As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise nationwide, some states are halting phased reopening plans or imposing new coronavirus-related restrictions.
Several are putting limits on social gatherings, adding states to travel quarantine lists, mandating face masks and encouraging residents to stay home, as many did in the spring. Others are restricting business hours of operation and limiting restaurant capacity.
Thirty-seven states – plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – now require people to wear face coverings in public statewide, according to a list maintained by AARP. Iowa, Utah, North Dakota and New Hampshire joined the list in recent days.
At least 17 states implemented new statewide measures in the past week, including: California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wyoming.
Is your state reimplementing COVID-19 restrictions? See the list below.
First, check out this map: States that are reopening or reimplementing restrictions
COVID-19 travel restrictions by state: What you need to know before you travel
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Republican Gov. Kay Ivey on Nov. 5 extended the state’s face mask order until Dec. 11 at 5 p.m.
“I’m willing to keep the mask order in place while acknowledging that sooner rather than later it will be up to each of us to do the right thing, regardless of a government mandate or not,” Ivey said.
The governor also announced two changes to occupancy rates and business social distancing rules beginning Nov. 8.
Local communities in Alaska will be permitted to enact travel restrictions starting Nov. 16 to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced.
Some other travel requirements, some involving recommendations on testing, also went into effect. Dunleavy issued a statewide emergency alert Nov. 12 and implored Alaskans to take steps to slow the spread for the next three weeks, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Alaska does not have a statewide mask order.
Republican Gov. Doug Ducey held a moment of silence and prayed for COVID-19 victims in a press conference on Nov. 18, his first news briefing since October. But Ducey did not announce any new restrictions or requirements on Arizonans to stop the spread of COVID-19, despite increasing calls for a statewide mask mandate and other measures.
Ducey suggested that a statewide mask mandate would not effectively curb the spread of the virus, and emphasized that about 90% of the state is under a local mask mandate. He also said it is nearly impossible to participate in the Arizona economy without wearing a mask.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson issued new guidance for Arkansas churches Nov. 10. The updated church and worship guidelines state that masks should be worn at all times except those exempted under existing Arkansas Department of Health guidelines.
Arkansas has had a statewide mask order since July.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Nov. 19 announced a 10 p.m. curfew to start Nov. 21 and last for a month in California counties that are in the strictest level of the state’s pandemic restrictions.
Non-essential work and gatherings must shut down from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in the 41 counties in California’s purple tier, which includes 94% of the state’s nearly 40 million residents. The order will be in effect until Dec. 21, but could be extended if infection rates and disease trends don’t improve.
Indoor restaurant dining and indoor church services remain prohibited in those counties. Los Angeles County, on its own, is ordered the closing Nov. 22 of outdoor restaurant dining as well for three weeks.
“Together, we can flatten the curve again,” Newsom said in a tweet Thursday.
California has had a statewide mask order since June.
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis announced Nov. 17 that that indoor dining at restaurants will be banned in counties that have the most severe risk when it comes to the coronavirus.
Gyms will be limited to 10% of capacity.
Colorado extended its face mask order Nov. 9 for 30 days. Polis urged Coloradans to buckle down in the coming few weeks by avoiding social interactions outside of their households, washing their hands and wearing a mask.
“As hospitalizations increase, everyone needs to do better by socializing only with those who you live with, wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart, so we can get our numbers under control,” Polis said in a statement.
On Nov. 18, school officials announced that public schools in Denver, Colorado, were temporarily pausing in-person learning.
Polis extends mask mandate: Governor urges Coloradans to ‘buckle down’
Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont rolled back Connecticut’s reopening plans last week, meaning a 10 p.m. closing time for restaurants, entertainment venues like movie theaters or bowling alleys, and indoor and outdoor events. At restaurants, last service for in-person dining is 9:30 p.m., though they can stay open for takeout and delivery. Diners that operate 24 hours normally can reopen for indoor dining at 5 a.m.
Connecticut has had a statewide mask mandate since April.
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Democratic Gov. John Carney said Nov. 17 that Delaware will soon limit indoor gatherings to 10 people and limit indoor dining at restaurants to no more than 30% capacity. The new restrictions go into effect at 8 a.m. on Nov. 23.
The state is also restricting event venues, including weddings, places of worship, performances, political meetings and funerals. Starting Nov. 23, those venues won’t be allowed to host indoor gatherings at more than 30% capacity.
