States seeking to impose interstate travel restrictions must navigate a very uncertain legal path, according to a recent article in The New England Journal of Medicine. Restrictions stand the best chance of withstanding constitutional scrutiny if they apply equally to residents and nonresidents, allow exceptions, are time limited and regularly reviewed, and are grounded in epidemiologic data.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services now requires that "nursing homes in states with a 5%+ COVID-19 positivity rate test all nursing home staff each week.” The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) compiled a state-by-state breakdown of facilities meeting this criterion and assessed their access to vital PPE, including N95 masks, surgical masks, and gowns. Alarmingly, up to 26% of nursing homes in some states with COVID-19 spikes have less than a one-week supply of N95 masks.
COVID-19 deaths in the US are projected to exceed 230,000 by November 1, according to The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, which also provides state-by-state projections on Infections and Testing, Hospital Resource Use, and Social Distancing.
A newly published list of statewide orders regarding face coverings indicates that Minnesota, Ohio and Indiana are the latest states to issue mask mandates. Ohio's order requires all residents over age 10 to wear masks in public. Minnesota requires people to wear masks in all indoor public spaces and businesses, unless they're alone. Indiana now requires people over age 8 to wear masks in most public places.
The White House has privately called on 11 major cities to take "aggressive" steps to control COVID-19's spread, reports The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Deborah Birx, MD, head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, issued the warning during a July 22 call with state and local leaders. She cited Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis as the cities that must act quickly to control their outbreaks.
In some parts of the U.S., COVID-19 cases may be 6 to 24 times higher than reported figures, according to new antibody data from the CDC. The data covers more than 16,000 blood samples collected from patients as part of routine care in 10 cities and states between March 23 and May 12.
States face a significant loss of tax revenue in FY 2021 and beyond due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but estimates of the scope of those losses continue to evolve. A new analysis by the Tax Foundation of 12 states’ revenue forecasts indicates $121 billion two-year tax revenue losses compared to FY 2019. While these losses are substantial, they are not as draconian as current worst-case scenarios. Understanding the scope of revenue losses can help bring into focus the view from the statehouses as a federal relief package is considered.
Johns Hopkins University of Medicine is tracking and updating key metrics in a Testing Trends Tool to help leaders make informed decisions about lifting measures that control disease transmission. As the states’ COVID-19 testing capacity increases, the latest news is troubling with only five states showing a decline in infections from last week. Florida and Texas report 10,000 new cases each and many previously quiet states show an uptick into the thousands of cases. Testing frequency varies from 1 to 4.8 tests per thousand people, with confirmed COVID-19 infection rates as high as 24% (AZ), 18% (FL, SC) and ~15% (TX, GA, NV, AL).
Hawaii’s State Department of Health has published Social Bubble FAQ’s: Bubble Up Don’t Bubble Over as part of its COVID-19 guidance. This reader-friendly piece explains how to manage risk reasonably as reopening allows for safe socializing by limited groups of friends and family members.
The riskiness of everyday activities during the pandemic, from Low Risk: “opening the mail” to High Risk: “Going to a bar,” was rated by physicians from the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force and the Committee on Infectious Diseases. The analysis (BE INFORMED: Know Your Risk During COVID-19) assumes that safety protocols (e.g., masks, social distancing) are being followed and that people have no underlying conditions predisposing them to higher risk from COVID-19.
As some states reel from losses of revenue and high costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several states are seeking additional federal aid. Congressional debate is ongoing over whether to provide such aid and what form it might take—from expanded, flexible CARES ACT funding to a new stimulus package. Stateside reports on how some states have had a windfall from the CARES Act, while others still face significant shortfalls.
Since March, the Marshall Project has been collecting data on COVID-19 infections and deaths in state and federal prisons. Prison systems in several states are seeing significant outbreaks among both inmates and staff, including CA, OH, MI, and TX. By June 23, at least 48,764 prison inmates had tested positive for the illness, a 5% increase from the week before. At least 584 prisoners have died of coronavirus-related causes, with the total number of deaths up 7 percent in the week prior to June 23. The Marshall Project site provides daily updates on the data for each state.
In a July 8 report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that GDP will be $3.9 trillion lower over 2020–2021 than in its January projections. Decreased consumer spending and private investment account for most of the decline. The CBO anticipates that additional federal funding for state and local governments would increase output by reducing the size of tax increases and spending cuts enacted by those jurisdictions to balance their budgets.
States face pressure from some parents to reopen schools, while others argue that this would put children at risk. In a June 1 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, two Johns Hopkins professors explain why reopening schools this fall is an urgent national priority. To achieve this goal safely, they offer a framework of 6 components that policy makers should consider embracing in order to create the conditions for successful school reopening.
A report tracking each state’s re-opening status, updated daily, is online now at The New York Times. Status of stay-at-home orders are included as well as indications for major market sectors (e.g., Retail, Food and Drink, Entertainment). Categories may shift as conditions change or to account for changes in the national landscape.
This site provides state-by-state values for Rt — a measure of how fast the COVID-19 virus is spreading or slowing. It represents the effective reproduction rate of the virus; that is, how many additional people may be infected from a single infected individual in a specific area. When Rt is above 1.0, the virus will spread quickly. When Rt is below 1.0, spread of the virus is slowing. As states consider risks and benefits of moving toward re-opening, these data provide key insights.
This searchable snapshot of the COVID-19 crisis, updated daily, provides data down to the state or county level on COVID cases, deaths, and testing reports.
NCSL is providing state-by-state updates on operations of state legislatures, including remote sessions and adjournment or suspension of legislative sessions.
State-by-state updates on legislative sessions, travel restrictions, “stay-at-home” orders, and official declarations are tabulated in the COVID-19 Policy Tracker from MultiState Associates.
For updates on States’ access to federal funds, see Federal Funds Information For States website and its section focused on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Note: Some pages require log-in).
A bipartisan group of experts have developed a roadmap for how to safely reopen the economy. The Roadmap to Panedemic Resilience says 5 million tests per day, contact tracing and supported isolation are required. The report was developed by experts in economics, public health, technology and ethics in collaboration with Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (July 1, 2020).
When will your state’s COVID-19 cases peak? Demand for hospital resources and deaths due to COVID-19 are expected to peak in the U.S. this month, according to an analysis from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Click the link above and then use the drop down menu to find your state’s projected peak.
Legislative session dates and deadlines are available on a downloadable chart provided by MultiState.