordered all travelers arriving from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days. Residents over 70 or with underlying health conditions have been "strongly advised" to stay home.
  • Effective May 6, all residents over the age of two are required to wear a mask or face covering in public where maintaining social distance is not possible. The order applies to workers and customers of essential businesses as well as anyone using any transportation service or public mass transit.

Reopening

  • Massachusetts began Phase 1 of reopening on May 18. A Safer-at-Home Advisory instructs residents to stay home except for engaging in permitted activities, and directs people over 65 or with underlying conditions to stay home except for essential errands.
  • In Phase 1, which is set to last for at least three weeks, manufacturing facilities, construction sites and places of worship can open. Hospitals and community health centers can provide high priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high-risk patients in line with certain protocols. Other sectors of the economy were allowed to begin a staggered reopening on May 25. All must follow industry-specific guidance.
  • Grocery stores must limit occupancy to 40 percent of their maximum permitted levels, enforce social distancing measures, and provide alternative hours for adults over the age of 60.
  • The governor directed all Executive Branch employees performing non-core functions who can work remotely to do so until May 18. He has since issued guidance for state employees to extend their remote workforce arrangements in line with health and safety provisions of the state's phased reopening.
  • The state changed some of its rules about essential business operations on May 4, allowing certain nonessential retail businesses like flower shops, bookstores and car dealerships to fulfill online and phone orders for delivery. Expanded guidelines now allow between three and seven employees inside of a store, depending on the building's square footage, to fill remote orders. They must wear masks and follow other social distancing and sanitation protocols.
  • Municipalities can choose to open golf courses as of May 7, in compliance with strict safety and social distancing guidelines.
  • On May 11, Baker announced a four-phase approach to gradually reopening certain industries. He also released Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards, which will apply across all sectors as restrictions are lifted.
  • Businesses permitted to reopen in a staggered approach beginning May 25 include lab space, office space, limited personal services including hair salons and pet grooming, and retail for remote fulfillment and curbside pickup. Many facilities can reopen that same day, including beaches, parks, drive-in movie theaters, select athletic fields and courts, outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves and public installations, many outdoor adventure activities and most fishing, hunting and boating.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • An emergency order closed all coastal beach reservation parking areas managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation beginning April 3. It also reopened certain seasonal state parks ahead of schedule that same day.
  • Under an updated order effective May 4, state courthouses are closed to the public until at least June 1. Jury trials in civil and criminal cases in state courts are postponed until at least July 1. All bench trials are postponed until at least June 1, unless the parties and the court agree to conduct them virtually.
  • On April 21, Baker extended the closure of K-12 schools and non-emergency child care programs through the end of the academic year. Remote learning will continue.
  • On May 15, Baker announced a partial list of large employers in the state that will continue their work from home policies "for the rest of the spring and, in numerous cases, beyond." The list includes 54 companies employing a total of about 150,000 individuals.

Testing and tracing

  • The state is conducting contact tracing through its COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative, which makes private phone calls to individuals who tested positive or were in contact with someone who did.
  • The state Department of Public Health now recommends COVID-19 testing for all symptomatic individuals as well as individuals identified as close contacts through contact tracing.
  • Baker announced an expanded testing plan, which involves ramping up capacity to 45,000 daily tests by the end of July and 75,000 daily tests by the end of December.

Relief and resources

  • Baker issued an emergency order allowing physicians who retired in good standing within the past year to reactivate their licenses.
  • State authorities rolled out an online portal to facilitate the donation or sale of personal protective equipment.
  • Massachusetts extended its state income tax filing deadline to July 15.
  • Baker issued emergency orders easing licensing restrictions for foreign-educated doctors to practice in the state, expediting the licensure of nursing school students and graduates, and mandating that insurers cover all "medically required costs of COVID-19 treatment" in out-of-network hospitals.
  • Baker's administration announced the launch of the Manufacturing Emergency Response Team, along with $10.6 million in funding. The initiative will support manufacturers as they pivot operations to produce personal protective equipment and other critical supplies for front-line and health care workers.
  • Baker outlined five key initiatives in his administration's ongoing strategy to support homeless populations during the outbreak. Additionally, the Department of Children and Families is making supplementary monthly payments to foster parents through June, and Baker authorized the Department of Early Education and Care to establish emergency sites for youth living in residential homes that need to be cared for in isolation due to COVID-19.
  • Baker signed legislation on April 20 prohibiting evictions and foreclosures during the emergency.
  • Baker announced that eligible cities and towns will receive temporary WiFi hot spots, expanding their broadband access through September 1.
  • 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.
  • The state will distribute up to $502 million in federal relief funding to cities and towns for costs related to their COVID-19 response efforts.
  • Since April 20, six chartered flights have delivered over 7.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment to front-line workers.
  • Baker announced the state is providing $56 million to programs and initiatives addressing urgent food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, in line with recommendations from its Food Security Task Force.

New Hampshire

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Chris Sununu issued a stay-at-home order on March 26, mandating the closure of all nonessential businesses and requiring people to stay in their place of residence except for certain permitted activities.
  • Sununu announced on May 1 that a revised stay-at-home order will remain in effect until May 31. Certain services and businesses will be allowed to resume limited operations over the course of the month, in compliance with state guidance.

Reopening

  • Under the revised stay-at-home order, campgrounds can open to New Hampshire residents and at limited capacity beginning May 4.
  • As of May 11, private and public golf courses can open for residents and club members, in accordance with health guidelines. Barbers and hair salons can start offering limited services by appointment only. Retail locations can open at 50% occupancy and subject to strict guidelines. Drive-in movie theaters can resume operations.
  • While dentist offices were not ordered closed, the state has issued guidance for reopening "if they should choose," effective May 11.
  • Restaurants may choose to start offering outdoor seating beginning May 18. They must comply with specific health and safety guidelines.
  • The state released updated guidance for the reopening of child care facilities, including occupancy limits, hygiene protocols and daily screenings upon arrival.
  • Beginning May 18, outdoor activities in natural settings that occur individually or in groups no larger than 10 people can resume with restrictions. Those activities include bike, canoe and kayak rentals, outdoor driving and shooting ranges, small fishing charters, paint ball and guided fishing, hunting and hiking. Amusement parks, water parks, boat cruises and indoor attractions remain closed.
  • As of May 18, equestrian facilities can resume socially-distant operations.
  • Small-group youth and amateur sports training and practices are allowed to begin as of May 22. Competitions and contact sports remain prohibited.
  • Beginning June 1, fitness centers can resume small-group fitness classes with occupancy limits and social distancing requirements. Use of gym equipment is only allowed in one-on-one personal training sessions.
  • State seacoast beaches can open for recreational activity starting June 1. State parking lots will have capacity limits, and sitting and sports are prohibited.
  • Personal care services such as nail and tanning salons, acupuncturists, massage therapy centers and tattoo shops can reopen beginning June 1.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • On April 6, Sununu issued an emergency order restricting hotels and lodging providers to offer housing only to essential workers and vulnerable populations, as defined by the order.
  • Public K-12 schools will continue remote instruction through the end of the academic year, Sununu announced on April 16.
  • An April 28 executive order directs executive branch agencies to pause hiring and nonessential out of state travel.