The state’s Department of Correction is also suspending in-person visitation to its prisons and work release and violation of probation facilities as COVID-19 cases spike across Delaware.
Delaware has had a face mask order since April.
District of Columbia
Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new set of restrictions on Nov. 23, limiting outdoor gatherings to 25 people and indoor gatherings to 10 people.
Restaurants will continue to be allowed to stay open until midnight, but alcohol sales must stop at 10 p.m. Houses of worship can continue at 50% capacity, but the maximum allowed inside will be reduced from 100 to 50.
Florida has not implemented any new restrictions. On Oct. 22, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis loosened restrictions on visits to nursing homes, saying higher risk of infection is outweighed by positive mental health benefits of increased social interaction.
Florida does not have a statewide mask mandate.
Gov. Brian Kemp announced Nov. 13 he is extending existing social distancing and sanitization restrictions for businesses, gatherings and long-term elderly care facilities in Georgia. Kemp signed an executive order, effective at midnight Nov. 16 and running through the end of the month, leaving the current set of restrictions in place.
The latest order keeps in place a ban on gatherings larger than 50 people in Georgia and continues to make wearing a mask voluntary at the statewide level rather than mandatory. Cities and counties have been allowed to impose their own mask mandates since August so long as their local requirements do not apply to businesses and residences.
Democratic Gov. David Ige signed an emergency order on Nov. 16 to clarify the state’s mask mandate by creating identical requirements across all islands. While Hawaii has had a statewide mask order in place since April, the rules varied by county, leading to confusion, Hawaii News Now reported.
“All persons in the State shall wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when in public” except children under the age of 5 and individuals with disabilities or a medical condition, according to the new order.
The new order also says businesses “shall” refuse service to people who refuse to wear a face covering. All hotel operators are now required to “adopt a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan for each property.”
Hawaii started allowing all travelers to use proof of a negative COVID-19 test Oct. 15 in lieu of having to quarantine.
Republican Gov. Brad Little signed a statewide public health order Oct. 26 moving Idaho back into a modified Stage 3, which limited indoor gatherings to 50 and outdoor gatherings to 25% of capacity, and it requires wearing of masks in long-term care facilities.
Idaho does not have a statewide mask order.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced new statewide mitigation measures on Nov. 17. The new measures, effective Nov. 20, affect retail, gyms, hotels, bars, restaurants, manufacturing, offices and more.
Gyms can remain open if patrons wear masks and schedule appointments. Retail and personal care services can operate at no more than 25% capacity. Casinos, museums and theaters will be closed. Indoor recreation activities will pause, and outdoor activities will limited to 10 people or less, with participants wearing face coverings at all times.
“This is not a stay-at-home order, but the best way for us to avoid a stay-at-home order is to stay at home,” Pritzker said.
Illinois has had a statewide mask order since April.
On Nov. 17, Chicago Public Schools announced plans to welcome some students back into classrooms in January.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb on Nov. 11 moved the state out of its Stage 5 of reopening after seven weeks of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations soaring beyond the spring rates.
Holcomb placed limits on social gatherings and school events for most of the state, and he also made available $20 million to local officials to help ensure businesses adhere to the state’s mask and social distancing requirements.
“Unfortunately, too many of us and around the country have let our guards down,” Holcomb said. “Stage 5 was being lost on people or it was being misinterpreted. … Stage 5 to many was translated to or received as, ‘We’re past it, we’re at the final stage, there’s nothing more we need to do.'”
Indiana has had a statewide mask order since July.
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced an order Nov. 16 that requires everyone age 2 and older to wear a face covering when in any indoor public area if they will be within 6 feet of people who are not members of their household for 15 minutes or longer.
The order excludes eating at a table in a restaurant or bar or attending a religious service. Mask requirements do not apply to in-classroom education, Reynolds’ staff clarified after she delivered a live, televised address about the new rules.
More on this: Iowans must wear masks at large gatherings
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly ordered Nov. 18 that everyone wear face coverings when inside public spaces, or in situations where physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
The order came after she said Nov. 10 she was not yet considering any sort of statewide mitigation efforts, instead choosing to work with local governments and Republican legislators.
Topeka Unified School District 501 will return to remote learning due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, district officials announced. The remote-learning order will stay in place at least through the Thanksgiving weekend, officials announced.
