Opening Up…Should We?

Shallow Focus Photo of White Open Sigange

I spent some time trying to figure out how to compare states executive orders trying to find some patterns for comparison but that turned into a futile exercise. Instead, I’ll add the summaries of each as given by CNN on May 7th below each graph.

Please note that these graphs are a little bit different than normal. The scale on the left is new cases of illness, on the right is new deaths. The light blue is cases, and the semi-transparent gray is deaths so both graphs can be seen and are very dark on overlap areas. Also note that the scales are different between states. The reason for this is to give a visual idea if any state is really flattening the curve or not.

The other thing to remember is that it takes multiple weeks to see impacts from policy changes due to the nature of this disease. Much of the reduction in cases and deaths is due to the lockdowns and social distancing measures taken a few weeks ago. My take is that a number of states have only briefly suppressed and delayed the curve.

I leave it to you to determine if the measures being taken in your state make senses against the data. If you don’t like the course your state is taking, you can find the contact information for your governor easily enough.


When the state’s stay-at-home order expired April 30, it issued a replacement order that encouraged people to stay home and continued to ban non-work gatherings of 10 people or more. It also allowed retailers and beaches to reopen, with restrictions.

Starting May 11, new rules will be in place, through at least May 22:

— Non-work gatherings of any size will be allowed, as long as people maintain 6 feet of distancing, Gov Kay Ivey said. That includes houses of worship.

— Gyms, athletic facilities, barber shops, hair salons, nail salons can reopen, with certain rules.

— Restaurants, bars and breweries may allow on-property consumption of food and drink, with certain rules.

— Still closed are certain entertainment venues like theaters, casinos, bowling alleys and night clubs.


Gov. Mike Dunleavy allowed personal services businesses and restaurants in most parts of Alaska to reopen April 24, but with restrictions.

Hair salons can only admit customers by reservation. Restaurants will have to keep distances between tables and can’t exceed 25% of their normal capacity.

The city of Anchorage delayed the new rules until April 27.

The second phase will begin, Friday, May 8. Dine-in restaurants will be capped at 50% of their usual capacity. Bars will be able to reopen for the first time, but only at 25% of capacity. The same limit applies to indoor fitness classes.

Religious gatherings will be allowed, but with a limit of 50 people. The state rules say anyone who sings should be 10 feet away from the nearest person.


Arizona will allow retail stores to do in-person business again Friday, May 8 with strict physical distancing, Gov. Doug Ducey said May 4.

Ducey said new coronavirus cases are declining “Arizona is heading in the right direction,” said Ducey. Barbershops and salons are included in the May 8 reopening order, although all businesses are required to maintain social distancing.

On Monday, May 11, Ducey says Arizona restaurants will be able to offer dine-in services again. The governor says the state is working with the industry to come up with specific distancing rules for restaurants later in the week.

Ducey on April 29 extended the state’s stay-at-home order until May 15 with modifications. Under the new order, elective surgeries coud begin May 1. The governor said then he hopes to be able to reopen restaurants May 12.

Navajo Nation extended the closure of its government until May 17.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson said April 30 that gyms, fitness centers, and indoor athletic facilities can resume operations beginning May 4. Barbershops and hair salons can open Wednesday, May 6.

The governor has announced his state will allow restaurants to open for limited dine-in service May 11. Restaurants will be able to operate at a third of their normal capacity and they must limit groups to no larger than 10 people.

Hutchinson added that if the state continues to see a downward trend of coronavirus cases, it will move into a second phase by allowing restaurants to increase to 67% of capacity.

Hutchinson on May 4 said the state encourages places of worship to use online platforms for services, but can also have in-person events. The guidelines include: signs advising anyone who has been sick they shouldn’t enter, 6 feet of social distancing inside except for family groups, and face coverings for everyone older than 10.


Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a stay-at-home order on March 19 that has no set end date.

The state will begin allowing scheduled surgeries. Newsom emphasized the surgeries being phased back in are important medical procedures like heart surgery or removing cancerous tumors that should not be neglected. Elective procedures like cosmetic surgery are still not a priority.

However, California is pulling back on issuing permits for events and activities, including protests, at all state facilities, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Newsom said May 1 that he is “days, not weeks” away from beginning to lift some restrictions in the state’s stay-at-home order. A day earlier, he ordered beaches in Orange County closed after beachgoers crowded the beaches during a hot weekend. His order was followed by a large protest in Huntington Beach. On May 4, the governor said beaches in the cities of Laguna Beach and San Clemente in Orange County can reopen on a limited basis. Newport Beach opened May 6 for some activities.

Also May 4 the state announced some retailers — clothing stores, florists, and bookshops — will be allowed to reopen with curbside pickup and physical distancing. Associated manufacturing and supply chain for those retail businesses will also be able to get back to work.


