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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · June 2, 2020, 6:47 PM EDT

While the nation's collective consciousness largely shifted this week from the COVID-19 pandemic to rage over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, state leaders grappling with sometimes violent protests still continued to map out life after the coronavirus.

New York City, the country's biggest coronavirus hot spot, got a long-awaited green light for its initial stages of reopening, while New Jersey, the second hardest-hit state, and Delaware unveiled timelines and guidance for summer camp reopenings. The Garden State and neighboring Pennsylvania also made advances in their phased reopening plans.

Funding is on the way to help Texas long-term care facilities boost their technology for residents to contact loved ones during visiting restrictions and to aid small businesses in Illinois that are struggling financially.

Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania boosted their testing capabilities, and Delaware took the preemptive step of forming a committee to prepare for a possible resurgence of the virus this fall.

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 extended to July 28 the moratorium on evictions for renters impacted by the pandemic. In other mandates, Newsom extended mail-in renewals of drivers licenses and identification cards, and waived certain restrictions for child care and afterschool programs in order to better accommodate children of essential infrastructure workers.

Also on Friday, Newsom and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom unveiled new initiatives to help domestic violence victims during the pandemic, including $5 million in state funding and new private sector partnerships to support survivors fleeing violence.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney on Monday announced the establishment of the Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee in anticipation of a potential resurgence of the coronavirus this fall. The committee will be co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock.

On Friday, Carney issued guidance for summer camp operation. Camps are required to develop a written plan for enforcing social distancing and other health precautions.

Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday said state emergency officials have partnered with Home Depot and Publix supermarket to create six additional coronavirus testing sites.

Illinois

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday filed emergency rules ordering long-term care facilities to comply with coronavirus control practices, including testing all residents and staff for COVID-19. Facilities are also required to develop and implement a testing plan.

On May 27, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced the receipt of $7.3 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration for the Illinois Small Business Development Center program. The funding aims to assist small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday released health and safety requirements for the reopening of child care programs, recreational camps and municipal or recreational programs and also issued guidance for outdoor visitation at long-term care facilities.

Also on Monday, Baker announced that the state filed its plan with the federal government to expand its strategy for coronavirus testing and tracing.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced that the state will enter its second reopening phase June 15, when outdoor dining and non-essential retail may resume. Barber shops and salons can reopen June 22. Gyms, health clubs and personal care businesses will be next to open on a to-be-determined date.

Murphy on Saturday announced that child care centers may resume normal operations June 15, and youth day camps can open on or after July 6, subject to health and safety protocols.

New Jersey Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson on Friday announced the immediate availability of up to $20 million in grants to help child care centers and youth camps meet health and safety guidelines as the state reopens. Child care centers can receive up to $5,000 and youth camps can receive up to $2,000.

Also on Friday, Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver unveiled the state's Short-Term Rental Assistance Program to help eligible households struggling financially during the pandemic.

Murphy on Thursday signed a law temporarily extending the deadline to file a property tax appeal to July 1, and the deadline for county boards of taxation to render decisions in tax appeal cases to Sept. 30.

New York

Dentists who operate in the state were allowed to reopen as of Monday, per an order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Operation will be subject to social distancing and other health protocols.

In announcements on Saturday, Cuomo said he signed a law providing death benefits to the families of frontline state government workers who die fighting the pandemic, and said the state plans to open 10 additional testing sites in New York City, one for each zip code.

Cuomo on Friday said New York City can begin the initial steps of reopening June 8.

On Thursday, Cuomo issued an executive order authorizing businesses to deny entry to individuals without face masks or coverings.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday extended the deadline for county election offices in Allegheny, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties to receive absentee or mail-in ballots by mail to 5 p.m. June 9.

The state's reopening continued Friday with 18 counties moving to the "green," or least restrictive, phase. Those counties are Bradford, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Montour, Potter, Snyder, Sullivan, Tioga, Venango and Warren. An additional 16 counties will move to green June 5.

On Thursday, Wolf announced that state health officials sent additional coronavirus testing supplies to hospitals statewide. Since March, the state has distributed supplies to more than 60 health care facilities and county and municipal health departments.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials on May 27 announced $3.6 million in federal funding for long-term care facilities to purchase communication devices, such as tablets and headphones, to connect residents with their loved ones during the coronavirus.

--Editing by Kelly Duncan.

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