Kansas has had a statewide mask order since July.
Read more: Kansas reports over 5,000 new COVID-19 cases
Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear on Nov. 18 announced multiple new restrictions. Starting Nov. 23, all public and private K-12 schools must stop in-person learning for the rest of the semester. Elementary schools in counties outside of the state’s red zone will be allowed to reopen Dec. 7 if the school follows all guidelines.
From Nov. 20-Dec. 13, restaurants and bars must close indoor dining. Outdoor dining will be allowed with some limitations. Indoor gatherings will be limited to two families with no more than eight people. Gyms are limited to 33% capacity and weddings and funerals are limited to 25 people.
Kentucky has had a statewide mask mandate since July and, in early November, Beshear extended the order through Dec. 4.
The state Supreme Court on Nov. 12 upheld Beshear’s authority to issue executive orders in an emergency following a challenge to those he has issued since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Kentucky.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards announced more COVID-19 restrictions on Nov. 24 as infections spike for the third time in the state, reducing capacity at most businesses and restaurants to 50% with even more limitations for bars.
Gathering limits will be rolled back to 25% with a cap of 75 people for indoor events and 150 for outdoor events.
But Louisiana won’t close schools or suspend fan attendance at high school, college or pro sports and will keep the current 75% occupancy limit for churches and other places of worship.
The new order will go into effect Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving.
Edwards said Nov. 12 that Louisiana would stay in Phase 3 and keep its current COVID-19 mitigation measures in place for another 28 days.
More on this: Gov. Edwards Extends Phase 3 until December 4
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills issued an order Nov. 19 requiring all outdoor and indoor amusement venues, movie theaters, performing arts venues, casinos, and businesses that provide seated food and drink service to close by 9 p.m.
“As we enter the colder months and a holiday season when we customarily gather with friends and family, we are also entering a new and dangerous phase of the pandemic,” Mills said in a statement. “This targeted and temporary step will reduce extended gatherings while keeping the businesses open. Other steps may be necessary in the coming weeks if we do not get this virus under control.”
Mills also issued an executive order Nov. 5 requiring people to wear a face covering regardless of whether they can physically distance from others as. The order strengthened a previously issued mask mandate that required face masks only if physically distancing was difficult to maintain.
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Restaurants, bars and other establishments must close by 10 p.m. nightly under new COVID-19 restrictions announced Nov. 17 by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Hogan also ordered all retail businesses, religious institutions and other venues to limit indoor capacity to 50%. The restrictions go into effect on Nov. 20.
“We are in a war right now, and the virus is winning,” Hogan said. “I’m pleading with the people of our state to stand together a while longer to help us battle this surging virus.”
State health officials are “strongly advising against” indoor gatherings of more than 25 people and nonessential travel to states with a positivity rate above 10%. Those who leave the state must get tested and self-quarantine.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker instituted a partial stay-at-home order effective Nov. 6. The revised order seeks to restrict late-night congregating, telling residents to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. ET. But it allows trips to work, running “critical errands,” such as going for groceries or for health reasons, and allows people to take walks.
Restaurants, liquor stores, gyms, hair salons, theaters and some other recreational businesses and attractions must close from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. as well. Restaurants, however, may be allowed to stay later for takeout food. Private gatherings at people’s homes, limited to 10 people inside and 25 outdoors, must end by 9:30 p.m.
Massachusetts is also planning to open a field hospital in Worcester to prepare for a possible overflow of COVID-19 patients as the disease continues to surge again in the state.
All residents also must wear face masks even when they can maintain 6 feet of distance from others under the order. The state has had a mask mandate since May.
Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Nov. 16 that in-person classes at high schools and colleges statewide will be suspended for three weeks starting Nov. 18, along with eat-in dining at restaurants and bars.
The new public health order includes the cancellation of organized sports and group exercise classes, though gyms may remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures, and professional and college athletics may continue. Casinos and movie theaters will be closed temporarily and gatherings inside homes will be limited to two households
Whitmer also said she has the authority to issue a new stay-at-home order if one is needed.
Democratic Gov. Tim Walz imposed new COVID-19 restrictions Nov. 10 amid a surge in statewide infections, reducing the allowed capacity at bars and restaurants and setting limits on social gatherings. Conditions will get dramatically worse unless people start changing their behavior, he said.
