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

By Jeannie O'Sullivan · April 13, 2021, 2:36 PM EDT

COVID-19 immunization efforts hit a roadblock this week amid reports of people experiencing blood clots after being inoculated with the vaccine made by a Johnson & Johnson unit, with New Jersey and New York among the first states to pause its use. The company said it is reviewing data related to the "extremely rare" disorder and has delayed its European rollout.

In vaccination advances, Illinois and Pennsylvania continued to expand eligibility, Massachusetts tweaked its registration process and Texas got the partial green light to extend operations at federally funded sites.

Pandemic relief is on the way in New York, where transit workers will receive tax-free coronavirus death benefits and Big Apple residents experiencing long-term effects of the virus can benefit from a new aftercare program.

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.


Florida

The state's Department of Education on Friday expanded the statewide testing windows and requested a waiver from certain Elementary and Secondary Education Act benchmarks as a result of the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. The waiver request was backed by support received during a two-week public-comment period in March, officials said.

Illinois

As of Monday, all state residents 16 and older were eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker's administration on April 7 unveiled updates to the state's vaccination pre-registration system, including the opportunity for residents to select their vaccination location before proceeding to available appointments.

New Jersey

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Tuesday that the state is pausing the administration of the vaccine made by J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals per the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC's guidance follows six reported cases of women experiencing blood clots after immunization with the Janssen vaccine.

As part of a legislative package delivering $100 million in pandemic relief to various sectors of the economy, Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday signed a bill authorizing $10 million in federal coronavirus aid funding for child care providers throughout the state. Over the previous several days, Murphy inked legislation allocating federal pandemic relief funds to small businesses and nonprofits, restaurants and arts and cultural venues.

Murphy and State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan on April 7 announced an administrative order clarifying that gathering limits for non-professional and non-collegiate indoor sports activities do not apply to athletes, coaches, up to two parents or guardians per athlete under the age of 21, and other individuals who facilitate the activity.

New York

Citing CDC guidance, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday that the state will pause the use of the Janssen vaccine.

Cuomo on Monday unveiled guidance paving the way for both indoor and outdoor graduation and commencement ceremonies organized by schools and colleges as of May 1. The events will be subject to capacity limits and health and safety protocols, such as face masks, social distancing, health screenings and collection of contact-tracing information.

Also on Monday, Cuomo said the state will allocate 35,000 vaccine doses to students at public and private colleges.

Direct payments made to families of Metropolitan Transportation Authority employees through the coronavirus family death benefit program will be exempt from state income taxes, Cuomo announced Friday. The policy applies to the state's budget for fiscal year 2022.

The NYC Test & Trace Corps on April 7 announced the launch of an aftercare program to support residents living with long-term effects of the coronavirus through assistance in the areas of physical and mental health, community support, and financial support. The program will connect contact-tracing clients with resources and referrals related to "Long COVID."

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf and the state's vaccine task force announced Monday that as of Tuesday, all adults in the state will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

Texas

The Federal Emergency Management Agency partially approved a request to extend operations for the publicly funded vaccination sites in Arlington, Dallas and Houston through May 18, Gov. Greg Abbott announced April 7. FEMA's extension authorizes operation assistance by federal personnel, but not an extension of federal supplies and doses of vaccine. The state will provide the supplies and vaccine doses, according to Abbott.

--Editing by Kelly Duncan.

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