Govs On Deck – April 28, 2020
Good Tuesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here, we’re still reminding you what day of the week it is, and we hope you are all safe and healthy.
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Dem Govs Get It Done:
NOTE: This is an overview of recent actions, not a comprehensive roundup of everything our incredible governors are doing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Want more examples? Send me an email and I can help you track down answers.
Stay at home orders:
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS extended the state’s stay at home order through May 15th. The extended order allows for slight changes to business operations.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS continued to provide additional details on the state’s new “safer at home face” which is in effect for the next 30 days. The state launched a new website and list of frequently asked questions about the new reopening phase.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER introduced the “MI Safe Start Plan” to begin to reopen the state. The plan will be based on data, as well as the risk level of restarting work. Workplaces that pose the least risk of virus transmission will be the first to reopen, such as construction work and other outdoor work. Businesses in areas that have been stabilizing will be able to open first.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY outlined his vision to reopen the state. The plan includes six key principles and benchmarks to guide the process: demonstrate sustained reductions in new cases and hospitalizations; expand testing capacity; implement robust contact tracing; secure safe places and resources for isolation and quarantine; execute a responsible economic restart; ensure New Jersey’s resiliency.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO unveiled her framework for safely reopening Rhode Island’s economy. The plan consists of three phases: the first that will lift the stay at home order but limit social gathering sizes, the second will include more business reopenings and restrictions being further relaxed, and the third increasing the size of social gatherings and allowing more people to return to the workplace.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture requesting the allowance of some local processing in order to avoid food waste and get local meat to Montana food banks for Montanans hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the partial re-opening of some outdoor recreation activities. As of Tuesday, May 5, some outdoor recreation will be allowed with appropriate safety precautions, including: fishing; hunting; playing golf; and day use at state parks, state public lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources and at state Fish and Wildlife areas.
- HAWAII Gov. David IGE announced that florists will be allowed to reopen as long as businesses can operate in accordance with social distancing rules.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that under the extended stay at home order, some stores may open for curbside retail and restaurants will be allowed to open outside dining areas for meal consumption only, with no tableside service.
- NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil MURPHY announced an administrative order clarifying which businesses are permitted to operate and ways in which certain businesses may operate in accordance with the state’s stay at home order.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF announced that the state is lifting some restrictions on businesses related to certain outdoor activities to ensure that Pennsylvanians have opportunities to safely enjoy outdoor recreation as a way to maintain positive physical and mental health.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced additional allowed operations for nonessential businesses, including allowing nonessential businesses to do curbside drop-off of goods and animals and allowing outdoor recreational rentals, such as boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs, and other similar recreational vehicles.
Testing and tracing:
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR announced that the state is preparing to hire 700 people across Kentucky to help with contract tracing.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the preliminary results of phase two of the state’s antibody testing survey show 14.9 percent of the population have COVID-19 antibodies. The governor also announced the state is expanding its antibody testing survey starting today to further determine the spread of infections among frontline workers and first responders.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state is opening five new drive-through testing facilities in Monroe, Erie, Broome, Niagara and Oneida Counties.
- NORTH CAROLINA’s Department of Health and Human Services announces the Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative, a new partnership with Community Care of North Carolina and the North Carolina Area Health Education Centers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The Carolina Community Tracing Collaborative is part of Gov. Roy COOPER’s initiative to slowly lift restrictions by focusing on testing, tracing and trends.
- PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Tom WOLF called for COVID-19 health care providers and medical facilities conducting tests to follow the Department of Health’s mandate to include race and ethnicity data in demographics provided to the department with COVID-19 test results. He also asked for more robust, free and accessible testing for minority and vulnerable populations.
PPE / medical supplies:
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR stated that every employee working for essential businesses that are reopening should be wearing a mask by that time.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS announced that under the extended stay at home order all employees of a business who have contact with the public must wear a mask.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state Department of Labor has successfully programmed its computer system and has begun issuing the first round of weekly federal stimulus payments to filers receiving state unemployment benefits.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the state is providing $25 million from the state’s special public health emergency fund for food banks and providers most impacted by COVID-19.
- CONNECTICUT’s Office of Early Childhood has launched the CTCARES for Frontline Workers Program. The program provides subsidies directly to child care providers so that children can get the care they need while their parents or guardians are able to get to work. Under the program, frontline workers include anyone who must work outside of their own home for at least 8 hours a week caring for people or providing in-person direct services and essential goods.
Response task forces / relief efforts:
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced the launch of the Nourish New York Initiative to purchase food and products from Upstate farms and direct it to food banks across the state. The state will also be partnering with the state’s dairy producers to process excess milk into products like yogurt, cheese, sour cream and cream cheese, that will be distributed to food banks and those in need.
- NEW MEXICO launched a series of PSAs intended to highlight the personal stories of New Mexicans who have experienced first-hand the pain and suffering of COVID-19 and to underscore the importance of remaining physically distant and protecting public health.
- MAINE Gov. Janet MILLS instructed all departments in state government to apply an emergency basis scrutiny to spending and hiring. This includes freezing unencumbered balances for Fiscal Year 2019 and certain reserves in Fiscal Year 2020, as well as reviewing contractual obligations through the remainder of the Fiscal Year, which ends June 30th.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order extending the validity of existing personal protection orders that would otherwise expire during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced nearly $300 million will be awarded from the state’s federal stimulus funding to local governments that did not receive direct distributions under the CARES Act. Funds will be provided to cities and counties with populations under 500,000 that were ineligible to receive direct funding under the CARES Act.
Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!