Bars and restaurants must stop serving at 10 p.m., but they can still offer takeout and delivery, and attendance at weddings, funerals and social gatherings will be limited.
Walz said statewide guidance that will impact both fall and winter school sports will be announced on Nov. 18.
Minnesota has had a statewide mask order since July.
Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced Nov. 11 he is extending his mask mandate into December, affecting residents in 15 counties across the state. The order will now remain in effect until Dec. 11.
Reeves said in a news release that he knows everyone in the state is growing increasingly more frustrated by the orders, but he reiterated their importance.
“I know that we are all tired and ready to move on, but the virus is still here,” he said. “We’ve gotten far better at dealing with it and allowing for life to go on, but we’re not all the way there yet. Keep fighting and protecting the most vulnerable in your life.”
Businesses can remain open provided they operate in a limited capacity and adhere to guidelines issued by the Mississippi Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson said Nov. 12 that individuals who properly wear masks in the school setting may not have to quarantine if they are in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This is a major change aimed at keeping exposed, but otherwise healthy, students and teachers in the classrooms.
“We know that COVID-19 is not going away soon, so it is important that we continue to evaluate the guidance we’re issuing at the state level to make sure our procedures are sustainable for the next several months,” he said.
The state does not have a mask mandate, and Parson reiterated on Nov. 12 that he does not support one.
In an effort to “turn things around over the next few months,” Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock on Nov. 17 ordered bars, restaurants and casinos to close at 10 p.m. and announced a round of directives to limit indoor crowd sizes and public gatherings.
The new measures go into effect at 5 a.m. Nov. 20. They require restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos to operate at 50% of capacity, with tables limited to six people and with 6 feet of physical distance between groups. Public gatherings and events must be limited to 25 people where it is not possible to practice social distancing or where social distancing is not being practiced.
“The situation is serious in Montana, and it is serious across the nation,” Bullock said.
Republican Gov.-elect Greg Gianforte on Nov. 10 announced a 21-member COVID-19 Task Force, which he said would be “indispensable” in helping him create a plan for the Treasure State to deal with the pandemic.
Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts warned Nov. 16 he will impose restriction on the size of groups if it appears hospitals are being overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, KETV-TV in Omaha reported.
If the state hits a threshold of 1,170 people hospitalized due to COVID-19, likely to happen in eight to 12 days at current rates, he said he will impose the restrictions. They would limit indoor gatherings in 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 20 people.
Ricketts announced new health measures Nov. 11. The measures require people to maintain 6 feet of separation “in all instances” in various public spaces, requires masks for staff and patrons at indoor businesses, limits fan attendance for all indoor youth extracurricular activities to household members of participants only, and temporarily halts elective surgeries that can wait four weeks or longer without substantially changing a patient’s outcome.
Nebraska does not have a statewide mask mandate.
Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 13, announced a “statewide pause” with new restrictions on Nov. 22. .
The new restrictions will go into effect on Nov. 24 and last three weeks.
“From the start of this pandemic, there aren’t any decisions that don’t have negative consequences. Weighing the loss of jobs and businesses versus the loss of health and lives is painful, without a perfect solution,” Sisolak said.
Sisolak strengthened Nevada’s mask mandate by requiring people to wear a face covering during private gatherings indoors and outdoors, and when around people who are not part of the immediate household.
Restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness and dance studios, casinos, public gatherings, museums, zoos, churches, libraries and other businesses are limited to a 25% capacity.
There were no restrictions announced for in-person learning at schools.
The first-term Democrat has practically begged residents to follow Nevada’s mask-wearing and social distancing orders during recent virus-related press events. Nevada has had a statewide mask order since June.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu on Nov. 19 announced a statewide face mask order, requiring people over five years old to wear a mask in public spaces — indoors or outdoors — if they can’t maintain social distancing. The order was effective Nov. 20.
Gov. Phil Murphy lowered the threshold for the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings. He said Nov. 16 that indoor gatherings will now be limited to 10 people, down from 25, and the outdoor capacity will be lowered to 150, from 500.
Towns and counties will have the discretion to close bars, restaurants and other businesses by 8 p.m. under an executive order that Murphy, a Democrat, said he planned to sign Nov. 12.
The order will allow local officials to close any business not considered essential two hours earlier than a statewide order issued this week that stops bars and restaurants from operating indoors after 10 p.m.