Testing and tracing

  • The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is opening new testing centers as part of a campaign to increase testing to 1,500 residents per day.
  • Sununu announced on May 6 that COVID-19 testing will be available to anyone with at least one symptom, regardless of their insurance status. Tests are also available for asymptomatic health care workers and anyone who is over the age of 60 or has certain underlying conditions.
  • ClearChoiceMD is offering antibody tests for all residents, available at its walk-in care centers. The state has agreed to pay for those who are uninsured or whose insurance plans do not cover the test.
  • An emergency order allows licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests under certain conditions.

Relief and resources

  • Sununu has expanded the number of circumstances that qualify for state unemployment.
  • Business tax payment deadlines for most of the small businesses throughout the state are delayed until June 15.
  • Utilities in the state are prohibited from disconnecting service for non-payments through the duration of the emergency.
  • An emergency order halts eviction proceedings and foreclosure actions through the duration of the emergency.
  • Absentee voting eligibility has been expanded to allow any New Hampshire voter concerned about visiting polling places to request an absentee ballot. This applies to the September primary and November general election regardless of how the outbreak may have progressed by the fall.
  • On April 15, Sununu announced a $300 weekly stipend for up to 25,000 front-line workers at residential facilities and social service organizations through June.
  • The state Department of Health and Human Services received a $2 million grant to assist individuals impacted by mental health and substance use disorders during the pandemic, which it will use to create a system of crisis intervention, treatment and recovery supports.
  • On April 22, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by state Democratic lawmakers challenging the governor's power to spend more than $1.25 billion without legislative review or approval.
  • On April 24, Sununu extended New Hampshire's state of emergency for an additional 21 days, to remain in effect after the stay-at-home order expires. It extends certain provisions, including the expansion of workers' compensation for first responders and the temporary ban on evictions and utility shut-offs.
  • The state released an additional $3 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist homeless shelters. The money will cover staff stipends and provide direct support to shelters and community agencies.
  • Businesses reopening under the revised stay-at-home order can request free disposable masks from the state, for use by employees and customers.
  • The state is allocating $40 million to communities impacted by the coronavirus, to help cover expenses incurred by towns.
  • Using CARES Act funding, the state is giving stipends to front-line workers. Full-time workers will receive $300 per week, and part-time workers will receive $150.
  • To address staffing shortages, an emergency order authorizes "temporary health partners" to assist licensed staff in long-term care facilities.
  • The state's Long Term Care Stabilization Fund made $6.2 million in payments to long-term care facilities as of May 13, with a committed $5.5 million per week going forward.
  • The state sent $575,000 to local police and fire departments to support the purchase of ventilators, supplies and personal protective equipment and help cover overtime costs.
  • Sununu announced plans for the allocation of $250 million in federal funding, to be distributed to efforts including: expanding the first responder stipend program to include additional front-line professions, doubling the size of the state's health care relief fund, supporting emergency child protection and domestic violence relief, municipal COVID-19 cost reimbursement, and oversight and federally-mandated expenses. Additional relief will go to "child care, farm and food, a non-profit relief fund, a Main Street relief fund, public higher education relief and aid for eligible small businesses."
  • Sununu signed an emergency order ensuring the continuation of special education services and mandating districts hold individualized meetings to consider extended school year services for every child with an Individualized Education Plan.
  • Officials announced a plan to phase out most of the state's clinical surge flex facilities beginning the week of June 1, leaving four of them operational.

New Jersey

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Phil Murphy has instructed New Jersey residents to stay home indefinitely, except for "obtaining essential goods or services, seeking medical attention, visiting family or close friends, reporting to work, or engaging in outdoor activities."
  • The state's attorney general has said that law enforcement will enforce the governor's executive orders, and people who don't comply will face criminal charges.
  • On May 6, Murphy extended New Jersey's public health emergency — and associated executive orders — for an additional 30 days.

