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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · February 2, 2021, 3:59 PM EST

A snowstorm that dumped as much as two feet of snow on parts of the Northeast this week stalled vaccinations in New Jersey on Monday and Tuesday, but immunization progress otherwise continued this week with the rollout of a mobile program in Texas and updated second-dose guidelines in Delaware.

In other vaccination strides this week, Massachusetts seniors can now book appointments online, and California health care workers involved in immunizations are now shielded from liability thanks to a gubernatorial executive order. 

Elsewhere, governors scaled back restrictions in New York and Illinois, although the suspension of youth hockey competitions in several East Coast states will stretch into the spring. 

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.


Multistate

The governors of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont on Friday jointly renewed the suspension of interstate youth hockey competitions for public and private schools and leagues through at least March 31.

California

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed legislation extending the state's eviction moratorium through June 30. Calling it "landmark" legislation, Newsom said the state has the strongest renter protections in the nation.

Citing the need to increase the number of people able to administer the vaccine, Newsom on Jan. 27 signed an executive order shielding certain health care workers from legal liability during a state of emergency. The order includes pharmacy technicians working under health care workers' supervision or instruction.

Delaware

The Division of Public Health on Jan. 28 unveiled an updated approach to administering the second dose of the vaccine, approving an interval of up to 42 days between doses given the extremely limited supply. The intervals recommended for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 21 days and 28 days, respectively, but health officials said the directive follows guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday scaled back restrictions in Kankakee and Will counties, raising the limit on indoor dining and bar parties to 10 people.

Massachusetts

As of Feb. 1, individuals ages 75 and older can start booking vaccination appointments on the state's online portal.

New Jersey

The state's six vaccine mega-sites shuttered operations on Monday and Tuesday due to the winter storm, per a directive issued by Gov. Phil Murphy as part of New Jersey's state of emergency prompted by the snow.

On Jan. 28, Murphy announced that the state's health insurance marketplace was extending its enrollment period through May in response to the pandemic. The enrollment period was originally set to end on Jan. 31.

New York

Indoor dining in New York City may resume on Valentine's Day, assuming the COVID-19 infection rate remains on a downward trajectory, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Friday.

In response to an audit report by New York Attorney General Letitia James over the state's reporting of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker on Jan. 28 took umbrage at the interpretation that the report revealed an "undercount" of deaths of nursing home patients who later died at hospitals. In a statement, Zucker stressed that the Department of Health has always been "clear" that the data on its website pertains to in-facility fatalities and not deaths outside of them.

On Jan. 27, Cuomo said the state was extending its partnership with meal kit company HelloFresh to deliver food to veterans and military families affected by the pandemic. The collaboration will extend through the second quarter of 2021.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott and state emergency officials on Jan. 27 announced the creation of a mobile vaccine pilot program to serve the rural communities in DeWitt, Marion, Real, Sherman and Starr counties.

--Editing by Steven Edelstone.

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