Govs On Deck – May 12, 2020
Good Tuesday afternoon and welcome to today’s edition of “Govs on Deck.” We’re still here, we’re still daily, and we hope you are all still 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.
- CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin NEWSOM, COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS, NEVADA Gov. Steve SISOLAK, OREGON Gov. Kate BROWN, and WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE along with legislative leadership from their respective states sent a letter to Congressional leadership requesting $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states and local governments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to preserve core government services like public health, public safety, and public education, and help people get back to work.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS provided updates for when decisions would be possibly made around whether or not Colorado can begin to reopen other industries or loosen restrictions. The dates do not reflect when an industry may or may not open but when the state will have more data to inform a decision around when they may be able to open and at what level.
- LOUISIANA Gov. John Bel EDWARDS outlined the first phase of the Roadmap to a Resilient Louisiana, which adopts every major recommendation of the White House plan in Phase One. Louisiana will move to Phase One under the White House COVID-19 guidance this Friday, May 15, which removes the Stay at Home order for Louisianans and allows additional businesses to open under strict occupancy, protection, and social distancing guidelines.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK announced additional Phase One guidelines that will allow gyms and fitness studios, movie theaters, and museums the option to reopen beginning Friday, May 15th as long as they adhere to strict guidelines limiting capacity, requiring social distancing, and imposing thorough sanitation requirements.
- NEW YORK Gov. Andrew CUOMO announced that the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley Regions have met all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s regional phased reopening plan when NYS on PAUSE orders expire on May 15th. If the trend continues, starting on May 15th, these three regions can begin opening businesses for phase one, which includes construction; manufacturing and wholesale supply chain; retail for curbside pickup and drop-off, or in-store pickup; and agriculture, forestry, and fishing.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM issued an executive order allowing specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay entering Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan until May 28th. The governor has said that Virginia as a whole may enter Phase One on Friday, May 15th.
- WASHINGTON’s Wahkiakum, Skamania, and Stevens counties have been given the green light to move into Phase 2 of Gov. Jay INSLEE’s Safe Start plan to reopen the economy and recreation.
- DELAWARE’s Department of Agriculture announced it is issuing protocols to help farmer’s markets safely begin opening starting May 15th.
- MONTANA’s State-Tribal Relations Committee is asking members of the public to heed restrictions tribal governments adopt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT signed an executive order modifying the petitioning process for the August primary by reducing the number of signatures required by 30%, extending the deadline for the submission of petitions by two days, and permitting individuals to sign and mail or email to a candidate a petition containing only that individual’s signature, provided the individual makes all the required representations and attestations under penalty of false statement.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Education Initiative are partnering with Rocky Mountain Public Media to provide K-3 learners, and their families and caregivers with direct-to-home remote literacy learning though “Colorado Classroom – Read With Me at Home” starting May 18.
- COLORADO Gov. Jared POLIS announced that the Department of Public Health and Environment has determined that C&C Coffee and Kitchen in Castle Rock is causing an imminent health hazard. CDPHE is using its authority under the Colorado Food Protection Act to suspend the license of the business indefinitely until it can be established that there is no longer a threat to public health.
- RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina RAIMONDO announced that restaurants will be able to begin limited outdoor dining in addition to their take-out, delivery, and drive-through operations starting May 18th.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE issued guidance for partially resuming the dine-in restaurant and tavern industry for counties granted variance under the Safe Start Phase 2 recovery plan laid out last week.
- WISCONSIN’s Department of Health Services issued an emergency order allowing all standalone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time while maintaining required social distancing practices and allowing drive-in theaters to operate with some restrictions.
- CONNECTICUT’s Department of Public Health distributed the state’s first allotment of remdesivir to acute care hospitals. The medication was recently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for patients who have severe symptoms of COVID-19. So far, the state has received 30 cases of 40 doses each, for a total of 1,200 doses.
- ILLINOIS Gov. JB PRITZKER released an updated statewide model and regional metrics tracking progress in the Restore Illinois reopening plan. Compared to the previous model forecasts which predicted peaking between late April and early May, that timeframe of plateauing near a peak has been expanded from mid-May into mid-June in Illinois. Daily death and hospital capacity data over the course of the last two and a half weeks have informed the model and led to the updated predictions.
- MINNESOTA Gov. Tim WALZ signed an executive order allowing students in critical care sectors to attend classes for needed in-person training or testing in order to graduate.
Testing and tracing:
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR encouraged Kentuckians to take advantage of the 70 testing locations across the state and announced new partnerships with First Care Clinics and Bluewater Diagnostics Laboratory that will help Kentuckians get tested for COVID-19 at no cost before they go back to work, even if they do not have health insurance.
- MONTANA Gov. Steve BULLOCK secured 19,500 swabs and 9,000 viral transport medium that have arrived from the federal government to support the effort to continue testing symptomatic Montanans and ramp up testing to protect vulnerable Montanans in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and in tribal communities.
- VIRGINIA Gov. Ralph NORTHAM announced a pilot program with the City of Richmond to support the Commonwealth’s ongoing focus on health equity. The partnership aims to increase equitable access to PPE in underserved communities that may be most adversely impacted by the virus.
- WISCONSIN Gov. Tony EVERS announced that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Wisconsin National Guard will be supporting two new community-based testing sites in Milwaukee and in Madison. This is part of a series of efforts by the DHS and the Wisconsin National Guard to work with local health departments to create community testing sites in places with a known lack of access to testing or known community spread.
- CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned LAMONT announced that the state received its single largest shipment of PPE. The equipment, which came from suppliers in China includes 6 million surgical masks, 500,000 protective masks, 100,000 surgical gowns, and 100,000 temporal thermometers.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order lifting certain requirements of the application process for young Michiganders to obtain a work permit.
- NEW JERSEY’s Department of Human Services announced the federal government has approved the Department’s plan to provide $248 million in special food assistance benefits to nearly 600,000 New Jersey children who normally receive free or reduced-price school meals as part of the response to COVID-19 school closures.
- HAWAII’s Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will provide eligible beneficiaries with rental assistance using $7 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant funds. These funds were made available in accordance with the Native Hawaiian Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act and other federal laws,
- KENTUCKY Gov. Andy BESHEAR issued a scam alert today warning Kentuckians of utility-related scams popping up in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER issued an executive order extending a previous order that temporarily lifts weight and other delivery-related restrictions for vehicles carrying essential supplies through May 25th.
- MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen WHITMER signed an executive order which continues to allow certain state administrative hearings to be held by video conference or phone in place of in-person hearings through June 8th.
- NEW JERSEY’s Department of Community Affairs announced that the state received $31,511,487 from the second round of Community Development Block Grant CARES Act funding allocated by the federal government. This CDBG funding allocation is in addition to the $4 million the state received on April 2nd.
- WASHINGTON Gov. Jay INSLEE announced the extension of nine proclamations today in response to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay safe everyone and wash your hands!