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BPAA State Policy Update - May 8, 2020

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State COVID-19 and Small Business Update

  • For a helpful resource for tracking state executive actions:
    • COVID-19 State Policy Tracking: Here is the current version of the COVID-19 State Policy Summary, which provides high-level insight into orders in place and recovery/reopening plans by state.
    • The interactive U.S. map on our website displays our COVID-19 State and Local Bans and Restrictions summary, and you can click through to each state’s summary, which includes hyperlinks to orders and government websites.
    • The New York Times also offers a helpful state order guide: view it here.


  • State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance: Yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched an interactive map with state-specific information to help business owners and employers navigate state-based public health guidelines. This link is also available within our External Resources drop down menu on our COVID-19 Resource Page. COVID-19 State Policy Tracking: Here is the current version of the COVID-19 State Policy Summary, which provides high-level insight into orders in place and recovery/reopening plans by state. The interactive U.S. map on our website displays our COVID-19 State and Local Bans and Restrictions summary, and you can click through to each state’s summary, which includes hyperlinks to orders and government websites.


  • California---  Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that some retail stores across the state can reopen with modifications as early as Friday amid growing pressure to ease the stay-at-home order that has cratered the California economy. The new changes are part of a four-stage plan the governor laid out last week to gradually transition back to normal in a state of nearly 40 million people whose lives have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Under the new statewide COVID-19 guidelines, the governor said bookstores, music stores, toy stores, florists, sporting goods retailers and others can reopen for pickup, and manufacturing and logistics can resume in the retail supply chain. Newsom said more detailed guidelines on the businesses that can resume limited operations would be released later this week.The governor’s plan also expands decision-making at the local level, allowing some communities to move further ahead into the second phase of the reopening process at their own pace and open more businesses — such as restaurant dining rooms — beyond those outlined in the statewide policy.
    • If communities want to take that next step, counties must first submit “containment plans” that meet certain requirements for hospital beds, testing kits and the ability to track infected people and trace their contacts, Newsom said. Other local orders that are more restrictive than statewide reopening plans would supersede any changes the governor makes, Newsom said.
    • Though health experts have given Newsom credit for implementing the first statewide stay-at-home order in the nation and successfully beating back the virus in California, his efforts to protect public health by shuttering businesses and restricting movement have also caused economic peril. The state processed more than 3.5 million claims for unemployment benefits from March 14 through the third week in April.
    • The move to Stage 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which is set to begin Friday, will ultimately allow more businesses deemed to be at lower risk of spreading the virus to open in communities across California. State officials cautioned office buildings, shopping malls and restaurant dining rooms will not be reopened Friday, but later on in Stage 2. Restrictions will be continually assessed and could be modified based on regional health conditions, including testing capabilities, officials said.
    • The Newsom administration has said Stage 3 would begin in “months” and include the opening of hair salons, gyms, sports competitions in empty stadiums and religious services. The final stage would mark the end of the stay-at-home order and all restrictions, allowing people to return to concerts and sporting events, which the governor has noted is unlikely to occur until a vaccine becomes widely available. Read the full article at The LA Times


  • Maryland opening state beaches, parks for some activities; schools closed for academic year ANNAPOLIS, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - Although he stopped short of pinpointing a date, MarylandGovernor Larry Hogan said that the state’s data indicates they could begin discussions for reopening as soon as next week. The governor noted that for “seven or eight days,” they’ve seen favorable data, but he wants to reevaluate it before arriving at an official reopening date.Although many facets of the state will soon be open, officials announced that Maryland schools would be closed through the end of the academic year. The governor also announced some furtive steps toward reopening, including updated state guidelines on some outdoor activities.
    • Effective Thursday at 7 a.m., public beaches and parks will reopen for exercise or walking. Also, the list of safe outdoor activities will be broadened to include golf, tennis, boating, fishing, and camping.
    • The Maryland Department of Health will issue guidelines for elective medical procedures effective immediately - but at the discretion of local healthcare professionals and medical facilities. The Governor unveiled his administration’s blueprint for Maryland’s “Road to Recovery” on April 23.
    • Hogan has maintained that the state would follow White House guidelines regarding setting a date for reopening: two weeks of declining COVID-19 cases, and having an infrastructure in place to handle a hospital surge should the virus rebound. The Governor said the state must have made progress on four key elements to be able to consider a plan for recovery, including expanded testing capacity, increased hospital surge capacity, ramping up the supply of PPE, and robust contact tracing. Read the full article at FOX 5 DC