Reopening

  • 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.
  • In April, Murphy announced "The Road Back," a plan to restoring public and economic health based on six key principles and benchmarks. He said the stay-at-home order will remain in effect "in its entirety until further notice." On May 18, Murphy introduced a multi-stage blueprint for reopening the economy and said the state was in Stage 1.
  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut announced that marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in their states can operate for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols are upheld.
  • Through an administrative order, Murphy clarified that pet grooming, care and boarding businesses, as well as businesses that principally sell items necessary for religious observation, are considered essential retail. Car dealerships may permit individuals who have ordered a vehicle online or by phone to test drive the vehicle upon pickup under specific conditions. Personal care service professionals may not provide in-home services, with few exceptions.
  • All state parks and forests reopened at sunrise on May 2. Golf courses and county parks are also allowed to reopen. An April 7 executive order had previously closed all country parks, state parks and state forests indefinitely.
  • An administrative order allows the construction of religious facilities to resume or continue, as long as projects abide by state-issued health and safety requirements.
  • A May 13 executive order permits car gatherings for drive-through and drive-in events, effective immediately. It also allows the resumption of nonessential construction, and curbside pickup at nonessential retail businesses, effective 6:00 a.m. on May 18.
  • Charter fishing services and other chartered-boat services, as well as watercraft rental businesses, can open as of May 17 if they adopt certain policies and practices.
  • Murphy announced that Jersey Shore beaches can reopen, with restrictions in place, beginning May 22.
  • An executive order effective May 22 allows state beaches, boardwalks, lakes and lakeshores to open with social distancing measures in place. Facilities like water fountains and playgrounds will remain closed, and outdoor seating will be blocked off. The order allows swimming and picnicking at state parks and forests, as well as county and municipal parks, and reopens park restrooms effective May 16.
  • Murphy signed legislation allowing business owners to sell and deliver mixed drinks in sealed containers for off-premises consumption.
  • As of May 20, in-person sales at car dealerships, motorcycle dealerships, boat dealerships and bike shops can resume, by appointment only and with social distancing and sanitation protocols in place.
  • An executive order allows certain outdoor activities at recreational businesses, including archery ranges, batting cages, horseback riding, shooting ranges and tennis clubs to open with restrictions effective May 22. The order also allows community gardens and all-terrain vehicle and dirt bike rental businesses to open, and lifts certain restrictions on golf courses. It recommends wearing face coverings while participating in these activities in public settings, and clarifies that other places of public amusement remain closed.
  • Medical and dental elective surgeries and invasive procedures can resume starting May 26, in accordance with state Department of Health policies and guidelines.
  • The state released guidance for seasonal farm workers and employees, covering workplace and housing safety as well as COVID-19 testing and treatment protocols.
  • An order effective May 22 increases the outdoor gathering limit from 10 to 25 people and allows recreational campgrounds to reopen with social distancing measures in place. Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people.
  • The state is releasing updated guidance allowing school districts, colleges and universities to hold outdoor in-person graduation ceremonies beginning July 6. Ceremonies must adhere to capacity restrictions and social distancing protocols. K-12 schools can choose to hold virtual ceremonies on any date, and drive-in and modified in-person ceremonies starting in July.
  • Professional sports teams that play or train in New Jersey can return to practice and competition if their league resumes operations.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Businesses are directed to switch to work-from-home arrangements wherever possible.
  • The state's primary elections, originally set for June 2, were rescheduled to July 7. An executive order created a modified vote-by-mail election, and the state will mail every registered voter a ballot or application with pre-paid postage.
  • An executive order prohibits door-to-door campaigning by allowing for electronic signatures on petitions seeking to place municipal or county initiatives on the ballot.
  • State tax returns are not due until July 15.
  • Statewide public and private school closures will extend through the end of the academic year, Murphy announced on May 4. Distance learning will continue.
  • The high school spring sports season is officially canceled.
  • All New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission facilities are closed. Driver licenses, registrations and inspections with original expiration dates between March 13 and May 31 are extended to July 31. Documents expiring June 30 are extended to August 31, and those expiring July 31 are extended to September 30. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission added more services online, including license renewals, and is encouraging customers to utilize them remotely.

Testing and tracing

  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are developing a regional contact tracing program.
  • Murphy announced on April 30 that the New Jersey Department of Corrections will soon begin conducting universal testing for inmates and staff and providing non-congregant shelter for staff exposed to COVID-19.
  • After an April 30 meeting with President Trump, Murphy announced that the state would receive 550,000 test kits and 750,000 swabs from the federal government.
  • Beginning the week of May 4, daily COVID-19 testing will be available to all NJ TRANSIT employees.
  • The Red Cross opened two convalescent plasma collection sites in North New Jersey.
  • Two of the state's COVID-19 testing sites are now providing tests to asymptomatic residents, prioritizing asymptomatic health care workers, congregate living facility personnel and individuals having had close contact with a confirmed case.
  • On May 12, Murphy announced a strategy to expand New Jersey's testing capacity and implement a contact tracing program. The state plans to double its testing capacity and expand to at least 20,000 tests per day by the end of May, with a minimum of 25,000 tests completed per day by the end of June. It will prioritize access to testing for vulnerable populations, including individuals living in congregate settings and front-line workers. It will also utilize mobile testing units and establish testing sites in faith institutions.
  • The state will create and bear the cost of a digital, centralized database for contact tracing. Murphy signed an executive order mandating all county, local and regional health departments use the platform. The state will build a Community Contact Tracing Corps and partner with colleges and universities to launch recruitment efforts, with the goal of hiring at least 1,000 additional tracers.
  • The Health Commissioner signed an executive directive requiring all long-term care facilities in the state to implement COVID-19 testing of staff and residents by May 26. Facilities must also retest individuals who test negative, first within three to seven days and subsequently according to CDC guidance.
  • Murphy announced that state agencies are increasing insurance coverage to cover expanded access to COVID-19 testing.
  • More than 18,000 licensed pharmacists in the state have been authorized to administer COVID-19 tests.