The state’s “safer at home” order took effect April 27 and is in effect until May 27.

Retail businesses can reopen with curbside delivery and elective medical procedures can resume. Businesses such as personal training and dog grooming can reopen with social distancing.

Retail businesses began to reopen May 1, while people will be permitted to return to non-essential office work May 4. The state also joined with Nevada and three West Coast states to coordinate their Covid-19 reopening plans.

Polis warned people not to think the coronavirus emergency is over, however. “It’s not going to be life as normal. We’re in this for the long haul, but it’s sustainable for the medium term,” Polis said in a press conference the day the order was lifted.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock extended the city’s stay-at-home order until at least May 8.


Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont extended the mandatory shutdown in the state until May 20.

But, Lamont said more testing is needed so the state can reopen by that date. He praised the federal government for loosening regulations on testing ingredients so they can expand testing more quickly.

Beth Bye, the state’s early childhood education commissioner, announced May 5 that Connecticut summer camps can open on June 29, but must adhere to guidelines, including limiting groups to 10 children.

Lamont and the state’s top education officials said they hope to reopen for summer schools in July.

The state has also ordered tens of thousands of “fever-meters” thermometers, which Lamont says will be “incredibly helpful” when folks go back to work at big manufacturers where temperatures can be taken before entering the buildings.

Connecticut has joined a coalition with the Northeastern states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to coordinate the reopening of the economy, according to a news release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

On April 30, Lamont outlined the industries that officials in the state are looking at for re-opening on May 20.

So far the list includes outdoor-only restaurants (no bar areas), outdoor zoos and outdoor museums, university research programs, hair and nail services, remaining retail that’s currently been deemed as non-essential, some offices — although individuals should be encouraged to work from home where possible.


Gov. John Carney issued a statewide stay-at-home order that will remain until May 15 or until the “public health threat is eliminated.” Carney said the state will consider reopening its economy only after seeing 28 days of declining Covid-19 cases.

“By the end of the week, I think we’ll have a comprehensive testing plan that will require more than double the number of tests that we have now,” Carney said on April 29.

Delaware has joined a coalition with the Northeastern states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island to coordinate the reopening of the economy, according to a press release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

The governor said April 17 that once the state reopens, social distancing, face coverings in public, washing hands, limited gatherings and vulnerable populations sheltering in place will remain.

District of Columbia

Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser extended a stay-at-home order until May 15.

“I don’t know if that means we will be open on May 16, but it will be a point for us to check in. And if we need to extend it beyond that, we certainly will,” Bowser said during an April 15 media briefing.


Florida will reopen certain businesses through much of the state on May 4 except in the counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Starting May 4, restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six-foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity. Retail can operate at 25% of indoor capacity, and bars, gyms and personal services such as hairdressers will remain closed. Churches remain on “voluntary social distancing,” and movie theaters remain closed. The state’s stay-at-home order ends on April 30.

DeSantis defended the decision made by local leaders to reopen the beaches as he awaits recommendations from Reopen Task Force

The reopening of the beaches in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, generated criticism and also generated the Twitter hashtag #FloridaMorons.

“My hat’s off to the people of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida for doing a great job,” DeSantis said. “And for those who try to say you’re morons, I would take you over the folks who are criticizing you any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”

The Florida Keys will not reopen to visitors until at least June, county commissioners said April 24.


Gov. Brian Kemp started to ease restrictions April 24.

Gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, hair and nail salons, estheticians and massage therapists were able to reopen April 24, with certain rules. Theaters and restaurants were allowed to reopen April 27, also with caveats.

The caveats include social distancing and screening employees for illness.

Bars, nightclubs and music venues will remain closed, for now.

A shelter in place order for “medically fragile and elderly Georgians” is in place through June 12.

The shelter in place order for other Georgians ended April 30.

“However, moving forward, I am urging Georgians to continue to stay home whenever possible,” Kemp said in a statement. “I want to thank the people of our great state who heeded public health advice, afforded us time to bolster our health-care infrastructure, and flattened the curve. We were successful in these efforts, but the fight is far from over.”


Gov. David Ige on May 5 announced a plan to ease the stay-at-home restrictions in place, calling it a “safer-at-home” plan.

On May 7, in the first phase of the plan, a number of businesses will be allowed to open, including shopping malls, car washes, pet grooming, elective surgery, non-profit organizations, and in-person retail businesses as long as social distancing is maintained.

Beaches are now open for exercising such as jogging, running or walking but people cannot loiter on the beach and must maintain social distance, Ige said earlier.

The state is continuing to discourage visitors to the islands for now, as anyone arriving from out of state must immediately quarantine for 14 days.

