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BPAA State Policy Update - October 2, 2020

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COVID-19 Updates and Tracking

  • For the BPAA COVID-19 Resource Center, click the link here:
  • COVID-19 State Policy Tracking: Here is our COVID-19 State Policy Summary. Additionally, our interactive U.S. map displays COVID-19 State and Local Bans and Restrictions summary.
  • The New York Times also offers a helpful state order guide: view it here
  • North Carolina: NC moving into phase 3 reopening Friday, despite concerns with rising cases in northeast region For the first time in more than half a year, several businesses have been given the green light to reopen as North Carolina enters phase 3 of its reopening plan Friday. Gov. Roy Cooper, (D-NC), announced the phase 3 guidelines in a press conference Wednesday afternoon saying that “I believe North Carolina can do this safely.” While NCDHHS reported 1,372 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday along with 38 additional deaths, Dr. Mandy Cohen, who leads the department, pointed out that North Carolina’s trajectory of new lab-confirmed cases has been level the last 14-days, and its percent-positivity rate is holding steady around 6.5 percent. Read more here. 
  • ‘Every step the governor is making right now ... is a good thing’; Massachusetts arcade, laser tag and bowling alley owner excited about new guidelines David Breen, CEO and founder of Pinz Entertainment told MassLive that he was informed of the move 20 minutes before the announcement was public. He is thrilled at the news and feels the governor is making exactly the right choice. Gov. Charlie Baker announced that Massachusetts will allow arcades and recreational businesses in low-risk areas up to 50% of capacity, or 250 people if the limit is lower, from Oct. 5. The plan is part of the governor’s reopening plan, Step 2 of Phase 3.“It’s that next step to get us to that normalcy that we had before,” said Breen. “My Milford location has laser tag, so I’m able to open that as of Monday. We’re excited to get that going, you know, we’re hoping to get birthday parties to start booking again.” Baker reopened arcades on Sept. 14 after months of pressure and multiple lawsuits from owners saying that the guidelines of the reopening plan were unfair and favored larger businesses like casinos that had been open for months. Read more here at Mass Live.
  • California Coronavirus Update: Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Sacramento Allowed To Reopen Movie TheatersFurther One day after California Governor Gavin Newsom teased that more of the state’s counties would be allowed to open further as cases fall, the specifics were revealed. The state’s Director of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mark Ghaly, reported that the counties of San Francisco, Amador and Calaveras would be allowed to move into the Orange — or Moderate — tier and Sacramento, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Butte, Contra Costa, San Joaquin and Yolo would be allowed to progress into the Red — or Substantial — tier. Those changes are effective as of 3 p.m. on Tuesday. Read more here.
  • Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys can reopen Oct. 9, Gov. Whitmersays Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that Michigan movie theaters, closed since March, can reopen Oct. 9. Also reopening on that date: other indoor theaters, performance venues, ice rinks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities, trampoline parks, and more. The new order also eases capacity restrictions for indoor gatherings, allowing for more weddings and large banquets as temperatures cool. And it will allow larger funeral gatherings. Depending on the size of the venue, the order allows gatherings of up to 500 people indoors and up to 1,000 people outdoors, though gatherings at most venues will be capped at numbers much smaller than those. Read more here
  •    Michigan: Whitmer moves UP back to new version of Phase 4 on Oct. 9: The Michigan Supreme Court has struck down months of orders by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that were aimed at that were aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. It’s not clear yet whether her orders are still in effect. “Accordingly, the executive orders issued by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic now lack any basis under Michigan law,” Justice Stephen Markman wrote in the majority opinion. Before the Supreme Court ruling came down, Gov. Whitmer announced that Upper Michigan is going back to Phase 4 of her reopening plan, however, this version of Phase 4 has many changes from the governor’s original Phase 4.  Read more here
  • Now in final stage of reopening, Florida reports 738 new COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths As Florida continued to ease into the final stage of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan, the health department reported another 738 new cases of the coronavirus Monday. The new cases of the respiratory illness bring the state’s total to 701,302 since the virus was first detected in Florida in March. Six months after the first COVID-19 case was reported, Florida is now reducing restrictions meant to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. On Monday the Florida Department of Health announced five people have recently died due to the virus. Florida’s COVID-19 death toll now stands at 14,207 deaths, including 170 non-residents who have died in the state. Read more here
  • State Advises Vigilance Against COVID-19 as Fall Comes, Cases PlateauState health officials and Gov. Jay Inslee are asking for Washington residents to keep preventative measures in mind as fall leads to more indoor activity, noting a recent plateau of COVID-19 spread as cause for concern that the colder months could lead to another wave of the ongoing pandemic. Inslee hosted a press conference on Thursday, Oct. 1, where he addressed the need for the state to continue with preventative measures toward the end of the year. Though the majority of the conversation related to Boeing’s recent decision to move production of its 787 aircraft to South Carolina, which was something the governor was particularly displeased with, Inslee spoke about “concerning” trends in the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Read more 
  • Washington state loosens coronavirus guidelines for weddings and funerals Weddings receptions and funerals will be allowed under new social distancing guidelines for Washington counties in Phases 2 and 3, state officials announced Wednesday. Wedding and funeral ceremonies of up to 30 people will be allowed or 25% of maximum building capacity, whichever is less, according to new guidelines issued by Gov. Jay Inslee's office. Read more at King5.
  • Arizona passes COVID-19 milestone, as final county meets reopening mark Arizona officials hailed a COVID-19 milestone Thursday, when the final county in the state crossed a coronavirus transmission threshold that lets some shuttered businesses begin the process of reopening. The Arizona Department of Health Services said Graham County moved from the “substantial” to “moderate” transmission category, in which businesses such as restaurants, waterparks and movie theaters can reopen if they put health safeguards in place. The reopenings are phased and officials said there will be little immediate change in people’s lives or livelihoods. But they still welcomed the news and cautioned against backsliding “in such a manner that we would have to take more stringent public health measures,” one official said. Read more here.
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