Relief and resources

  • Murphy says state officials are working to reopen closed hospitals and set up regional field medical stations to add at least 2,300 beds.
  • Essential workers qualify for assistance for child care costs.
  • Murphy has signed a number of executive orders intended to help meet the need for ventilators and Personal Protective Equipment in state health care facilities, including an April 2 order authorizing the commandeering of property like medical supplies from private entities.
  • Murphy also signed an order that allows retirees to return to state and local government without impacting their retirement pensions, and removes restrictions on law enforcement's ability to temporarily supplement their ranks, in an effort to strengthen the public workforce.
  • Murphy signed an executive order waiving 2019-2020 school year assessment requirements for 11th and 12th grade students.
  • He also signed an order to extend certain statutory deadlines for school districts whose April elections were postponed until May 12, to give them time to certify their budgets and make staffing decisions.
  • Murphy signed an executive order establishing a process to provide "temporary home confinement"or grant early parole for incarcerated individuals who meet certain criteria.
  • FEMA approved the state's request to provide emergency, non-congregate sheltering for "individuals impacted by COVID-19 that do not have means or ability to isolate themselves," expanding housing access for vulnerable individuals, health care workers and first responders.
  • Murphy signed an executive order prohibiting cable and telecommunications providers from terminating internet and voice service due to nonpayment until 30 days after the public health emergency ends.
  • Murphy signed a bill that provides civil and criminal immunity to health care workers during the state of emergency. He signed another allowing professional and occupational licensing boards to reactivate some professional licenses during the emergency.
  • Murphy expanded protections of the Family Leave Act, allowing workers forced to take time off to care for family during the outbreak to use up to 12 weeks of unpaid family leave in a 24-month period without jeopardizing their jobs.
  • After police discovered 17 bodies stacked in a makeshift morgue at a nursing facility, Murphy directed the Attorney General's office to investigate "all long-term care facilities that have experienced a disproportionate number of deaths" during the outbreak.
  • For the duration of the emergency, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has suspended rent increases at all eligible properties in its portfolio, which includes 36,000 rental units across the state.
  • Eligible physicians who are licensed in another country but living in the U.S. can now apply for a temporary emergency license to practice in New Jersey.
  • 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.
  • An April 24 executive order allows tenants to direct their landlords to use their security deposits to offset rent or back rent until 60 days after the public health emergency ends.
  • An administrative order effective April 25 clarifies that counties and municipalities cannot impose restrictions on the ability of hotels, motels and guest houses to accept individuals who don't have permanent housing.
  • Murphy signed an executive order creating a process for individuals seeking to obtain or renew Carry Permits to demonstrate their qualifications as required by law. The order also extends Carry Permits for retired law enforcement officers by a period of 90 days until after the emergency ends.
  • An executive order allows municipalities to extend the grace period for property tax payments due on May 1 to June 1.
  • 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.
  • A May 1 executive order suspends in-person requirements and allows videoconferencing technology to be used for marriage and civil union licenses and ceremonies, as well as working papers for minors.
  • Murphy announced on May 5 that recent graduates of nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy and respiratory care therapy programs who have not yet been able to take their licensing exams can apply for temporary emergency licenses.
  • Murphy announced that he directed the New Jersey National Guard to deploy its members to long-term care facilities to assist in mitigation efforts, beginning the weekend of May 9.
  • The state launched a jobs and hiring portal.
  • The state received an additional $31.5 million in federal funding, to be used for activities including buildings and improvements, assistance for businesses and renters, capacity building and increased public services.
  • New Jersey was approved to provide $248 million in food assistance benefits to the households of the nearly 600,000 children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Murphy announced on May 11 that the New Jersey National Guard will continue to receive federal pay through late June.
  • As of May 14, the state had distributed more than 42.6 million pieces of personal protective equipment to front-line health care workers and first responders.
  • Murphy signed legislation providing financial relief to students enrolled in state higher education financial aid programs during the pandemic.
  • Murphy signed a bill mandating hospitals allow a "loved one, doula or other support person" to accompany women during childbirth.
  • NJ Transit was awarded $1.4 billion in federal CARES Act funding to support continued service for essential workers.
  • SNAP recipients will be able to use their benefits to order groceries online from certain retailers beginning the week of May 25.
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has extended assistance for the state's veteran's homes to the end of June, and is providing an additional 40 clinical staff at long-term care facilities.
  • The state Department of Environmental Protection launched a campaign encouraging people to wear face coverings at parks and beaches.
  • New Jersey's public colleges and universities are receiving a total of $68.8 million in CARES Act funding to cover pandemic-related expenses.

New York

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo mandated that all nonessential workers stay home as part of the "New York State on Pause" executive order. Nonessential businesses are closed, and social distancing rules remain in place. The statewide order was extended through May 15, at which point several counties began Phase One of reopening. "New York State on Pause" was extended to May 28, but regions can enter Phase One before then if they meet certain requirements. As of May 28, New York City is the only region excluded from Phase One.
  • A May 29 executive order continues New York on Pause indefinitely while allowing regions that satisfy public health and safety metrics to be eligible for Phase One reopenings. Nonessential gatherings larger than 10 people are prohibited.
  • People are required to maintain a six-foot distance from others in public. Beginning April 7, New York increased the maximum fine for violations of its social distancing protocol from $500 to $1,000.
  • Beginning April 17, all New Yorkers are required to wear a mask or face covering in public and "in situations where social distancing is not possible." This includes on public transportation and in for-hire vehicles.
  • A May 28 executive order authorizes businesses to deny entry to people without masks.

Reopening

  • 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.
  • Cuomo ordered all essential businesses to provide face coverings for their employees and ensure workers are wearing them when in direct contact with customers or members of the public, beginning April 15.
  • The governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut announced that marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers in their states can operate for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols are upheld.
  • On April 26, Cuomo outlined a plan to reopen the state in phases based on regional analysis and determinations. Phase one will reopen low-risk construction and manufacturing operations. On April 28, he issued additional guidelines that regions must follow as part of the reopening plan, covering aspects including business precautions, health care capacity, isolation facilities, testing and tracing.
  • Cuomo announced that elective outpatient treatments will be allowed to resume on April 28 in select counties and hospitals with low risks of an imminent COVID-19 surge. As of May 21, a total of 51 counties are eligible to resume elective surgeries. Ambulatory surgical centers in those counties may also resume elective surgeries.
  • Cuomo announced on May 4 that the state will monitor four core factors to determine when a region can reopen: new infections, health care capacity, diagnostic testing capacity and contact tracing capacity.
  • Cuomo announced that certain low-risk businesses and recreational activities can resume statewide as of May 15. Those include landscaping and gardening, drive-in movie theaters and low-risk outdoor recreation like tennis.
  • Five regions met all of the benchmarks required to begin Phase 1 of reopening on May 15. Those regions are able to open certain businesses including construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain, agriculture, forestry, fishing and retail for curbside or in-store pickup. As of May 27, nine out of ten regions are in Phase 1.
  • The state launched a Regional Monitoring Dashboard to track the progress each region is making towards satisfying the seven metrics. It also established regional control rooms, comprised of local government officials and health professionals who will monitor each region and increase or decrease reopening activity accordingly.
  • Judges and staff will be returning to courthouses in 30 upstate counties beginning the week of May 18.
  • As part of a regional agreement, New York state beaches can open as of May 22 with strict precautions in place. City, town and county beaches can also open as long as local governments enforce the minimum rules.
  • The state allowed Memorial Day ceremonies of 10 people or less, at the discretion of local governments.
  • Religious gatherings of up to 10 people, as well as drive-in and parking lot services, are allowed statewide as of May 21.
  • Cuomo said on May 24 that New York professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps in the state while following health protocols.
  • Campgrounds and RV parks can open statewide as of May 25.
  • Veterinarian practices are allowed to reopen in all regions beginning May 26.
  • Watkins Glen International Racetrack and horse racing tracks across the state can open without fans beginning June 1.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Cuomo has banned "all nonessential gatherings of individuals of size for any reason."
  • New York City playgrounds closed "to address the lack of adherence to social distancing protocols."
  • The state Board of Elections announced on April 27 it was canceling the state's Democratic presidential primary, which had been rescheduled to June 23. Cuomo had previously issued an order requiring the board to mail every New Yorker a postage-paid application for an absentee ballot.
  • Cuomo announced on May 1 that all K-12 schools and college facilities statewide will remain closed to in-person instruction for the rest of the academic year. Schools are still required to continue meal programs and child care services for essential workers. Cuomo directed all schools and colleges to create reopening plans, to be reviewed and approved by the state.
  • School board elections and budget votes are delayed until June 9, and will be conducted by mail. Local special district and village elections are delayed until September 15.
  • Summer school will be conducted through distance learning. Meal programs and child care services for essential workers will continue.