Groups of two people or more are now allowed to fish for subsistence or commercial purposes, Ige said earlier. A previous restriction limited such gatherings to two people.


After Gov. Brad Little’s “Order to Self-Isolate” expired on May 1, Idaho’s entered the first stage of the state’s recovery plan. Bars, gyms and theaters must remain closed and restaurants can continue carryout service, but some other businesses and places of worship could open with social distancing plans.

Little said that the measures were working and Idaho is “truly seeing a flattening of the curve.”

Under the second phase, restaurant dining and salons would be permitted to open, although gatherings would still be limited to fewer than 10 people.


Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a modified stay-at-home order that went into effect on May 1 and extends through the end of the month. The order allows more flexibility “where it is safe” to do so, according to Pritzker.

This new order allows residents to leave their home for essential activities, including for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services, for outdoor activity, for certain types of work, to take care of others, and to engage in the free exercise of religion.

“All we were trying to do was to make more explicit that people do have the right to gather in a group of 10 or less,” he said. “As long as you are social distancing.”

State parks, golf courses, retail stores, and garden centers are some of the few places that are reopening with strict social measures.

Non-urgent surgeries that have been put off due to the crisis can also now be scheduled in surgery centers and hospitals, according to the governor.

Pritzker also announced guidance on the use of masks in public. He said, “Tomorrow will be the first day where adults and any children over the age of two and everyone medically able to tolerate a face covering will be required to wear one in public places where they can’t maintain a 6-foot social distance.”

On May 5, the governor also announced a five-phase reopening plan. Pritzker said that phase 3 — when manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops and salons can reopen, with restrictions — won’t begin until May 29 at the earliest.


Gov. Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order expired May 1 and the state is currently in stage 1 of the its reopening plan. Critical businesses have opened but all other industries are closed.

Stage 2, which will roll out for most of the state on May 4, eases restrictions on essential travel, permits social gatherings of up to 25 people and reopens state government offices with limited public interaction. Retail and commercial businesses can open at 50% capacity, as can shopping malls, though indoor common areas are restricted to 25% capacity.

Restaurants and bars that serve food can open starting May 11 at 50% capacity, and personal services such as hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and tattoo parlors can open at that time by appointment only.

Indiana is part of a Midwest coalition of states looking at reopening possibilities.


Gov. Kim Reynolds has not declared a stay-at-home order. Reynolds allowed 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties to reopen restaurants, fitness centers, retail stores and enclosed malls at 50% capacity beginning May 1. Reynolds also lifted the ban on religious gatherings of more than 10 people.

This approach takes “a targeted approach to loosening restrictions” and focuses on counties “where there is no virus activity or where virus activity has been consistently low and shown a downward trend,” Reynolds explained.

Counties where Covid-19 activity is higher will have their closures extended through May 15, the governor said. “It’s based on a stabilization and it’s based on virus activity and the amount of new cases over the past 14 days,” Reynolds said.

“Businesses and churches approved for reopening must also adhere to social distancing, hygiene, public health measures, and business guidelines from the department of public health to, of course, reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19,” the governor said.

Reynolds also said that restaurants will have to keep tables at least six feet apart and limit the number of people that can be at a table.

The governor emphasized that the state limit on social gatherings of more than 10 people remains in place.


The state’s stay-at-home order ended May 4. Gov. Laura Kelly said resaturants can open if they adhere to proper public health guidelines and can maintain at least 6 feet between customers.

Libraries and child care facilities also may open.

Bars, nightclubs, casinos, gyms, and personal service businesses where close contact cannot be avoided must remain closed.

On May 6, Kelly signed a proclamation that allows dental services to resume statewide in compliance with special guidelines adopted by the Iowa Dental Board.

Also, campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities and medical spas may partially reopen following guidelines and taking public health measures.

Fitness centers, malls and other retail establishments in the 22 counties that did not ease restrictions May 1 may also reopen at 50% capacity.


After issuing a “healthy at home” order in March, the state rolled out the following plan to reopen certain businesses and services. In all cases, reopened businesses are told to follow certain rules.

— May 11: These sectors may reopen: manufacturing, construction, vehicle or vessel dealerships; professional services at 50% capacity; horse racing without fans; and dog grooming and boarding will be allowed to reopen, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

— May 20: Retail and houses of worship will be allowed to reopen.

— May 22: Restaurants can reopen at 33% capacity, and with outdoor seating.

— May 25: Barber shops, salons and cosmetology businesses may reopen. Also, 10-person social gatherings will be allowed again.

— June 1: Movie theaters and fitness centers can reopen.

— June 11: Campgrounds can reopen.

— June 15: Childcare services may resume, with reduced capacity.

Later, perhaps in July, the state could allow bars to reopen, as well has gatherings up to 50 people, Beshear said.

