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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · January 19, 2021, 6:16 PM EST

The COVID-19 vaccination effort led to milestones over the past week in states including Florida and Texas, which became the first in the nation to administer its millionth dose, and prompted New York to call on Pfizer for direct purchase access so the state can meet increased demand due to expanded eligibility.

Indoor dining resumed in Philadelphia, marking a victory for restaurateurs thrown into a tailspin when the moratorium on the activity, first handed down in March, was lifted in September only to be reinstated in November. Illinois, which recently experienced a downturn in cases and hospitalizations, also allowed the resumption of indoor dining in parts of the state.

Elsewhere, financial help is on the way in Massachusetts thanks to a state grant program for small businesses and in Pennsylvania through federal stimulus funds earmarked for schools.

Here's a breakdown of some of the 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

The state's "New Safe Schools for All" website, featuring guidance and resources for families and school staff on safely resuming in-person instruction, launched Thursday. The site allows parents to report school-specific safety concerns, among other features.

Florida

The state became the first in the nation to vaccinate more than 500,000 senior citizens 65 or older, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.

DeSantis on Thursday said the state received $85.8 million in Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act funding to combat housing instability and homelessness across the state. The funds will go toward rental assistance, supporting emergency shelters and conducting street outreach programs.

Illinois

As of Tuesday, four state-run vaccination sites were scheduled to begin operating in Cicero, Ford Heights, North Riverside and Robbins.

Amid decreased hospitalizations and positive test rates throughout the state, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday that indoor dining in restaurants and bars, with limited capacity, could resume in certain regions.

Massachusetts

More than 1,500 small businesses impacted by the pandemic will split $78.5 million in grants from the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation, according to a Jan. 13 announcement by Gov. Charlie Baker.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday extended the COVID-19 state of emergency for another 30 days, marking the 11th extension of the order, which was first handed down in March.

Murphy on Jan. 13 opened up vaccination eligibility to two new categories of people: those 65 and older, and those ages16 to 64 with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, that increase the risk of severe illness from the coronavirus.

New York

In his 2021 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday unveiled a coronavirus-response proposal to boost partial unemployment insurance benefits to those who accept part-time work.

Also on Monday, Cuomo announced that he had written to Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla asking permission to buy the vaccine directly from the company to allow the state to fill the dosage gap left by the outgoing federal administration. Cuomo noted that new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently resulted in an additional 2 million New Yorkers becoming eligible for the vaccine.

Pennsylvania

Restaurants and bars in Philadelphia were permitted to resume indoor dining, with a 25% capacity limit, as of Saturday.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday said he was dedicating $2.2 billion in federal stimulus funds to school districts and charter schools to support food programs, technological improvements and other services as part of the state's coronavirus response.

Texas

The state became the first in the nation to administer 1 million vaccinations, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday in a joint statement with health officials. The milestone, confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, came exactly one month after the first doses arrived at vaccine providers in the state.

--Editing by Jill Coffey.





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