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Coronavirus Regulations: A State-By-State Week In Review

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · June 1, 2021, 4:43 PM EDT

Amid declining COVID-19 case and death numbers, states unveiled a range of incentives over the past week to ward off vaccination hesitancy and encourage immunizations, from cash prizes to college scholarships to free entertainment passes.

California residents who get vaccinated are eligible for free groceries and $15 million in cash prizes, while Delawareans and New Yorkers who embrace immunization will receive complementary lottery tickets. In Massachusetts, residents who got the shot on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend got Dunkin' iced coffee and tickets to the Museum of Science in Boston.

In other immunization developments, New York reminded employers that the state's Paid Sick Leave Law covers vaccine recovery, and Texas expanded its mobile vaccine program. 

Here's a breakdown of some of the COVID-19-related state measures from the past week.

Click for state-by-state data on COVID-19 legislation and executive orders, powered by LexisNexis.


California

Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled an incentive program called "Vax for the Win" on Thursday to encourage vaccination ahead of California's full reopening on June 15. Residents age 12 and older who are at least partially vaccinated are eligible. Two million people who began their vaccinations on May 27 or later can receive a $50 prepaid card good for cash or groceries. And a total $15 million in cash prizes will be announced on June 4, June 11 and June 15. Receipt of prizes is conditioned on completed vaccinations, and prizes for winners under 18 will be placed into a savings account until they turn 18.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney and health officials announced the launch of DE Wins, a public education and health incentive program to increase vaccination rates, on May 25. Vaccinated residents 12 and older can win $5,000 in cash and additional prizes in drawings held twice a month by the Delaware Lottery. Other prizes include a vacation, a scholarship to a public Delaware university, state park passes, and ticket prize packages for various attractions. Small businesses will also offer customer incentives.

Massachusetts

Flanked by health and housing officials, Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order Friday terminating the state's emergency declaration, effective June 15. The order rescinds most coronavirus business restrictions.

New Jersey

As of June 4, businesses are no longer required to accommodate telework arrangements for their workforces, under an executive order Gov. Phil Murphy signed on May 26. The order also allows employers in indoor work sites to allow vaccinated employees to forgo face masks and social distancing, although employers may require those protocols. Employers may not restrict employees from wearing masks and social distancing.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state is extending its "Vax and Scratch" program — which provides free lottery tickets to individuals 18 and older who get vaccinated — through June 4. The tickets will be given to people who take their first dose of the Pfizer shot or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Cuomo said Thursday that the state's Department of Labor is issuing guidance to all employers that New York's Paid Sick Leave Law covers the recovery period for the vaccine. Cuomo cited recent studies showing that some individuals have avoided getting vaccinated for fear of missing work the next day.

Texas

In a joint announcement with emergency management and state military officials, Gov. Greg Abbott said the state is opening its mobile vaccine program to groups of five or more who want to get immunized.

--Editing by Aaron Pelc.

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