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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · May 12, 2020, 5:00 PM EDT

California, Delaware, New York and Pennsylvania got the green light for more business reopenings this week as states continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, while in Texas a salon owner ran a proverbial stop sign and landed a now-rescinded jail sentence for opening against shutdown orders.

The new normal of the coronavirus era also saw governors ramping up testing in New Jersey and Texas, and turning a critical eye on coronavirus in children in New York, where the pandemic claimed the life of a young boy.

Relief came in the form of more federal funding for New Jersey and Texas, voting accommodations in California and Delaware, and extended moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures in New York and Pennsylvania.

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 Lexis Nexis.


California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced that all registered voters will get mail-in ballots ahead of the November general election. As of Friday, retail, manufacturing and logistics businesses resumed operations with some modifications.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney announced Friday that June 1 is the target date for the state's economic reopening, contingent on its ability to contain the coronavirus hotspot in Sussex County, with details to be announced. Carney on Friday also announced the expansion of the state's testing capabilities to 80,000 per month, more than four times the current testing level.

On Thursday Carney rescheduled the state's presidential primary for July 7. All registered Democrats and Republicans will receive absentee ballot applications in the mail.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday unveiled a coronavirus public awareness campaign called "New Tools, New Rules — Same Great Care" to encourage the public to seek care right away for any medical condition during the pandemic. The campaign will entail television commercials and Facebook advertisements and will be conducted in partnership with the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers.

New Jersey

As of Monday, the state's 515 municipal courts were permitted to begin remote proceedings by video or phone, per an order by Chief Supreme Court Justice Stuart J. Rabner.

Also on Monday, the state's Department of Community Affairs announced the receipt of $31.5 million in CARES Act funding to respond to public health and housing issues spurred by the pandemic The state in April received $4 million from an initial round of funding.

On Friday, the state's coronavirus testing sites at Bergen Community College and the PNC Bank Arts Center expanded testing to asymptomatic residents. The testing will be prioritized for asymptomatic health care workers and first responders, employees of group home settings, and residents who had close contact with a person who tested positive for the virus

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions have met the metrics required to begin a first wave of reopenings. Agriculture, construction, manufacturing and retail — for curbside pickup — may resume operations on May 15. Cuomo said the North Country and Central New York regions are close to meeting reopening requirements.

On Saturday, Cuomo unveiled a partnership between the state and Northwell Health to establish 24 testing sites at churches in predominantly minority neighborhoods.

Following the death of a 5-year-old boy from coronavirus complications on Thursday, Cuomo on Friday said state health officials are investigating cases of severe illnesses and deaths in children that may be related to the coronavirus.

On Thursday, Cuomo extended the moratorium on residential or commercial evictions an additional 60 days, until Aug. 20.

Pennsylvania

The same day 24 counties in the state resumed modified operations, Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday announced that 13 more were slated for a soft reopening on May 15.

On Thursday, Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through July 10.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday ordered the testing of all residents and staff in the state's nursing homes. The testing will be carried out by the state's Health and Human Services Commission, Division of Emergency Management and the Department of State Health Services.

Also on Monday, Abbott and lawmakers announced that $5.06 million in federal CARES Act funding will go to Lone Star State municipalities and counties, and the governor authorized a June 29 start for in-person voting special and runoff elections happening on July 14.

Abbott on Wednesday decried a Dallas judge's rendering of a week-long jail sentence for a salon owner who opened in defiance of business shutdown orders, saying there are "less restrictive" means of enforcement. The next day Abbott modified his coronavirus executive order to eliminate confinement as a penalty for business owners who defy pandemic rules.

--Editing by Adam LoBelia.

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