Testing and tracing

  • Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all public and private labs in New York to coordinate with the State Department of Health to prioritize diagnostic testing.
  • The state's department of health began conducting a statewide antibody testing survey on April 20.
  • Following an April 21 meeting with President Trump, Cuomo announced a partnership with the federal government to double testing capacity in the state to 40,000 tests per day. The state has met this target as of May 17.
  • Cuomo announced on April 22 that New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will launch a regional contact tracing program in partnership with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • The state is expanding COVID-19 testing criteria to allow all first responders, health care workers and essential employees to get tested regardless of symptoms.
  • Cuomo issued an executive order allowing independent pharmacists to conduct diagnostic COVID-19 tests.
  • Cuomo announced an initiative to establish temporary testing sites at churches in predominantly minority communities in downstate New York. He later announced an expansion of the effort, totaling 72 faith-based testing sites.
  • The state is continuing its partnership with Ready Responders to expand testing from eight to 40 public housing developments in New York City.
  • An executive order mandates all nursing homes and adult care facilities test all personnel for COVID-19 twice a week and promptly report any positive cases to the State Department of Health. The order also mandates that hospitals cannot discharge patients to a nursing home unless they test negative. Nursing homes that fail to comply will lose their licenses. Cuomo announced the state is sending 320,000 testing kits to nursing homes to help with this effort.
  • The state launched a website to help New Yorkers locate their nearest COVID-19 testing sites.
  • It has also expanded its testing criteria to include all individuals who would return to their workplace in Phase One.
  • Cuomo announced a new pilot program with 52 independent pharmacies to conduct an additional 7,000 tests per week.
  • Cuomo announced New York is making its contact tracing training curriculum available to all states, at no cost, through the National Governors Association.

Relief and resources

  • Federal and local officials built a temporary 1,000-bed hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan, and are in the process of adding thousands of additional beds.
  • President Trump agreed to the governor's request to treat coronavirus patients on the USNS Comfort, which will provide an additional 1,000 beds staffed by federal personnel.
  • The state has extended the period covered by unemployment benefits to a total of 39 weeks.
  • Cuomo issued an order allowing funeral directors licensed out of state to practice in New York.
  • An additional $200 million in emergency food assistance will be available for SNAP-eligible households.
  • Cuomo issued an executive order allowing New Yorkers to obtain marriage licenses remotely and permitting authorized officiants to perform marriage ceremonies using online video technology.
  • The New York State Department of Financial Services is directing health insurers to "immediately process for payment outstanding hospital claims"and ease administrative burdens on state hospitals.
  • The state's health department and attorney general are partnering to investigate nursing homes that violate an executive order requiring them to communicate COVID-19 test results and deaths to residents' families.
  • Federal funding will be used to provide $30 million in Child Care Scholarships for essential workers and to purchase supplies for child care providers.
  • The state is providing $25 million to food banks and food providers impacted by the outbreak.
  • On April 29, Cuomo announced he would adopt all six recommendations of the COVID-19 Maternity Task Force. He signed an executive order that diversifies birthing site options to support patient choice, extends the time period that healthy partners can accompany mothers post-delivery and clarifies that doulas are essential support.
  • The MTA will disinfect the New York City subway and bus systems, as well as the Metro North and Long Island Railroads, every 24 hours. It will stop MTA service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily and provide free transportation alternatives to essential workers during that window. Cuomo announced on May 28 that the MTA will pilot the use of UV light technology to disinfect subway cars and crew 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.
  • The state directed insurers to waive all cost sharing, co-payments and deductibles for mental health services for essential workers during the pandemic.
  • Cuomo announced that New York State will require all hospitals to have on hand a 90-day supply of personal protective equipment "at quantities sufficient to meet the rate of use during the worst of this crisis."
  • New York State is distributing an additional 7 million cloth masks to nursing homes and lower-income communities.
  • New Yorkers without health insurance can now apply through NY State of Health through July 15, as long as they do so within 60 days of losing coverage.
  • An executive order allowing out-of-state health care professionals to practice in New York has been extended through June 4.
  • New York State is extending the moratorium on evictions for residents facing outbreak-related hardship until August 20. Late fees and missed payment fees are also banned during this period. Renters facing financial hardship will be allowed to use their security deposit as payment and repay the deposit over time.
  • Due to the outbreak, the state is extending the window for childhood sexual abuse survivors to file cases under the Child Victims Act until January 14, 2021.
  • New York is investigating emerging cases of COVID-related illness in children and notifying the other 49 states. At the request of the CDC, the state is helping develop the national criteria for identifying and responding to the illness.
  • Cuomo announced that an initial $3 million in grants are available to businesses manufacturing emergency medical supplies and equipment.
  • Cuomo announced on May 19 that the state is implementing a two-week hospital visitation pilot program in 16 hospitals, through which loved ones will be provided with personal protective equipment and given symptom and temperature checks for time-limited visits.
  • The state is extending sales tax interest and penalty relief through June 22.
  • The New York Forward Loan Fund will support eligible small businesses with 20 or fewer employees, with a focus on minority- and women-owned businesses. Pre-application opened May 26.
  • State and local governments will provide death benefits for front-line workers who died from COVID-19 during the emergency.

Pennsylvania

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Tom Wolf issued a statewide stay-at-home order initially effective until April 30. It was extended for all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties until 12:01 a.m. on May 8. The stay-at-home order will apply to counties in the red phase of the state's reopening plan until June 4.
  • Under the stay-at-home order, residents are allowed to leave their homes for a few select reasons, such as "tasks essential to maintain health and safety" and "getting necessary services or supplies."
  • Wolf has recommended that all Pennsylvanians wear masks when outside the home.
  • On May 11, Wolf announced consequences for counties that do not abide by stay-at-home order. Non-compliant counties will not be eligible for federal stimulus discretionary funds. Businesses risk losing their liability insurance, and dine-in restaurants risk receiving citations that could ultimately lead to loss of their liquor license. Wolf said that in counties opening prematurely, employees who do not feel comfortable returning to work can continue receiving unemployment compensation.

