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

Regional surges in COVID-19 cases sent government leaders scrambling this past week to resume mitigation measures in Illinois and deploy resources and manpower in Texas, while rising cases in California and Massachusetts landed those states on New Jersey’s pandemic travel advisory list. 

Immediate measures were interspersed with long-term plans in places like California, which added three more western states to its coronavirus vaccine review commission, and New Jersey, where leaders unveiled a timeline for getting the state’s residents vaccinated. In another forward-looking measure, the Garden State enacted reforms for long-term care facilities in the wake of shortfalls highlighted by the pandemic.

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.

California

Nevada, Oregon and Washington have joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to independently review any vaccine that gets approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.

Delaware

Gov. John Carney on Monday announced the creation of the Child Care Remote Learning Grant to support remote learning in licensed child care facilities. Eligible facilities can receive grants of between $500 and $7,500 through the program, which is funded with Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act money.

Florida

First lady Casey DeSantis announced two initiatives to expand technology access for families in need. One is a joint effort between the state’s education and health departments to provide nearly 1,000 mobile devices to children in foster care, and the other is a partnership with T-Mobile to provide more than 600,000 families with internet access over the next five years.

New York

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will begin a voluntary coronavirus screening program for frontline employees, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday. Free testing will be offered to up to 2,000 employees per week at rotating locations.

Eight more Empire State companies have won state grants totaling nearly $4 million to start producing pandemic safety supplies such as personal protection equipment, Cuomo announced Friday. The companies are Altor Safety LLC, Carestream Inc., D’Addario and Co., Georgia Brown LLC, Hansen Industries Inc., HC Contracting, NYPPE LLC and Ziel Inc. PBC.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday added California and Massachusetts to the list of states from which travelers must enter a 14-day quarantine, bringing the advisory up to 41 states and territories. The states on the list have a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a region with a 10% or higher positive test rate over a seven-day rolling average.

On Monday, Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli jointly unveiled the state’s coronavirus vaccination plan, which is centered around the “aspirational goal” to have 70% of the state’s population to be vaccinated in a six-month period.

Murphy on Friday signed two bills that would reform the long-term care industry, which came under scrutiny when they became hot spots during the pandemic. S.B. 2712 requires minimum staff-to-resident ratios and would establish a task force on retention and recruitment. S.B. 2785 requires that facilities implement policies to prevent social isolation and address issues experienced by residents and their families stemming from visitation limitations prompted by the public health crisis.

Illinois

Due to regional surges in coronavirus cases, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday extended mitigation measures he unveiled last week to the Metro East and Suburban Cook County regions. Effective Wednesday, indoor bar and restaurant dining must cease and other types of gatherings are subject to a limit of the lesser of 25 people or 25% overall room capacity.

Pennsylvania

Per a measure Gov. Tom Wolf unveiled Thursday, liquor license fees will be waived for restaurants and bars through January in order to help businesses struggling financially due the pandemic.

Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday announced a slew of measures to address case surges in El Paso, including the deployment of disaster medical assistance and trauma critical care teams and regional emergency coordinators. He also called on federal officials for the use of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Fort Bliss to house non-COVID-19 patients to free up space.

–Editing by Alanna Weissman.

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