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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · August 11, 2020, 4:14 PM EDT

Financial relief from public and private sources poured in over the past week for multiple populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including Delaware and New Jersey renters, Garden State landlords and small businesses, and California small businesses.

New Jersey, along with Florida, also kept busy working on plans to safely reopen long-term care facilities to visitors, who have been banned since states implemented their shutdown orders in March. Reopening plans are also underway in New York, where all of the state's learning facilities got the green light to resume classes this fall.

Elsewhere, Texas is getting more coronavirus testing sites, while compliance crackdowns are underway in Illinois and Massachusetts.

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.


California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday announced that $81.8 million in funding from private and philanthropic partners is available for communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus that need support for isolation and quarantine efforts.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney and Delaware State Housing Authority Director Anas Ben Addi on Monday announced the reopening of the Delaware Housing Assistance Program to offer financial assistance for renters and mortgage holders affected by the coronavirus. The program will receive $40 million in federal funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced the formation of a task force to explore the safe reopening of long-term care facilities. Visitation at the facilities has been prohibited since March.

Illinois

In an effort to crack down on businesses that flout coronavirus safety mandates, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday announced emergency rules requiring face coverings. Noncompliance can fetch fines ranging from $75 to $2,500. Pritzker also signed a law that increases paid disability leave for firefighters, law enforcement personnel and paramedics whose recovery was hindered by the coronavirus.

Massachusetts

Per an order by Gov. Charlie Baker prompted by the uptick in coronavirus cases, as of Tuesday, outdoor gathering limits were reduced from 100 to 50 people and restaurants may only serve alcohol for on-site consumption if accompanied by food orders.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority's board on Tuesday approved the use of $15.3 million in CARES Act funding for its Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan jointly announced Monday that computer labs at private and public colleges and universities would be authorized to reopen Tuesday. The facilities must abide by coronavirus safety protocols and sanitization requirements.

Also Monday, Murphy, Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli and Department of Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson unveiled a $155 million funding plan to help long-term care facilities safely reopen.

On Friday, Murphy and Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver announced the creation of the Small Landlord Emergency Grant Program to provide emergency funding to small property owners to cover the shortfall created by coronavirus-related rent revenue decreases between April and July. The program will be supported by CARES Act funding.

New York

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday announced that all schools may open this fall, subject to individual districts' determinations on whether to operate under an in-person or hybrid model.

Also Friday, Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie sent a joint letter calling on New York's congressional delegation to convey the urgent need for $30 billion in federal aid over the next two years. The coronavirus crippled the state's budget, which is cratered by the Metropolitan Transit Authority's $12 billion deficit and a $3 billion shortfall in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's capital plan, according to the letter.

Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Health and Department of Education on Thursday jointly recommended that pre-K through 12th-grade school and recreational youth sports be postponed until at least January. Individual school districts have the discretion to accept or reject the recommendation.

Texas

In announcements made Friday and Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott said the state Department of Health and Human Services established four temporary coronavirus surge testing sites in Harris County, and that the Houston Astros and the Texas Division of Emergency Management joined focus to open a free testing site at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

--Editing by Kelly Duncan.

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