  • Ohio--- After weeks of Ohioans being stuck at home due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, things are starting to change as Gov. Mike DeWine's reopening schedule continues.  Manufacturing, distribution, construction and office work has resumed and Ohioans are allowed to have some hospital, medical, dental procedures. We finally know when hair salons, barbershops and restaurants will be allowed to reopen: May 15. Restaurants and bars will be open to limited seating and will only be allowed to operate outdoors until May 21. We still don't know when child care and entertainment facilities will reopen.  Here is the full reopening schedule, including past deadlines:
    • Friday, May 1: Hospital, medical, dental and veterinary services that don't require an overnight hospital stay.
    • Saturday, May 2: Retail businesses that have been closed can open for curbside pickup, delivery and appointment-only shopping limited to 10 customers at a time.
    • Monday, May 4: Construction, distribution, manufacturing, offices
    • Tuesday, May 12: Consumer, retail and service businesses
    • Friday, May 15: Hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, tanning salons, bar and restaurants outdoor and patios can open.
    • Thursday, May 21: Restaurant dine-in locations and bar interiors can open.
    • What remains closed: Child care centers for most children, movie theaters, gyms, campgrounds, tattoo parlors, laser tag facilities, roller skating rinks, ice skating rinks, arcades, indoor miniature golf facilities, auditoriums, stadiums, arenas, parades, fairs, festivals, bowling alleys and more. Read the full article at Cincinnati News


  • Illinois--  CHICAGO (WMBD) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker has shared a five-phase plan to reopen Illinois by region amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The five-phase plan is guided by public health metrics designed to provide a framework for reopening businesses, education, and recreational activities in each phase. It is based on regional healthcare availability and recognizes the specific impact COVID-19 has had on different regions of the state as well as regional variations in hospital capacity. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has 11 Emergency Medical Services Regions that have traditionally guided its statewide public health work. For the purposes of Restore Illinois, from those 11, four health regions are established, each with the ability to independently move through a phased approach: Northeast Illinois; North-Central Illinois; Central Illinois; and Southern Illinois.
    • The five phases of reopening for each health region are as follows:
      • Phase 1 – Rapid Spread: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital is high or rapidly increasing. Strict stay at home and social distancing guidelines are put in place and only essential businesses remain open. Every region has experienced this phase once already and could return to it if mitigation efforts are unsuccessful.
      • Phase 2 – Flattening: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital beds and ICU beds increases at an even slower rate, moving toward a flat and even a downward trajectory. Non-essential retail stores reopen for curbside pickup and delivery. Illinoisans are directed to wear a face-covering when outside the home, and can begin enjoying additional outdoor activities like golf, boating, and fishing while practicing social distancing. To varying degrees, every region is experiencing flattening as of early May.
      • Phase 3 – Recovery: The rate of infection among those tested, the number of patients admitted to the hospital, and the number of patients needing ICU beds is stable or declining. Manufacturing, offices, retail, barbershops, and salons can reopen to the public with capacity and other limits and safety precautions. Health and fitness clubs can provide outdoor classes and one-on-one personal training with IDPH approved safety guidance. All gatherings limited to 10 or fewer people are allowed. Face coverings and social distancing are the norms.
      • Phase 4 – Revitalization: The rate of infection among those tested and the number of patients admitted to the hospital continues to decline. All gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed, restaurants and bars reopen, travel resumes, child care, and schools reopen under guidance from the IDPH. Face coverings and social distancing are the norms.
      • Phase 5 – Illinois Restored: With a vaccine or highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases over a sustained period, the economy fully reopens with safety precautions continuing. Conventions, festivals, and large events are permitted, and all businesses, schools, and places of recreation can open with new safety guidelines and procedures in place reflecting the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full article at Central Illinois Proud