“Our approach to this second wave is to act surgically to hot spot areas,” Murphy said at a briefing. “That means giving local officials the ability to take action to prevent localized hot spots from becoming COVID wildfires.”
New Jersey has had a statewide mask order since July.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Nov. 13 announced a two-week “reset” of heightened public health restrictions from late March and early April. That means citizens are ordered to shelter in place, leaving home only for essential trips for health, safety and welfare. All non-essential businesses and nonprofits will cease in-person activities per the order. Essential businesses may operate under reduced operations and occupancy to the “greatest possible extent.”
This encompasses the Thanksgiving Day holiday, running through Nov. 30.
New Mexico has had a statewide mask order since May.
Bars and restaurants with a liquor license will have to close by 10 p.m. and indoor gatherings at private homes will be limited to no more than 10 people under new statewide rules announced Nov. 11 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Gyms will also have to close by 10 p.m.
The restrictions, which take effect Nov. 13, come in response to increasing COVID-19 numbers in the state and growing concerns that it will be hit with a second wave of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
The limit on social activities at home, down from the current 50, is sure to draw some backlash, but Cuomo, a Democrat, said on Twitter, “We know indoor gatherings and parties are a major source of COVID spread.”
On Nov. 18, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the nation’s largest public school system would temporarily halt in-person learning again.
New York has had a statewide mask order since April.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Nov. 10 announced the state will remain paused in Phase 3 of its reopening plan, which includes a statewide mask mandate, for at least three more weeks. He also announced the limit on indoor gatherings will be lowered from 25 to 10 people.
“We’ve come too far to lose our focus now,” he said, eight months after COVID-19 first shutdown much of the state.
The Phase 3 order on reopening businesses and public spaces had been scheduled to expire Friday. Cooper enacted Phase 3 in early October after relaxing past reopening restrictions.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum on Nov. 13 mandated the wearing of masks in businesses and indoor spaces in their states, following increased pressure from doctors, nurses and other health care professionals.
The directive goes into effect Nov. 14 and will last until Dec. 13. Burgum said in a statement that doctors and nurses “need our help, and they need it now.” Burgum also directed all bars and restaurants to limit capacity to 50%, and closed all in-person service between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Large-scale venues are limited to 25% capacity.
Meanwhile, Burgum recently supported a move to allow health care workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus but don’t have symptoms to remain on the job, in an effort to ease stress both on hospitals and medical personnel. Burgum says hospital administrators asked for the action and interim State Health Officer Dirk Wilke amended an order to allow it to take effect.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine announced a three-week, overnight stay-at-home order for Ohioans starting Nov. 19. The order, aimed at getting people to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly, comes as COVID-19 infections as daily cases have tripled in the last three weeks.
DeWine also said most retail businesses will be closed during those hours.
“Basically, we want people home by 10 o’clock,” DeWine said, adding people who have to work late nights and early mornings are permitted to do so.
Ohio has had a mask mandate since July.
Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt on Nov. 16 announced new restrictions on bars and restaurants and a requirement that all state employees must wear masks while at work. The restrictions mark the first the governor has implemented as Oklahoma has seen an explosion of new COVID-19 cases and hospitals filling up with with COVID-19 patients.
Effective Nov. 19, bars and restaurants must adhere to a nightly 11 p.m. curfew, except for to-go and drive-thru orders. Bars and restaurants will be required to close by 11 p.m., with no in-person food or alcohol served afterwards.
Stitt, who was the first governor in the nation to test positive for the coronavirus in July, is frequently seen in public without a mask. Oklahoma does not have a statewide mask order.
Gov. Kate Brown announced new guidelines on Nov. 25 – less than two weeks after announcing a two-week “freeze” for the state that started Nov. 18. The new orders go into effect Dec. 3.
Restrictions will loosen, especially if counties are not in the state’s “extreme risk” category. But in the state’s most populated counties, including Multnomah County, where Portland is located, the virus surge continues and many of the restrictions will stay in place.
Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for outdoor dining. Retail shops will be limited to 50% capacity instead of 75%.
Religious organizations will also be allowed to hold gatherings at 25% capacity or up to 100 people; during the “freeze” it had been limited to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. And gyms will be allowed to host outdoor activities and workouts.
Indoor operations, such as museums, theaters and gardens, are not allowed to reopen “extreme risk” counties but can reopen at limited capacity in others.