Reopening

  • 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.
  • Wolf's three-phase "Plan for Pennsylvania" emphasizes relief, reopening and recovery. On April 22, he outlined a plan for the state's phased reopening with a targeted May 8 start. As regions move from the red phase to the yellow phase, certain restrictions will be loosened.
  • On May 8, 24 counties moved into the yellow phase of reopening. In the yellow or "aggressive mitigation" phase, some restrictions on work and social interaction are lifted while limits on gathering size and closures of certain businesses remain in place. An additional 13 counties entered the yellow phase on May 15. Another 12 counties moved to the yellow phase on May 22.
  • On May 29, eight additional counties moved to the yellow phase and 18 moved to green. Wolf said all remaining red counties are expected to enter the yellow phase by June 5.
  • In the yellow phase, the stay-at-home order is lifted but restrictions on social and economic activities remain. Telework must continue whenever feasible. In-person retail is allowable, but curbside and delivery services are preferable. Restaurants and bars remain limited to takeout and delivery. Indoor recreation, health and wellness, personal care service and entertainment facilities will stay closed. Child care can open in adherence to state guidelines, but congregate care and prison restrictions will remain in place. Gatherings larger than 25 people are prohibited.
  • Wolf released business guidance for counties entering the yellow phase. Businesses newly permitted to conduct in-person operations must follow requirements for sanitation and disinfecting the premises, limiting occupancy, providing masks for employees and enforcing social distancing.
  • Wolf signed a bill on April 20 enabling auto dealerships to conduct limited car sales and leasing operations online. That same day, he permitted the curbside pickup of wine and spirits at certain Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board locations, and said construction projects may resume in adherence with strict guidelines on May 8.
  • Wolf announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately-owned campgrounds may reopen, following specific guidance, starting May 1. Campgrounds in state parks remained closed through May 14.
  • Beginning May 19, employees in the real estate industry can conduct limited business-related activities statewide. They must follow industry-specific guidance in both red and yellow counties.
  • Wolf signed a bill temporarily allowing the sale of cocktails-to-go from bars, restaurants and hotels with a liquor license. The state's open container law applies.
  • The state Department of Health released guidance for summer camps and recreational activities.
  • In the green phase, which the first counties entered on May 29, stay-at-home orders and business closures are lifted. Restaurants, bars, personal care services, indoor recreation, health and wellness facilities and all entertainment venues can open at 50% occupancy with restrictions. All businesses operating at 50% occupancy in the yellow phase can expand to 75% occupancy. Continued telework is strongly encouraged and large recreational gatherings remain limited to a maximum of 250 individuals. Visitation to prisons and hospitals may resume at the discretion of the facility.
  • Beginning June 5, counties in the yellow phase can allow restaurants to open for outdoor dining. Restaurants and bars in green counties can open for indoor and outdoor dine-in service with occupancy limits and other safety protocols.
  • Professional sports teams are allowed to practice and play without in-person spectators in the yellow and green phases of reopening, provided the team has developed a COVID-19 safety plan.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • Schools across the state will remain closed through the end of the academic year. Meals will still be available for pickup at designated sites, and teachers are encouraged to provide "continuity of education."

Testing and tracing

Relief and resources

  • Wolf also announced that $50 million in state funding will be spent to purchase medical equipment and supplies for hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency workers.
  • Wolf ordered the state Department of Corrections to establish a "Temporary Program to Reprieve Sentences of Incarceration," which would release eligible non-violent and vulnerable individuals from the state corrections system starting as early as April 14. Those granted temporary reprieves would be equipped with reentry plans and monitored similarly to parolees.
  • Wolf announced a $450 million loan program for "financially strained" hospitals in the state, for costs incurred between March 1 and September 1.
  • Businesses that collect Pennsylvania state tax will not have to make Accelerated Sales Tax prepayments in April, May and June.
  • The Department of Revenue extended the deadline to file state personal income tax returns to July 15, and delayed the due date for corporations with tax returns due in May to August 14. The department is offering additional temporary relief measures for taxpayers through at least July 15.
  • Wolf announced the creation of a new Task Force for Health Disparity to address how COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting the state's minority populations.
  • The Department of Human Services is issuing emergency SNAP benefits to eligible households for March and April, to be distributed as a supplemental one-time payment before April 29.
  • On April 18, Wolf announced nearly $16 million in funding for Pennsylvania food banks.
  • Wolf signed a bill helping local governments and businesses respond to the outbreak by providing flexibility on property tax deadlines and allowing remote public meetings and notarization.
  • Drivers license and other deadlines have been extended through May 31.
  • Wolf signed a bill allowing National Guard members who contract COVID-19 as a result of being called into active duty to be covered under the Heart and Lung Act, which offers additional workers' compensation benefits.
  • Nearly $324 million in funding has been awarded to 31 Pennsylvania hospitals through the Hospital Emergency Loan Program.
  • 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 6, Wolf announced the creation of the Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps, a public service initiative that will support COVID-19 recovery efforts in the fall. It is designed to increase testing and contact tracing efforts and provide new job opportunities in the public health sector.
  • Wolf signed an executive order providing civil immunity to health care workers responding to COVID-19.
  • A May 7 executive order protects Pennsylvanians from foreclosures and evictions through July 10. Wolf later modified the order to clarify that it only applies to evictions and foreclosures enacted due to lack of payment or because a tenant has overstayed their lease. A state Supreme Court ruling had previously closed court eviction proceedings until May 11 and ensured no renter or homeowner would be removed from their home for 60 more days.
  • The state received $523.8 million in one-time federal emergency funds to help schools respond to the pandemic. At least 90% of the funds will go to traditional public and charter schools.
  • Many older homeowners, renters and people with disabilities will receive Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program rebates starting in May instead of July.
  • Pennsylvania food distributors will receive more than $50 million in funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers to Families Food Box Program.
  • Wolf announced the initial distribution of $51 million in CARES Act funding to nearly 7,000 child care providers statewide.
  • The Wolf Administration awarded $9.6 million in grants to 145 nonprofit entities for projects fighting hunger and preventing food waste.

Rhode Island

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered Rhode Island residents to stay at home "unless traveling to work, traveling for medical treatment or obtaining necessities." She extended this and other restrictions through May 8. The state entered Phase 1 of its reopening plan on May 9, and is scheduled to begin Phase 2 on June 1.
  • An executive order effective May 8 requires individuals to wear masks or cloth face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings, unless they can "easily, continuously, and measurably" maintain at least six feet of distance from others. It also requires face coverings to be worn inside retail stores and while using car services and mass public transit.

