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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · September 1, 2020, 4:30 PM EDT

New Jersey again dominated COVID-19 pandemic headlines over the past week as officials cleared the way for indoor, albeit limited, restaurant dining statewide and open alcohol consumption in Atlantic City just in time for Labor Day weekend.

Garden State gyms were officially allowed to open Tuesday, but it's unclear how that will impact a gym that got its business license yanked amid its high-profile defiance of coronavirus shutdown mandates.

The Trump administration's coronavirus testing rollbacks drew outcry from the governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, while California made moves to advance its testing capacity with three new laboratory sites.

Elsewhere, a spike in Illinois cases has propelled 30 counties to warning level for virus spread, while funding is on the way for Pennsylvania child care centers and for supplemental food benefits 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.


Multistate

The governors of Connecticut, New Jersey and New York on Thursday jointly denounced Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated coronavirus guidelines advising those who are asymptomatic to refrain from getting tested. "This 180-degree reversal of COVID-19 testing guidelines is reckless, and not based on science and has the potential to do long-term damage to the institution's reputation," the statement said.

California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a law delaying evictions until February in order to shield tenants struggling financially during the pandemic.

In a move to expand the state's coronavirus testing capacity, Newsom signed an executive order Friday accelerating the timeline for the establishment of three new sites to use for testing laboratories. Under the order, the labs will be running at full capacity by March and will process 150,000 diagnostic tests a day.

On Friday Newsom unveiled the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a statewide plan for safe living during the pandemic. The plan outlines allowable activities in various regions and how they could be affected by risk-based restrictions.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced that restaurants may resume indoor dining service at 25% capacity this Friday, and also signed legislation authorizing municipalities and counties to borrow funds to cover revenue shortfalls and expenditures prompted by the coronavirus.

On Friday, Murphy signed a law allowing the consumption of alcohol on certain beach and boardwalk properties in the Atlantic City Tourism District.

Also on Friday, state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli issued an order allowing Atilis Gym to open, subject to health and safety protocols, amid the Bellmawr facility's litigation with state over pandemic shutdown mandates.

Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Aug. 26 that the state would apply to receive a federal unemployment benefit of $300 per week for eligible residents who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.

Illinois

State health officials on Friday reported that the number of counties that have reached warning level for coronavirus spread climbed to 30, up from 20 counties the previous week. The warning level counties are Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Cook, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Greene, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Jasper, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Madison, Monroe, Morgan, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Sangamon, Shelby, St. Clair, Union, Warren, White, Will and Williamson.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday renewed for the second time a disaster declaration providing for increased support for agencies involved in the coronavirus response. Relief measures include expediting supply procurement and easing certain regulations.

Wolf on Monday called on the Legislature to pass a proposal giving paid sick and family leave for workers who must take time off due to illness or to care for loved ones during the pandemic.

On Friday, Wolf announced that he would distribute more than $117 million in CARES Act funding to child care provider centers throughout the state.

Wolf on Thursday called on lawmakers to enact legislation ensuring every voter will receive a mail-in ballot in time to vote early, in anticipation of record voter turnout.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced that health officials would provide about $188 million in emergency funding for public food benefits as part of the state's pandemic response.

--Editing by Brian Baresch.

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