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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · October 13, 2020, 5:02 PM EDT

COVID-19 recovery efforts continued this week as contact sports such as hockey and basketball resumed in New Jersey, bars reopened in Texas, and restrictions were lifted in several counties in Illinois formerly known as hotspots.

An influx of coronavirus relief funding is on the way for municipalities, counties and businesses in New Jersey; renters and landlords in Massachusetts; crisis counseling services in Texas; fire departments and ambulance squads in Pennsylvania; and addiction treatment providers in New York.

In other mitigation efforts, a personal protection equipment facility in Pennsylvania is in for a major expansion, and rapid testing is now available in every county in New York.

Here's a breakdown of some 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.


Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and health officials lifted certain pandemic restrictions in Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington counties — known as the Metro East region — in response to a decrease in positive test results, from a high of 10.5% on Aug. 27 to 5.8% on Friday.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday unveiled the state's Eviction Diversion Initiative, a $171 million program to support renters and landlords during the pandemic. The program comes ahead of the Oct. 17 expiration of the state's moratorium on evictions.

On Oct. 7, Baker announced the creation of a COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group — composed of community leaders, elected officials, medical professionals, public health experts and infectious disease specialists — to help guide his administration.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy and state lawmakers announced Tuesday that $100 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding is available for restaurants and other small businesses, rental assistance and food banks. 

Also on Tuesday, Murphy added Ohio, Michigan and Virginia to the list of states from which visitors must enter a 14-day quarantine. The travel advisory applies to states and territories with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a region with a 10% or higher positive test rate over a seven-day rolling average. The travel advisory now includes Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Wyoming. 

Murphy signed an executive order Monday allowing indoor contact sports such as hockey and basketball to resume, subject to coronavirus safety precautions.

On Friday, Murphy announced the state will give $60 million in aid to counties and municipalities that were excluded from the federal government's coronavirus relief allocation plan.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that coronavirus rapid-result testing will be available to every county. The tests can be completed within 15 minutes without having to send a specimen to a laboratory.

Cuomo said Thursday that the 145,811 coronavirus test results reported that day marked a record number of results reported in a single day for the state, but added that new hot spots have emerged in Brooklyn and Queens and in Rockland and Orange counties.

On Oct. 7, Cuomo announced that a second round of awards totaling $423,000 is available for the purchase and installation of telehealth equipment to provide remote treatment for addiction. The funding comes from the federal State Opioid Response Grant program.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday announced a public-private partnership to expand the operations of personal protection equipment maker Gentex Corporation in Fell Township. The multiphase renovation project will create 60 new jobs.

Wolf on Thursday announced that $50 million in Coronavirus Aid Relief Economic Security Act funding is available to fire, rescue and ambulance squads throughout the state to offset coronavirus-related expenses.

Texas

The state health and emergency management departments have deployed medical personnel and personal protective equipment to El Paso in response to an uptick in hospitalizations due to the coronavirus, Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday.

Abbott said Friday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide the state with more than $20 million for disaster crisis counseling for those impacted by the pandemic.

On Oct. 7, Abbott issued an executive order allowing bars to reopen and resume operations, subject to a 50% capacity limit.

--Editing by Steven Edelstone.

Update: This article has been updated  to include New Jersey's updated travel advisory.

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