  • Florida--- Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled a plan Wednesday to lift the state's stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus crisis that he called "safe, smart and step by step. The plan went into effect Monday in every county except Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties, where most of the state's COVID-19 cases have been reported, DeSantis said. The restrictions, which have been in place since early April — and which were set to expire Friday — will be lifted "in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way," DeSantis promised earlier. Under phase one, retail stores and restaurants can reopen, but only at 25 percent capacity. Eateries will be allowed to seat people outside, but they will have to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. And elective surgical procedures will be allowed to resume. But schools, bars, gyms, hair salons, nursing home and long-term care facilities will remain closed until further notice. DeSantis' announcement came as 350 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Wednesday in Florida, along with 47 new deaths, bringing the state's virus-related death toll to 1,218. More than 5,400 people remain hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the state Health Department. DeSantis, a Republican and staunch Trump supporter, had been widely criticized for refusing to quickly clear the beaches of visitors and issue stay-at-home orders. Read the full article at NBC News


  • Texas-- AUSTIN (KXAN) The second phase of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s reopening plan goes into effect Friday as more businesses and public places get the go-ahead to open doors again. The following businesses and public places can reopen, as part as Gov. Abbott’s plan: Barbershops, Hair salon, Nail salon, Tanning salons, Swimming pools All are subjected to the 25% capacity mandate like previously reopened businesses, and barbershops and salons can only see customers by appointment. Work stations need to be six feet apart, and face masks are also strongly encouraged. Customers are asked not to bring extra people with them, like children for example, and customers should only come in the building when the salon is ready for them. The state also says business owners should only offer services that are “less complex and time-consuming.”

As far as swimming pools go, the City of Austin isn’t going to reopen the pools they operate “for weeks,” Mayor Steve Adler said earlier this week. It is up to each county how they want to proceed with reopening public pools. In Round Rock, they’re waiting until Memorial Day to reopen pools. In 10 days on May 18, more businesses are slated to reopen under the 25% capacity rule. Those are: Gyms and fitness centers, Nonessential manufacturers, Office buildings. Each of those have their own specific restrictions on top of the capacity mandate. Read the full article at KXAN


  • Missouri-- The state’s stay-at-home order expired Monday, allowing certain businesses to reopen with some social distancing restrictions in place. The number of cases reported Monday is the largest increase in a single day in the state since the pandemic began. The state has reported 8,754 cases and 358 deaths. Missouri recorded its largest single-day spike in coronavirus cases Monday, the same day the state’s stay-at-home order expired, allowing some businesses to reopen. The state tallied 368 new COVID-19 cases and six new deaths Monday, the largest number of cases reported in the state in a single day since the pandemic began, according to St. Louis’s KMOV-TV.
    • Randall Williams, the state’s health director, said the spike in cases across the state could be the result of increased testing, especially among those who were not displaying any symptoms. Missouri’s stay-at-home order allowed many nonessential businesses to remain open with social distancing restrictions. While the order has expired, some of those restrictions are still in place, but some additional businesses, such as salons, have been allowed to reopen. Parts of the state hit harder by COVID-19 remain under local stay-at-home orders.  Read the full article at The Hill