Customers and employees will be asked to wear a mask at every reopened and essential business.

Kentucky began a second phase of reopening healthcare on May 6, according to Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack.

Outpatient gastrointestinal procedures, radiology procedures (invasive and non-invasive), diagnostic non-urgent cardiac procedures, outpatient orthopedic procedures, outpatient ophthalmological procedures, outpatient ENT procedures, and outpatient dental procedures are now allowed, Stack said.


Gov. John Bel Edwards issued new guidelines for the state and eased some restrictions while extending the stay at home order until May 15.

Beginning on Friday under the new order, malls in Louisiana will remain closed to the public, but stores can offer curbside delivery. Restaurants can still do takeout and delivery orders but can also offer outdoor seating. There will not be any wait staff, but customers will be able to sit outside and eat if they want, minding social distancing rules. Edwards also said that all employees in businesses interacting with the public are required to wear masks.

Churches can operate outdoors with tents as long as those tents don’t have flaps on the side, the governor said.

Businesses that were previously directed to close will remain closed, including salons, barbershops, bars and casinos.

Edwards said his decision to extend the order was based on data, science and the guidance from the White House.

Edwards said the state has not met the threshold where they need to be in hospitalizations, new cases and testing.


Gov. Janet Mills announced that while the state has started to flatten the curve, it is still not out of the woods. She extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 31, allowing some businesses to reopen on May 1.

These include barber shops and hair salons, auto dealerships and drive-in stay-in-your-vehicle religious services but the businesses must comply with strict health and safety protocols. Residents must wear cloth masks in public places where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.


Gov. Larry Hogan introduced his state’s reopening plan April 24.

Hogan described the plan, “Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recovery” as “a safe, effective and gradual plan, which will allow us to reopen, to rebuild and to recover just as soon as it is safe for us to do so.”

The state has not yet hit its Covid-19 peak, cases are on the rise, and they are therefore not ready to open back up for business, Hogan said.

He had issued a statewide stay-at-home order with no end date on March 30.

Hogan announced May 6 that elective medical procedures may resume at the discretion of local hospitals and healthcare providers.

And effective May 9 the state will allow more outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running, or biking, golf, tennis, boating, fishing, and camping.

Closed state parks and state beaches can reopen for people who are exercising, Hogan added.

Maryland Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon announced May 6 that schools will be closed to in-person learning for the remainder of the academic school year.


Gov. Charlie Baker announced that he is extending the timeline for the closure of nonessential businesses.

“We are extending the timeline for all nonessential businesses to keep the physical workplaces and facilities closed to all workers, customers and the public until May 18th and the state at home advisory also remains in place during this time,” Baker said, adding that gatherings of 10 or more are also banned until May 18.

Massachusetts has joined a coalition with the Northeastern states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island to coordinate the reopening of the economy, according to a press release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.


****Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on May 7 said the state’s stay-at-home order has been extended through May 28. The order will now allow manufacturing workers to resume work May 11.

The big three auto suppliers, in agreement with United Auto Workers (UAW) union, will begin phasing into work on May 18, the governor said, where they’ll be starting at 25% capacity before phasing up.

In an April 24 order, Whitmer relaxed restrictions so some businesses can reopen and the public can participate in more outdoor activities like golf and motorized boating.

That order allowed landscapers, lawn-service companies, plant nurseries and bike repair shops to resume operating, subject to social-distancing rules.

Big-box retailers will no longer have to close off garden centers and areas dedicated to selling paint and carpet.

People also are allowed to travel between their residences, though it isn’t encouraged. They will be allowed to use motorized boats and play golf (but not golf carts) in adherence with social distancing protocols. State parks, which have been accessible during the health emergency, will remain open.


Gov. Tim Walz extended the state’s stay at home order until May 18 but will allow retail businesses to offer curbside pickup and delivery beginning May 4.

Businesses are required to develop and post a plan on safe operation, use contactless payments, and follow social distancing and minimize contact with customers.

Walz said that this loosening will put 30,000 Minnesotans back to work.

Steve Grove, Commissioner for the Department of Employment and Economic Development, noted that salons and barbershops cannot provide services but may conduct retail sales.

Walz on May 5 signed an order allowing elective surgeries starting May 11.

“Doctors, dentists, and veterinarians who create a plan to keep patients and healthcare professionals safe may begin offering procedures which can treat chronic conditions, prevent and cure disease, and relieve chronic pain,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.


Mississippi’s statewide stay-at-home order is scheduled to end on May 11.

“We are very closely monitoring what’s happening in places like Georgia, we’re monitoring multiple states,” Gov. Tate Reeves said on April 28. “We’ve got to give people the opportunity to go back to work, as soon as we make sure we can do it in a safe and responsible way.”

