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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · July 7, 2020, 3:30 PM EDT

The uptick in the spread of COVID-19 reenergized an emphasis on face coverings this past week, leading to a public awareness campaign in California and a new law in Texas. And in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf shared World Health Organization research in an effort to get commonwealth citizens to cover up. 

Other states took cautiously optimistic strides toward reopening their economies. New Jersey raised the limits on outdoor gathering capacity, but it also added states to a quarantine travel advisory after attributing outbreaks to states with high community spread. New York City advanced to the next phase of its reopening schedule — but without indoor dining as previously planned.

Assistance to mitigate the impact of coronavirus is also on the way in the form of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act funding for nonprofit arts and child care providers in Pennsylvania, as well as distribution of the antiviral drug remdesivir to hospitals in Texas.

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.


Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday launched a "Wear A Mask" public awareness campaign to encourage the use of face coverings amid the surge in coronavirus cases. The campaign features radio and television advertisements in English and Spanish and will be expanded to include other languages later this month.


Gov. John Carney on Monday formally extended the state of emergency declaration for another 30 days.

Carney and other officials announced on July 1 that eviction and foreclosure filings could resume, but that evictions would be stayed to permit courts to consider if the matter can be resolved through mediation or alternative dispute resolution.

Also on July 1, Carney signed a law allowing voting by mail for the 2020 primary, general and special elections.


To help struggling entrepreneurs amid the pandemic, the state on July 1 unveiled seven new small business development centers, along with an $11.5 million investment to add new community-based locations and expand the reach of existing centers.


As of Monday, the commonwealth has entered the third phase of reopening. This phase allows for the operation of movie theaters, outdoor performance venues, museums, cultural and historical sites, fitness centers and health clubs, certain indoor recreational activities, and professional sports games — without spectators.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday added Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma to the list of states with significant coronavirus community spread from which travelers must place themselves in a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the Garden State. The other states, announced last week, are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Murphy also announced Monday that the rate of coronavirus transmission has exceeded one for the first time in 10 days, meaning those who test positive are spreading it to more than one person. 

Murphy on Friday raised the outdoor gathering capacity limit to 500 people. There are no numerical limits for outdoor religious services and political activities. All indoor gatherings are limited to 25% of capacity, with a maximum of 100 people.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that New York City will enter the third phase of reopening, but without indoor dining.


Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday announced new rounds of CARES Act funding. Child care providers will receive $53 million, and 309 nonprofit arts organizations will receive grants totaling $2.3 million.

Also on Monday, Wolf publicly emphasized the need to wear masks to stop the spread of the coronavirus, citing recent research by the World Health Organization.

On Friday, Wolf and state Treasurer Joe Torsella announced that more than 310,000 residents had received their Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program rebates early.


Gov. Greg Abbott on Saturday announced that the Texas Department of State Health Services will distribute 448 cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to 157 hospitals across the state.

Two days earlier, Abbott signed an executive order requiring all Texans to wear a face covering in public places in counties with 20 or more positive coronavirus cases, with few exceptions.

--Editing by Philip Shea.

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