Grocery stores will be limited to 75% capacity, and Brown is encouraging curbside pickup when possible.
Additionally, the freeze will stop visits to nursing homes and business are now required to mandate that employees work from home as much as possible. Social gatherings, in or out, are not to include more than six people from two households.
Oregon has had a statewide mask order since July.
Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine on Nov. 23 tightened restrictions on the number of people who can gather indoors.
Indoor events in spaces meant for up to 2,000 attendees will be limited to 10% of that capacity, a maximum of 200. Events in spaces that would normally accommodate 2,001 to 10,000 people will be limited to 5% of capacity.
Outdoors, the limits will be 15% of the normal maximum capacity of 2,000, and 10% for what would normally be limits of 2,001 to 10,000.
The state also plans to enforce some its rules, including mask wearing and travel restrictions, with fines.
Earlier this month, Levine issued an order that requires anyone who enters Pennsylvania to be tested within 72 hours of arriving. If someone cannot or does not get a negative test, they must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The order takes effect on Nov. 20, and the only exception to that rule will be those who commute to neighboring states for work or health care.
Pennsylvania’s universal masking order has also been updated to requiring mask-wearing indoors, as well as outdoors if physical distance is not able to be kept. The state also has a 25% indoor occupancy limit for restaurants.
Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered Nov. 19 that indoor gatherings be limited to single families. Outdoor events can be attended by no more than 75 persons.
On Nov. 12, she warned that Rhode Island is “moving toward another lockdown,” which she has attributed to people not following her calls to cancel social gatherings, particularly indoors without masks.
She said at her news conference that she was “pleading” with Rhode Islanders, one last time, to change their behavior.
Rhode Island has had a statewide mask order since May.
Republican Gov. Henry McMaster’s office said Nov. 7 it has no plans to enact any new statewide restrictions. COVID-19 counts are reaching levels not seen since early August in the Upstate and state health officials warned that South Carolina could be in the midst of a “fall surge.”
South Carolina does not have a statewide mask mandate.
Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has repeatedly said she won’t issue a statewide mask requirement and has voiced doubts about health experts who say face coverings prevent infections from spreading.
On Nov. 13, Noem’s office said she has no intention of using state resources to enforce any federal COVID-19 orders on masks that might come from a Biden administration and that she doesn’t have the power to enact one statewide.
“It’s a good day for freedom. Joe Biden realizes that the president doesn’t have the authority to institute a mask mandate,” said a Noem spokesman, Ian Fury. “For that matter, neither does Gov. Noem, which is why she has provided her citizens with the full scope of the science and trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves and their loved ones.”
Tennessee does not have a statewide mask mandate, but some local officials voted on Nov. 10 to support pushing Republican Gov. Bill Lee to implement a mandate.
Unlike some governors who have issued bans on Thanksgiving gatherings of certain sizes, Lee has opted not to. “We’re not going to mandate how a family gathers at Thanksgiving. I want to be real clear about that,” Lee said, adding the state instead wants families to “think hard” about what plans they make.
Texas does not have any new statewide restrictions.
In mid-September, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott relaxed capacity limits for businesses in much of the state, including restaurants, retail stores and gyms, citing declining hospitalizations. Hospitalizations have risen by more than 90% since then. Businesses can accommodate 75% of capacity, up from the previous 50% limit, as long as the area’s COVID-19 patients occupy 15% or fewer of available hospital beds.
Abbott later said that bars could reopen at 50% capacity starting Oct. 14 with the approval of local officials, again as long as COVID-19 patients take up no more than 15% of available beds in the hospital service area.
Texas, the first state to top 1 million cases of COVID-19, has had a face mask order since July.
Read more: Texas cases exceed 1 million
Republican Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency and issued a statewide mask mandate Nov. 8, hoping to stem a troubling spike in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
After weeks of surging coronavirus cases and deaths, Herbert introduced a new tiered “Transmission Index” that will be used to place each county into one of three levels of alert — high, moderate and low.
Based on the index, which calculates each county’s level of transmission using metrics like cases per-capita, transmission rates and hospital capacity, each county will need to follow new requirements regarding masks, social distancing, and rules for going out in public.