Reopening

  • 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.
  • On April 20, Raimondo announced six key indicators for reopening the state's economy. A week later, she released additional details about the strategy, which involves lifting restrictions in phases based on different metrics.
  • On May 4, Raimondo released additional information about Phase 1 conditions. Though the stay-at-home order will lift, people are encouraged to remain close to home. Anyone who can continue teleworking is directed to do so, and employees who must work in offices can do so on a limited basis.
  • Elective medical procedures can resume under safety guidelines. Non-critical retailers can reopen with capacity restrictions.
  • In Phase 1, residents are encouraged to stay close to home, but some non-critical retailers, state parks and offices can resume limited operations. Restaurants, bars and cafes remain closed to dine-in service but can sell wine and beer with take-out orders. As of May 9, restaurants can also sell mixed drinks in sealed containers with take-out orders.
  • Raimondo announced that in Phase 1, places of worship can reopen for groups of five for services that can be streamed online. Drive-in services are allowed as long as individuals remain in their cars, and funerals can have a maximum of 10 people with appropriate social distancing.
  • Raimondo signed an executive order requiring client-facing businesses and nonprofits to provide face coverings to all employees, to be worn in the workplace with few exceptions. Businesses must also direct customers to wear face coverings. The order is effective April 18, and compliance will be monitored through Department of Business Regulation spot checks.
  • Raimondo announced that restaurants can offer limited outdoor dining beginning May 18.
  • The Department of Environmental Management is reopening Rhode Island's state parks "in a graduated manner" during Phase 1. It will reduce the size of parking areas and restrict hours of operation and permitted activities in order to prevent crowds. All campsites, cabins and pavilions are closed through May 31. State beaches and swimming areas at state parks remain closed.
  • Certain parks reopened for day use on May 9. Visitors must bring face coverings, and indoor spaces, playgrounds and athletic fields are closed.
  • Raimondo announced that two state beaches would open with restrictions on May 25.
  • The state is planning to allow in-person faith services to resume the weekend of May 30. Houses of worship will be limited to 25% of their overall capacity.
  • Raimondo said hair salons and barber shops will reopen in early June, in alignment with Connecticut.
  • In Phase 1, many libraries are offering curbside pickup of pre-ordered books. In Phase 2, they can introduce limited, touchless browsing in designated areas. In-library services will be provided in adherence to state regulations for sanitation and social distancing.
  • Raimondo said the state can tentatively begin Phase 2 of reopening on June 1. Social gatherings of up to 15 people will be allowed, and domestic travel restrictions will be relaxed. State parks and beaches can open with restrictions. Indoor restaurant dining, personal care services, malls, gyms and certain outdoor activities will be allowed to reopen with restrictions. Non-critical retailers can relax certain restrictions, and office-based businesses can allow 33% of their workforce to return "if viewed as necessary."
  • The state released guidance for the limited resumption of youth sports activities beginning June 1.
  • The state plans to allow summer camps and youth summer programs to operate in person under strict regulations beginning June 29. Camps must limit groups to 15 people and follow other sanitation and social distancing guidelines.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • In Phase 1, public recreation, entertainment and close-contact businesses remain closed as they did under the stay-at-home order. Gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited. Raimondo said gathering size limits will increase to 15 in Phase 2.
  • Anyone returning to the state from domestic or international travel, by any mode of transportation, is ordered to quarantine for 14 days. The order requiring international travelers to self-quarantine has been extended until June 5.
  • The DMV is open by appointment only and has suspended all road tests.
  • Nursing homes and hospitals are not allowing visitors in Phase 1.
  • Rhode Island's primary election has been postponed to June 2, and will be conducted "predominantly by mail."
  • K-12 public schools will continue with distance learning for the rest of the academic year, Raimondo announced on April 23.
  • Raimondo announced on April 29 that there will be no parades, festivals, concerts or other large gatherings in the state during the summer of 2020. She said it is unlikely that weddings with more than 50 guests can take place in June or July.
  • The closure of child care centers is extended through May 31. The state asked all providers to submit plans by May 22 in preparation for reopening on June 1. Raimondo said the state is providing 50,000 surgical masks to its more than 900 child care facilities.

Testing and tracing

  • Raimondo announced the launch of the first version of CRUSH COVID RI, a mobile app with coronavirus-related news and resources including a symptom checker and optional location diary. The governor is encouraging Rhode Islanders to use the app and offer feedback.
  • An April 9 executive order issues stricter self-quarantine and self-isolation rules for any who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or in close contact with a confirmed positive case. It also authorizes the health department to make and enforce additional rules, including through civil penalties. Raimondo said authorities could issue fines in "the hundreds of dollars range" to those who violate quarantine rules.

Relief and resources

  • Raimondo has ordered that health insurance must cover telemedicine for primary care, specialty care and mental and behavioral health care. This order is extended until June 5.
  • Courts are closed for all nonessential business, "including residential and commercial evictions," through May 17.
  • Goldman Sachs, in partnership with Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Community Reinvestment Fund has committed $10 million in loans to small businesses in the state.
  • An order mandating that regulated utilities cannot be shut off or sent to a collection agency has been extended through May 31. It applies to residential and non-residential customers.
  • Rhode Island is issuing Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer benefits to certain SNAP and non-SNAP households with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals.
  • The state is partnering with Brown University to provide more than 700 single-occupancy dormitory rooms to front-line workers for free.
  • The state health department is partnering with Rhode Island PBS to host a television graduation special in June. The special will air on June 15.
  • Raimondo announced the Financial Institution COVID-19 Relief Pledge, through which certain institutions have committed to offering a 90-day grace period for residential mortgage payments, no fees or charges, a temporary moratorium on initiating foreclosure sales or evictions, and no negative credit impacts resulting from relief.
  • An April 27 executive order relaxes regulations and eliminates certain barriers to health care for one month.
  • 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.
  • Eligible SNAP households not already receiving the maximum benefit amount received additional benefits in May, as they did in March and April.
  • The state made an initial $1.5 million in emergency rental assistance available to low-income renters who are at immediate risk of homelessness. Qualifying individuals will receive a grant of up to $5,000 to support past due rent payments and other expenditures. Raimondo later announced an additional $5 million for the fund.
  • Rhode Island is partnering with the social enterprise Summer to provide free student loan assistance for all residents financially impacted by the pandemic.
  • The executive order implementing Phase 1 of reopening says that health and safety regulations can include enforcement provisions, like civil fines, to ensure compliance. It establishes an enforcement task force that will educate and inspect businesses, governmental entities and other establishments.
  • All households that have a smartphone with a WiFi hot spot feature and service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint can activate the feature for free until June 30.
  • The state will distribute 500,000 masks, and disinfectant solution, to small businesses who can prove they completed their COVID-19 control plan.
  • Microsoft is donating 500 laptops to small businesses with fewer than 25 employees. Applications were due May 26.
  • Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence has temporarily increased the number of emergency beds available.
  • The Equity Considerations Workgroup is tasked with guiding the state's coronavirus response to make sure decisions and resource distribution reflect the needs of all communities, especially communities of color.
  • The Rhode Island Red Cross launched the Virtual Family Assistance Center, a resource to support families who have lost a loved one to COVID-19.