Reeves signed a new “Safer at Home” executive order that took effect on April 27 for two weeks and replaced the state’s shelter in place order.

The new order urges all Mississippians to stay home except for essential travel. The most vulnerable people — the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, and those people with compromised immune systems — will have to shelter in place.

The Safer at Home order originally banned social gatherings or non-essential gatherings of 10 or more people. On May 4, Reeves said outdoor gatherings with up to 20 people will be allowed.

Places of entertainment or amusement, movie theaters, bars, museums, spas, gyms, tattoo parlors, casinos and barber shops will remain closed.

Restaurants were also subject to the May 4 modification and can open dining rooms as long as servers wear masks and the restaurant stays at 50% capacity or below.


Gov. Mike Parson on April 16 extended the stay-at-home order through May 3.

Parson announced his Show Me Strong Recovery” plan on April 27, saying that the state will start reopening economic and social activity on May 4. There are no limitations on social gatherings as long as six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals.

All business will be able to reopen as long as six feet of social distancing can be maintained. Indoor retail businesses will also have to limit their number of customers to no more than 25% of normal capacity. Local communities will be allowed to have stricter rules if they choose.


Gov. Steve Bullock has announced a gradual and phased reopening of the state beginning April 26 for individuals and extending to businesses April 27.

Main street and retail businesses can become operational on or after April 27 if they adhere to requirements to limit capacity and maintain strict physical distancing.

Restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries can begin providing some in-establishment services beginning May 4.

Businesses where groups gather without the ability to social distance including movie theaters, gyms and other places of assembly will remain closed.

Montana’s travel quarantine will remain in effect, and out of state travelers and residents arriving from another state or country back to Montana for non-work-related purposes are required to quarantine for 14 days.


Gov. Pete Ricketts announced Friday that a number of coronavirus rules will be relaxed across the state starting on May 4. Nebraska is one of the states that has not issued a stay-at-home order to help limit the spread of coronavirus nationwide.

Restaurants will be permitted to allow customers inside at that time but must permit no more than 50% of their normal capacity. Salons, massage businesses and tattoo parlors will be limited to ten people at a time, with everyone wearing face coverings. Houses of worship will be able to meet in-person, but with six feet of separation.

Bars and indoor theaters will have to stay closed until May 31 in most of the state.


Gov. Steve Sisolak said May 7 that the state’s stay-at-home order will end in two days rather than May 15.

“I’m able to move up this announcement because, as a state, we have met our gateway benchmarks for starting reopening,” Sisolak said.

Starting May 9, restaurants will be able to open for dine-in services with social distancing, and customers waiting for a table will stay outside. Most retail establishments will be able to open, including hair salons, by reservation only. Retail businesses are limited to 50% of normal capacity.

Sisolak made clear that casinos will stay closed until the Gaming Control Board determines they can safely open.

Additionally, bars, bowling alleys, movie theaters and tattoo parlors are among the other businesses that will have to remain closed.

New Hampshire

Gov. Chris Sununu issued a modified stay-at-home order, called “Stay at Home 2.0” which in effect until May 31.

The governor said the state is looking to reopen based on facts, science and data. Sununu did clarify that the stay-at-home order is still in place.

“You are healthier at home, we want you to stay at home,” he said.

Elective surgeries can resume on May 4 if they are time sensitive. On May 11, barbers and hair salons may reopen as long as customers have reservations and there are no more than 10 people in the salon, including staff. Customers and employees must wear face masks.

Retail shops will open on May 11 to customers but will be limited to 50% occupancy and employees must wear face masks.

Restaurants will reopen on May 18, but only with outdoor seating options. Tables must be 6 feet apart, only six people can be seated at a table and servers must have cloth face coverings.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy issued a stay-at-home order on March 21 that has no specific end date. State parks, golf courses and county parks reopened May 2.

On April 27, Murphy announced a “Road Back” plan, which did not name dates for when other restrictions would be lifted, but instead laid out six principles or metrics that would guide when the easing will happen. They included 14-days of declining new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, and expanding the state’s capacity to test for the disease.

Reopening will likely begin in workplaces and venues where the state has a “high degree of confidence” that social distancing and other related norms can be effectively executed, Murphy said then.

On May 6, Murphy said he was extending a public health emergency declaration for 30 days. This does not alter the state’s stay-at-home order or “Road Back” plan, but rather allows Murphy to use state resources as necessary to combat the spread of coronavirus, he said. “If it signals one thing, it is this: We can’t give up one bit on the one thing we know that is working in this fight — social distancing,” Murphy said.

New Jersey is a part of a coalition with the Northeastern states of New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts that said they would aim to coordinate the reopening of the economy, according to a news release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the state’s stay-at-home order to May 15.

