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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · August 18, 2020, 3:36 PM EDT

The COVID-19 pandemic managed to drive newsworthy enforcement, funding and reopening developments over the past week despite competing headlines from Tropical Storm Isaias and politics.

The New Jersey gym that's famously defying the state's shutdown orders got its business license yanked for remaining open, while more than a dozen New York bars were shuttered for coronavirus noncompliance over the weekend. New Yorkers got some good news, however, with the announcement that gyms and bowling alleys were slated for reopening.

Economic aid is on the way for Pennsylvania businesses in need of hazard pay and New Jersey and California schools are working to implement coronavirus safety protocols for the upcoming fall semesters. In Illinois and Texas, officials are working to combat the spread of the virus through new mitigation measures and extended testing measures.

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.


Multistate

The governors of New Jersey and New York on Tuesday added Alaska and Delaware to the list of states from which visitors must place themselves in a 14-day quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The travel advisory now includes 35 states and territories.

California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday said that schools and other educational agencies have applied for a total of $5.3 billion in funding to implement remote-learning measures, such as access to devices and internet connectivity, challenging assignments and adapted lessons for English-language learners.

Florida

The Florida High School Athletic Association's board of directors on Friday voted to allow schools to begin fall sports on Au 24. g.Schools may opt out.   

Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Sunday jointly announced with state health officials new mitigation measures in the state's Metro East region following three consecutive days of a reported test positivity rate of 8% or higher. The new rules require bars, restaurants and casinos to close by 11 p.m. and enact crowd limits of the lesser of 25 people or 25% of room capacity. Party buses must cease operations.

On Friday, state health officials reported 14 counties in Illinois are considered to be at a warning level for coronavirus spread due to a burst of outbreaks stemming from gatherings like weddings and sports camps. The counties are Bureau, Cass, Clinton, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hancock, Jefferson, Kane, LaSalle, Moultrie, Perry, Union and Will.

On Aug. 12, Pritzker announced that health officials extended the deadline to apply for nutritional benefits until Aug. 31.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday that the state is launching an interactive map showing coronavirus spread risk.

New Jersey

During a special meeting held Aug. 11, the borough of Bellmawr yanked the business license of Atilis Gym, the fitness facility making headlines for defying the state's coronavirus shutdown orders of nonessential businesses.

The New Jersey Business Coalition called on Gov. Phil Murphy to adopt a regional approach to opening businesses, in which safety is assessed on a county-by-county basis versus the current phased reopening plan.

On Thursday, Murphy and secondary education officials jointly announced that $150 million in CARES Act funding will be awarded to public and private colleges and universities. The money can fund coronavirus-related costs such as cleaning and disinfecting supplies, online learning and support for testing.

Also on Thursday, Murphy and education officials announced that schools will be open for in-person instruction this fall. Districts that seek a delay in in-person learning will be required to request permission from the state Department of Education.

New York

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday that gyms and fitness centers, bowling alleys and other indoor entertainment and cultural venues can start reopening on Aug. 24. Capacity limits are 33% for gyms and 50% for bowling alleys.

Also on Monday, Cuomo announced that an additional 16 bars have lost their liquor licenses over "egregious" violations of coronavirus safety rules over the weekend, bringing the state's noncompliant bars total to 148.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf on Monday said employers around the state have won $50 million in grants to fund hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining industries.

Wolf on Friday said Lebanon County businesses and organizations will receive $12.8 million in CARES Act funding to help launch a face-mask awareness campaign.

On Thursday, Wolf unveiled the recommendations of the state's COVID-19 Response Task Force for Health Disparity, which was formed in April to study how the coronavirus is affecting minority and marginalized populations. The report made six recommendations with respect to housing, criminal justice, food insecurity, health disparity, education and economic opportunities

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott on Aug. 12 announced that federal health officials will support the extended operation of four coronavirus testing sites in Harris County through Aug. 29.

--Editing by Kelly Duncan.

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