Vermont

Status of Stay-at-Home order

  • Gov. Phil Scott issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order effective March 25, which directs Vermonters to leave their residences only for essential reasons and to adhere to social distancing policies while in public. That order and all measures associated with the state of emergency were extended through May 15. Scott later extended the state of emergency until June 15 while updating previous orders to reflect eased restrictions. Adults aged 65 and older and individuals with underlying medical conditions are asked to continue sheltering in place.

Reopening

  • On April 17, Scott announced principles and safety precautions for a "phased restart" of the state's economy beginning during the stay-at-home order. Scott ordered new health and safety requirements and directed the public to wear cloth face coverings.
  • The Agency of Commerce and Community Development issued guidance authorizing certain outdoor businesses, construction operations and professional services to operate if they can meet specific safety requirements, beginning April 20.
  • An April 24 executive order requires any entity currently or imminently operating to comply with specific physical distancing, health and sanitation measures. Examples include wearing masks and completing special training.
  • The order also allows additional operations to reopen, provided they can comply with the outlined measures. Certain manufacturing, distributing and construction operations can resume with a maximum of five workers per location. Outdoor retail space can allow in-person shopping with a maximum of 10 people present. Upon approval from local municipalities, farmers' markets may reopen beginning May 1 with specific restrictions in place.
  • Scott announced that effective May 4, crews of 10 people or fewer can perform outdoor and construction work in unoccupied job sites. Manufacturing and distribution operations may resume with a maximum of 10 employees in any one location. Effective May 11, manufacturing, construction and distribution operations may restart with "as few employees as necessary to permit full operations" if they meet all health and safety requirements and develop enhanced training programs.
  • Scott announced on May 4 that limited elective procedures could resume. Health care providers may perform nonessential outpatient clinic visits, diagnostic imaging and outpatient surgeries if they follow specific protocols.
  • On May 6, Scott announced that some outdoor recreation and limited social interactions could resume with specific health and safety precautions. Vermonters are now permitted to leave home for outdoor recreation and fitness activities with low or no direct contact. Gatherings of 10 or fewer are permitted, preferably outdoors. Members of one household can gather with members of "another trusted household."
  • Businesses, non-profits and government entities that support outdoor recreation and fitness activities are allowed to open, in compliance with specific guidelines, as of May 7. Those include state and municipal parks, recreation associations, trail networks, golf courses, big game check stations and guided expeditions. Beaches, campgrounds and marinas remain closed.
  • Scott announced that in-person retail businesses will be allowed to reopen beginning May 18, subject to occupancy limits and social distancing requirements. Face coverings are required for employees and recommended for customers.
  • On May 22, Scott authorized additional medical procedures and health services to resume, including inpatient surgeries, outpatient services like clinic visits and elective dental services. Health care providers must follow mitigation protocols and a phased implementation timeline.
  • Beginning May 22, campgrounds, marinas and lodging facilities can resume limited operations for Vermont residents only, or those who have met the 14-day quarantine requirement. Lodging facilities include hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, inns, short term rentals and parks for recreational vehicles.
  • Beginning May 22, restaurants and bars can open for outdoor dining by reservation only. They must follow strict social distancing and sanitation guidelines, including maintaining a log of customers' contact information for 30 days in case contact tracing is required. Takeout service is recommended.
  • Beginning May 29, hair salons and barber shops may reopen by appointment only, with occupancy limits and other safety measures.
  • Scott announced that child care programs can reopen on June 1 if they meet health and safety requirements. Summer day programs may also open. Scott's administration will provide about $6 million in restart grants to help these programs implement public health measures.

Closed, canceled and delayed

  • The governor restricted nonessential gatherings to 10 people or less.
  • All public and independent schools are closed for in-person instruction until the end of the academic year.
  • Scott issued an executive order on March 30 that directs residents and non-residents coming from outside the state for anything other than an essential purpose to home-quarantine for 14 days and strongly discourages travel to the state by people from COVID-19 "hot spots."
  • Lodging facilities – including hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, short term rentals, Airbnbs, and all public and private camping facilities and RV parks – "are to be closed except for stated exemptions when supporting the state's COVID-19 response."
  • A May 22 addendum to an executive order cancels "traditional fairs and festivals" until further notice. Fairgrounds and other venues can still operate for events in line with occupancy limits, distancing guidelines and other health and safety measures.

Testing and tracing

  • On April 29, Scott announced a strategy for expanding the state's testing and contact tracing programs. Over the next month, officials aim to ramp up to about 7,500 tests per week and increase contact tracing accordingly.

Relief and resources

  • Scott announced on April 7 that he had submitted a letter to President Trump requesting federal disaster funds and the authority and funding to activate additional Vermont National Guard personnel.
  • Income tax filing due dates for state personal and corporate income tax have been moved to July 15.
  • Commercial insurers are ordered to waive cost-sharing requirements like co-payments and deductible requirements for the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19. The emergency regulation, announced April 15, applies retroactively from March 13.
  • The Department of Public Service is working with several businesses to increase internet access by installing public WiFi hot spots in rural towns across the state.
  • More than 40 auto insurance companies — Vermont-based as well as major out-of-state insurers — have filed plans to either return premiums or reduce rates for Vermont policyholders, providing relief "in the range of 15-20% for a period of two or three months."
  • 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.
  • Scott signed a bill codifying the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Northeast Delta Dental, the state's largest provider of dental benefits, will provide $2.89 million in premium relief to approximately 70,000 Vermonters due to the pandemic-related suspension of most dental services.

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