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Law360 (June 9, 2020, 6:03 PM EDT) -- Civil unrest continued to eclipse the COVID-19 pandemic over the past week, during which time state leaders appeared to lift crowd limit rules for protests yet continued to work toward a socially distant, but definitive, relaunch of their economies.
Restaurants in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania can now offer outdoor dining to patrons, subject to social distancing rules, and funding is on the way in Florida for coronavirus response reimbursement and for small businesses in Pennsylvania. In Illinois, gamblers will have an easier time setting up online sports betting accounts.
In a bit of damage control, New Jersey's IT department explained the bank glitch responsible for the delay in unemployment compensation and said direct deposit customers might have to wait a few days. In good Garden State news, the stay-at-home orders were lifted and crowd limits were relaxed.
Here's a breakdown of some COVID-19-related state measures from the past week.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed an executive order allowing the temporary manufacture of over-the-counter drugs and medical devices by companies not currently licensed by state health officials. The order will help increase the availability of high-demand items like hand sanitizer and medical devices, such as respirators, ventilators and masks, he said.
Gov. John Carney on Saturday extended the state-of-emergency declaration another 30 days.
On June 2, Carney announced that the state will enter the second phase of reopening June 15. In the second phase, retailers, restaurants and other businesses that were permitted to open at 30% of fire occupancy limits in the first phase may expand to 60% of fire occupancy limits.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 3 announced that the state will receive nearly $252 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse coronavirus response costs.
In executive orders Thursday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker suspended the in-person requirement for setting up online sports betting accounts and authorized all public and private schools to open for limited in-person educational purposes, such as summer school.
The state entered the second phase of its reopening plan Monday, in which nonessential retail and other businesses may operate subject to social distancing measures. Restaurants must limit on-premises dining to outdoor services.
Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced on Twitter that he anticipates raising the limit on outdoor non-protest and non-religious gatherings to 250 people on June 22 and 500 people on July 3. He also lifted the state's stay-at-home order, although the public health emergency has been renewed for an additional 30 days.
Explaining why some unemployment compensation payments were late, the state's Office of Information Technology on Monday stated that Bank of America was "having an issue on their side" with respect to direct deposit processing. Customers were told to expect a two-day delay.
As the state's mid-Hudson region entered the second phase of reopening Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Long Island is cleared to enter phase two Wednesday. Phase two allows nonessential retail and other industries to operate pursuant to social distancing measures, and restaurants must limit on-premises dining to outdoors.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Tuesday that five more coronavirus testing sites would begin operating Wednesday in Walmart parking lots.
Small businesses impacted by the coronavirus can apply for help from a $225 million statewide grant program funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, Wolf announced Monday.
On Friday, Wolf and state Secretary of Health Rachel Levine signed amended executive orders to admit 10 more counties into the yellow phase, in which nonessential businesses can operate subject to social distancing requirements. The counties are Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Northampton, Montgomery and Philadelphia.
The officials also amended the orders to add 16 counties to the green, or least restrictive, phase as of Saturday. Those counties are Allegheny, Armstrong, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Clinton, Fayette, Fulton, Greene, Indiana, Lycoming, Mercer, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland.
Wolf on June 3 renewed the disaster declaration order for the state, but said the stay-at-home orders would be lifted the next day.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced that the Texas Division of Emergency Management is working with state officials to identify and rapidly expand coronavirus testing in underserved and minority communities.
--Editing by Kelly Duncan.
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