“I want to be crystal clear: While we’re making progress, we are not yet out of the woods. We will not be able to reopen everything on May 16. The virus will not be gone on May 16. The pandemic will not be over. There is no magical date,” the governor said.

“Between now & May 15 we will be in the preparation phase for a gradual & safe reopening of segments of our economy. The state will get direct input from business & employee groups in industries statewide — and we will make health-driven decisions about safe reopening procedures.”

On April 30, she eased restrictions on some businesses. Non-essential retail stores are being allowed to offer curbside pickup. Veterinarians can open, as can pet adoption places, groomers, daycare and boarding businesses. Golf courses can allow people to play.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a “New York State on PAUSE” executive order which took effect on March 22. Nonessential businesses are ordered to stay closed until May 15.

New York has joined a coalition with the Northeastern states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Rhode Island and Massachusetts to coordinate the reopening of the economy, according to a press release from Cuomo’s office.

“Now that we’ve shown we can flatten the curve and our efforts to control the spread of the virus are working, we must focus on a smart, effective plan to un-pause New York,” Cuomo said last week. “The first part of the plan is to do no harm – don’t let that infection rate go up to the best of your ability and don’t lose the progress that we have made. Second, now that we have some stability in our health care system after a weekslong overdrive, we continue to strengthen that system and ramp up testing and contact tracing to identify those who are sick and isolate them so they don’t transmit the virus to others. Then we can focus on phasing an economic return to the new normal — but we need all those activities going on at the same time for our plan to un-pause New York to work.”

The governor said April 16 there are factors for when a business can reopen, including how essential it is and what is the risk of catching the virus.

On April 27, Cuomo laid out a structure for reopening and noted that federal guidance from the CDC is that before you start reopening the state and regional hospitalization rate must be in decline for 14 days. The state is closely monitoring both and the governor says he thinks the CDC guidance “is right.”

“We’re going to reopen in phases,” he said, which will be based on a regional analysis, particularly economic regions. Cuomo said the first phase would include construction and manufacturing activities – and within that “those businesses that have a low risk” he said. Phase two would utilize more of a business-by-business analysis using a matrix that determines each businesses overall importance and risk in reopening.

“When we get there, we need businesses to do that analysis,” he added. They need to think about how they are going to open in the “new normal” the governor said.

Cuomo said the state would leave 2 weeks between phases so it can monitor the effects of what it has done. Two weeks is the incubation period of the virus, per experts.

North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper extended a stay-at-home order, now set to go through May 8.

Cooper said May 5 that the first phase of reopening will begin May 8: Retail stores can expand capacity to 50%. Child care facilities can open for children of working parents or those looking for work. Gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed outdoors.

On April 23, Cooper said the state could open in three phases after May 8, if coronavirus cases continue to trend downward:

• In Phase 1, stay-at-home orders would remain, but some businesses would be allowed to open.

• Phase 2 would lift stay-at-home orders, though vulnerable populations would be encouraged to stay home. Places of worship, bars and restaurants could operate with reduced capacities.

• Phase 3 would ease restrictions for vulnerable populations, but also allow increased capacities at businesses and public gatherings.

North Dakota

Gov. Doug Burgum signed an executive order Wednesday allowing many businesses to open on May 1. Qualifying businesses included bars and restaurants, recreational facilities, health clubs and athletic facilities, salons, and tattoo studios, but they must maintain social distancing of six feet, inform all employees and customers that they should avoid entering the facility if they have a cough or fever, provide contactless payment systems and hand sanitizer, and encourage wearing face masks.

Movie theaters must limit admittance to 20% of normal operating capacity and keep at least two empty seats between guests.

Campgrounds in the state may open May 9, but people cannot rent cabins.


A statewide stay-at-home order will remain in place until May 29, the state health department said. Certain businesses, however, are expected to reopen in phases across May.

Starting May 1, health procedures that don’t require an overnight hospital stay can move forward, and dentist and veterinarian offices also may reopen, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

On May 4, manufacturing, distribution and construction companies may reopen. General offices also may open, but businesses should have people work from home when possible, DeWine said.

On May 12, consumer, retail and other services will be allowed to reopen, the governor said.

The state has outlined protocols for reopening businesses, including requiring face coverings for all staff and customers, conducting daily health assessments, and maintaining good hygiene, cleaning and sanitizing.


Gov. Kevin Stitt allowed some businesses to reopen on April 24.

The plan involves three phases, and Stitt cautioned “we will not move to the next phase until the data tells us that it’s safe to do so.”

Starting on Friday, personal care businesses reopened for appointments.

Restaurants, dining rooms, movie theaters, sporting venues and gyms will reopen the following week, May 1, if they maintain “strict social distancing and sanitation protocols.”