  • Washington-- Gov. Jay Inslee this week continued lifting restrictions in his stay-home order meant to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, part of phase one in his four-phase plan to reopen the state. Some outdoor recreation opened earlier this week. By the end of Friday, Inslee’s office will be trying to issue guidance to restart the remaining phase-one businesses, according to Nick Streuli, Inslee’s external relations director. That would allow landscapers and pet walkers back to work, and for retail stores to offer curbside pickup. While the stay-home order is in effect through May 31, the plan anticipates many restrictions being in place weeks longer — and only lifting them when public health data shows the outbreak has been sufficiently tamped down. Guidance for restarting some businesses listed in phase two of the reopening — which could begin soon in some less-affected rural counties, if their plans are approved — could also come as early as Friday, according to Streuli.
    • But the flurry of activity hits as residents, businesses, Inslee’s office and other government officials try to navigate confusion and uncertainty on the way to resuming commerce amid a pandemic. State health officials Thursday confirmed 326 new COVID-19 cases and 21 more deaths. Those numbers bring Washington’s totals to 16,231 confirmed cases and 891 fatalities. So far, 230,680 tests for the illness have been conducted in the state, according to the Department of Health (DOH) data. About 7% have returned positive.
    • Republicans, along with some business owners and a handful of Democrats in rural Washington, continue to say the reopening is too slow. Read the full article at Seattle Times


  • Wisconsin-- Wisconsin has been under a stay-at-home order since March 24 to slow the spread of coronavirus. As the state eyes reopening for business, here is a general status update on what is open, what's not and what businesses are doing to keep people safe. Grocery stores and pharmacies. Open, but shoppers are required to abide by social-distancing requirements. Some grocery stores also offer curbside pickup and delivery options. Some stores are asking patrons to wear masks.  Restaurants: In-restaurant dining is barred under the safer-at-home order through May 26, but restaurants are permitted to be open for takeout, curbside pickup or delivery service. Bars: Bars, lounges and tap rooms are closed under the safer-at-home order through May 26, but takeout and curbside pickup of food and beverages is permitted. Movie theaters and concert venues: Closed under the safer-at-home order through May 26.
    • Churches and places of worship: Gatherings have restricted to fewer than 10 people through May 26 under safer-at-home order.
    • Shopping malls and retail stores: Closed since safer-at-home order restricted gatherings to 10 people or fewer. Some retailers are offering curbside pickup. Salons (hair, nails, tattoo parlors): Closed per the safer-at-home order through May 26.
    • Doctors and dentist offices: Most medical offices remain open, but patients are encouraged to practice social distancing, wear masks and take other safeguards. In general, providers are limiting non-urgent medical procedures and appointments; check with your provider for details. State, city and county parks, State parks: Most Wisconsin state parks properties are open, but all bathrooms and other facilities, including observation towers and contact stations, are closed.
    • Child care centers: Licensed facilities can operate with no more than 10 staff members, and no more than 50 children present at any one time. Social-distancing guidelines are in effect for adults doing pickup and drop-off of children at the centers. Gyms and fitness centers: Closed per the safer-at-home order through May 26. Museums: Closed per the safer-at-home order through May 26. Nurseries and garden centers: Most remain open, and are directed to follow social-distancing guidelines. Farmers markets: Allowed under the safer-at-home order, with social-distancing guidelines and other protective measures expected (varies by farmers market). Read the full article at JS Online


  • Nevada-- RENO, Nev. (KRNV/KRXI) – A handful of Nevada businesses will be allowed to reopen with restrictions in place starting Saturday, May 9. During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Sisolak announced that restaurants, barbershops, salons and retailers will be allowed to reopen their doors as part of Phase 1. Sisolak reiterated that casinos, bars, nightclubs, gyms, taverns and entertainment businesses like bowling alleys and movie theaters are not permitted to reopen during Phase 1.Phase 1 is expected to last roughly two or three weeks, but Sisolak warns that openings could be rolled back if there's a spike of the virus or problem areas. In addition to the reopening plans, Sisolak said all grocery store employees must start wearing masks. All vulnerable populations must continue to shelter in place, according to Sisolak. Sisolak said Phase 1 can begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. Read the full article at News 3 LV


  • Georgia-- Now that Georgia is reopening, teams of experts are calculating whether the rate at which people will sicken or die from the novel coronavirus will rise in the coming weeks, and whether we’ll need more hospital beds to care for them. The news is generally bleak. Revised projections show that unless people act as if they remain on lockdown, infections and deaths by COVID-19 are bound to rise. The only disagreement among experts is by how much and when. Read the full article at WSB Radio
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