Local government officials and hospital leaders who had been calling on Herbert to impose a statewide mask order lauded his decision, but some sheriffs have said they refuse to enforce it. A group of about 75 protesters showed up at Herbert’s home Sunday in an anti-mask rally, the Deseret News in Salt Lake City reported.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced Nov. 10 that all travelers going in or out of Vermont for nonessential reasons are required to quarantine. The state has also revised its guidance for recreational sports and college athletics, and it has issued some of the most stringent restrictions to ski resorts.
On Nov. 13, Scott announced new restrictions on social gatherings, with early closing for bars and a ban on multiple household gatherings. The restrictions take effect at 10 p.m. on Nov. 14, when bars and social clubs will be closed to in-person service but may offer take-out. Restaurants must close to in-person service by 10 p.m. each night. The state is requiring restaurants, gyms, museums, and other establishments to keep a daily log of visitors.
In Burlington, the city council unanimously voted Monday to extend its gathering size limits until the first week of March.
Vermont has had a statewide mask mandate since August.
Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam on Nov. 13 said in a news release that the state’s cap on gatherings will be reduced from 250 to 25, the state’s mask requirement will be applied to younger children, and alcohol sales will be prohibited at dining establishments, breweries and wineries after 10 p.m. Those and other new restrictions took effect at midnight Nov. 15.
The gathering ban will apply to events such as weddings, but won’t impact schools or restaurants. Restaurants were already subject to capacity limits due to rules requiring that patrons remain socially distanced.
Virginia has had a statewide mask mandate since May.
Northam asks Virginians to celebrate Thanksgiving safely: ‘There’s no genetic immunity’
Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee on Nov. 15 announced new restrictions on businesses and social gatherings for the next four weeks as the state continues to combat a rising number of coronavirus cases.
Starting Nov. 17, a host of businesses must close their indoor services, including fitness facilities and gyms, bowling centers, movie theaters, museums, zoos and aquariums. Retail stores — including grocery stores — must limit their indoor capacity to 25%. Indoor social gatherings with people from more than one household are also prohibited unless attendees have either quarantined for 14 days before the gathering or tested negative for COVID-19 and have quarantined for seven days.
Starting Nov. 18, restaurants and bars will be limited to to-go service and outdoor dining with tables seating no more than five people.
Washington has had a statewide mask mandate since June.
Washington: New COVID-19 restrictions on dining, gyms
Gov. Jim Justice on Nov. 13 ordered the wearing of masks at all times in businesses and other indoor spaces starting at midnight. Justice’s first indoor mask order in July did not require masks if social distancing was possible. The new order requires masks at all times except when eating or drinking.
The Republican governor said businesses will need to post signs notifying entrants of the mask requirement under his executive order. Justice urged businesses that encounter patrons not wearing a mask to call the police.
“It’s just silly to be in a public building with strangers walking around without a mask on,” Justice said at a press conference Friday. “Even if you have this macho belief or whatever it may be, it’s silly.”
Justice said public and private schools must use remote instruction from Thanksgiving through Dec. 3. All winter high school sports are postponed until Jan. 11.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Nov. 10 delivered a statewide address and issued an executive order to make his case to the public: please stay home. It was the first time the governor has used a prime-time platform to ask the public to begin to take the pandemic seriously, nine months into the outbreak.
“Wisconsin, this is serious. This crisis is urgent,” Evers said in a speech from the state Capitol. “It’s not safe to go out, it’s not safe to have others over — it’s just not safe. And it might not be safe for a while yet.”
Evers’ order recommends Wisconsin residents to stay home as much as possible and to limit gatherings to households only. It also asks business owners to require masks in the workplace and allow employees to work from home. The order suggests restrictions required in Evers’ stay-at-home order that was struck down earlier this year.
Wisconsin has had a statewide mask mandate since August.
Republican Gov. Mark Gordon on Nov. 19 announced new statewide restrictions for the first time since the spring.
Under the new measures, effective Nov. 24, indoor and outdoor gatherings without distancing will be limited to 25 or fewer, indoor gatherings with distancing are limited to 25% capacity with a maximum of 100 people, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 50% capacity with up to 250 people.
The governor did not announce a statewide face mask order despite a call from 21 county health officers to enact one, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. Six days later, on Nov. 25, Gordon announced he had tested positive for COVID-19.
Contributing: Jorge L. Ortiz and Lindsay Schnell, USA TODAY; The Associated Press; USA TODAY Network
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID restrictions by state: A look at face mask, stay at home orders