Bars, however, will still be closed.


Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order directing Oregonians to stay at home that “remains in effect until ended by the governor.” Hospitals, surgical centers, medical offices, and dental offices that meet requirements for Covid-19 safety and preparedness will be able to resume non-urgent procedures on May 1.

Brown announced a joint Western States Pact with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on April 13.

“This is not a light switch going on or off,” Brown told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on April 14. “This is going to be making a change, testing it, modeling it, seeing whether it works, and then if it does, you can make another change.”

Brown said she would not ease restrictions before seeing five components in place: declining growth rate of active cases, sufficient personal protective equipment, surge capacity in hospitals, increased test capacity, contact tracing and isolating positive cases, and strategies to protect vulnerable communities.


Gov. Tom Wolf wants to reopen the state in three phases beginning May 8.

The phases will be broken down into three colors — red, yellow and green — and will follow the data, according to Wolf. He had issued stay-at-home orders across the state until April 30.

For those in the red category, the order was extended on May 7 until June 4.

For 24 counties in the yellow zone, a limited reopening of all businesses will be allowed May 8, “so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of this guidance,” according to Wolf’s office. The guidance for businesses can be found here.

****On April 27, Wolf announced that golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds could reopen statewide May 1, provided they follow social distancing guidelines.

“Pennsylvanians have remained resilient throughout this Covid-19 crisis, and as we successfully continue to flatten the curve to protect our physical health, it is critical that we also focus on our physical and mental health during these extraordinary times. As the weather warms and daylight lengthens, enjoying time outdoors is an important way to manage stress,” Wolf said.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr Rachel Levine said May 6 that the state is allowing elective procedures to start in hospitals and health systems as well as ambulatory surgical facilities in most counties, but not the hardest hit.

Pennsylvania had joined a coalition with the Northeastern states of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to coordinate the reopening of the economy, according to a press release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

Rhode Island

Gov. Gina Raimondo said May 7 that the statewide stay-at-home order will expire May 8, and the state will begin Phase 1 of its reopening.

As of May 9, these places or services may restart if they comply with rules like cleaning frequently, reducing capacity, and screening employees: retail stores; elective medical procedures and other healthcare needs like immunizations and specialty care; state parks; and places of worship with five people or fewer. Employees of office-based businesses who need to go to the office may do so on a very limited basis, but work from home is encouraged.

Strict restrictions remain in place for some businesses. Restaurants still are limited to delivery and takeout. Outdoor dining might be permitted eventually in Phase 1.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities remain closed to visitors.

Entertainment venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums, gyms, salons, and barber shops remain closed.

Rhode Island had joined a coalition with the Northeastern states of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts to coordinate the reopening of the economy, according to a press release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster announced that at 5 p.m. on April 20, some retail stores will be allowed to open, including those selling furniture, books, music, flowers, clothing and accessories, as well as department stores, sporting goods stores and flea markets. They will be allowed to open at 20% capacity, or 5 people per 1,000 square feet.

The state’s “Work-or-Home” order set to expire May 12 will be lifted and returned to voluntary status on May 4. Outdoor dining services can resume the same day.

Beaches were allowed to reopen to public access on April 21, though local governments are allowed to keep them closed.

McMaster’s state of emergency executive order has been extended to May 12.

South Dakota

Gov. Kristi L. Noem has not issued a stay-at-home order.

“We have seen such an outstanding call to action among the people of South Dakota that we actually have more people staying home than many of the other states that have put in shelter in place orders and have put together directives to tell people they can’t leave their homes,” she said at a town hall hosted by South Dakota Public Broadcasting on April 15.

Noem announced on April 13 that South Dakota would be the first state to conduct a hydroxychloroquine trial to test against Covid-19.


Gov. Bill Lee issued a new executive order to replace his previous stay-at-home order. The new order will expire on May 30.

“The order allows Tennesseans and businesses to return to work in all industries where that can be safely accomplished by following health guidelines, while urging employers to allow or require remote work/telework if possible,” according to the press release.

Restaurants, retail outlets, and gyms have been allowed to reopen in most counties in the state.

Close contact services like salons and barbershops will be allowed to reopen on May 6 in 89 of the state’s 95 counties, Lee announced on April 29.


Gov. Greg Abbott had ordered all Texans to stay home through April 30.

On May 5, he announced a reopening of certain businesses starting May 8.

Salons are allowed to open May 8, with restrictions such as one customer per stylist and 6 feet between stations and customers waiting. Masks are strongly recommended by not mandatory.

****Gyms and exercise facilities, non-essential manufacturing and business offices will be allowed to reopen May 18, with restrictions such as keeping capacity at 25% and ensuring social distancing.

All retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, museums, and libraries were permitted to reopen on Friday, May 1, but must limit their capacity to 25% of their listed occupancy.


Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order that places Utah under “moderate risk” protocols for Covid-19 beginning May 1 and will remain in effect until May 16.

Utah has not issued a stay-at-home mandate.

“We aren’t returning to business as usual yet,” Herbert said. “In fact, we will not return to ‘normal’ for a significant period of time. But Utahns’ diligence over the past month has given us time to build our healthcare capacity and PPE stores. We can now cautiously relax some requirements, and allow businesses that were closed to operate with safety measures in place.”

The state will allow restaurants to let customers dine in again “with extreme precaution” starting May 1.

Although in-person dining will be allowed as long as social distancing is maintained and the health of employees is monitored, the state still says takeout and delivery are preferable. Similarly, the state allowed gyms to reopen Friday, but says it is recommended that they remain closed.

Personal services businesses like hair salons can reopen with social distancing, according to the state’s moderate risk guidelines.


Though a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order is in effect until May 15, certain restrictions have been relaxed.

Starting May 6, gatherings of 10 or less people are allowed. Gov. Phil Scott recommended, but did not require, that these gatherings happen outdoors. Adults ages 65 and older are asked to continue to stay home due to the risk of severe illness, the governor said.

Outdoor recreational locations such as skate parks, tennis courts, ball fields, trail networks, and golf courses are were allowed to May 6.

Starting May 4, Vermont allowed manufacturing, construction and distribution businesses to operate, with certain safety requirements.

Also on May 4, some elective surgeries and procedures could start again. Ones that require a hospital stay are not.

Scott said he hopes to allow child care services to restart on June 1.


Gov. Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order effective until June 10. A separate executive order that restricted certain businesses and crowds of more than 10 people will expire May 14. The order has closed recreation, entertainment, and personal care businesses, and limits restaurants to offering takeout and delivery services only.

Elective surgery and dental procedures in Virginia were allowed to resume May 1.


Gov. Jay Inslee extended Washington’s stay-at-home order until May 31.

Most state parks and recreational areas will be reopened in May 5. The state also will allow to people to play golf again, but it will be limited to only two people playing together at a time, except when the players live in the same home. No overnight camping will be allowed on any public land.

On May 4, Inslee said individual counties can ask for an exception to state coronavirus regulations on businesses. In order to apply, a county must have fewer than 75,000 people, with no new Covid-19 cases for three consecutive weeks.

Throughout the state, non-essential businesses will still be prohibited from having customers in their stores, but some non-contact businesses like lawn care and car washes can resume on May 5.

Inslee announced a joint Western States Pact with California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on April 13.

West Virginia

The stay-at-home order for West Virginia will be lifted at 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 4 and be replaced with another order Monday, Gov. Jim Justice said April 30.

The new order still encourages people to stay at home but doesn’t require it, Justice said. Further guidance will be issued for areas considered hot spots.

Justice said in a press conference Tuesday, April 28 that his administration plans to reopen local businesses Thursday as previously announced.

Positive test result rate was under 3% (of all tests given) Monday and Tuesday and that was the case Thursday so certain health care-related businesses were allowed to open.

Those qualifying businesses include pharmacies, chiropractors, dentists, psychologists, physical therapists, social workers and others.

Daycare workers will be tested for the virus beginning this week and will reopen should all working personnel test negative.

All businesses reopening will require personnel to sanitize, physically distance and wear face coverings.

If this week continues on track, more businesses will be permitted to open Monday.


Gov. Tony Evers has extended his state’s stay-at-home order to expire May 26, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

Wisconsin reopened 34 state parks and forests under special conditions to help minimize overcrowding and allow for social distancing requirements on May 1.

Some nonessential businesses like dog groomers, small-engine repair shops, upholstery businesses, outdoor recreational rentals like boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs and automatic or self-service car washes will be allowed to do curbside drop-off this week as long as they operate “free of contact with customers,” a press release from the governor’s office said.


Gov. Mark Gordon submitted a request asking for a federal disaster declaration for Wyoming on April 9. Wyoming is one of the states without a stay-at-home order.

Gordon said May 7 a statewide economic reopening will begin May 15, when [current public health orders](http://imiting public gatherings to 10 persons or fewer has been extended through May 15) are due to expire.

“We anticipate that bars and restaurants will be able to reopen to indoor table service,” Gordon said.

Only six customers at a time will be allowed at each restaurant table, and all workers will have to wear masks. Hair salons and other personal services will be able to open with social distancing.

Wyoming allowed gyms and personal services businesses like hair and nail salons to reopen on May 1 under tight restrictions.

Public gatherings are limited to 10 persons or fewer through May 15. The state had required out-of-state visitors to quarantine for 14 days, but that directive expired ****May 8.

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