Health Care & Wellness
Frustrated Cities & States Turn to Vaccine Mandates to Fight COVID-19
August 25, 2021 | Bill Kramer
States and localities are pursuing a variety of policies to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Track all the policy activity here, including mask mandates, travel restrictions, reopening guidelines, impact on state legislative sessions, and more.
Last Updated September 24, 2021
To monitor the response of state and local governments to the coronavirus, we created a COVID-19 State and Local Policy Dashboard that provides a quick and easy reference to updates and information issued by state and key local agencies and policymakers (updated daily). Toggle between the tabs labeled "State" and "Local" in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
This information will be updated daily by our policy team. You can access this new resource by clicking here.
The latest policy tool that states and localities are utilizing to fight COVID-19 is vaccination mandates. In August 2021, New York City became the first U.S. government to require proof of vaccination for employees and customers at public indoor facilities, including restaurants, gyms, and theaters. As new COVID-19 cases surge around the country — primarily fueled by the delta variant — state and local leaders are turning to the stick after tempting residents with carrots to get vaccinated. The map below tracks vaccine requirements on private-sector workers and another map tracking vaccine mandates on public-sector employees can be found on MultiState's COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates page.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, all 50 governors declared a statewide state of emergency. By declaring a state of emergency, governors gained new powers and flexibility to react to the quickly changing environment as well as tap into federal resources. With COVID-19 cases decreasing rapidly in response to the widespread vaccination efforts, states have begun to end these emergency declarations. The map below tracks which states have ended their stateside emergency declaration. More information can be located in the "State of Emergency Declaration" of MultiState's COVID-19 Policy Dashboard.
MultiState is tracking each state's vaccination plan as it adapts to the evolving environment. MultiState's State COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard is focused on who is currently eligible to receive a vaccine in each state as well as plans for future eligible populations. For example, below is a map breaking down which states have expanded eligibility for which age groups.
As states shift the focus of their COVID-19 response from managing the public health crisis to the economic recovery phase, states have started allowing certain businesses to open, and most have announced plans for a phased reopening of the economy. Since each state’s degree of “openness” is determined by many factors, and because each state handled pandemic response differently, MultiState has developed a COVID-19 State Reopening Guide to condense these factors into one easy-to-understand “openness score” that allows you to compare states to one another. States are evaluated based on eleven factors, and the data behind this guide is updated daily.
Travel restrictions typically require anyone who enters into the state to self-quarantine for 14-days. Some are limited to those entering from certain locations, while others are more broad and require self-quarantine generally. The map below summarizes these restrictions and will be updated daily.
Our latest tool collects "stay-at-home" orders and definitions of "essential businesses" from states and large localities. This is "live" and will be updated as soon as new orders are issued and reviewed by the MultiState team. Click here to access this tool, or visit https://bit.ly/stay_home_orders.
State legislatures have also begun introducing and advancing legislation addressing the COVID-19 outbreak. In general, this legislation falls into the following categories:
In addition to the impact on schools, businesses, and daily life, the COVID-19 outbreak is also impacting the operation of state legislatures. Many state legislatures have either postponed activity or adjourned early, and those that have remained in session have restricted public access to capitol buildings and legislative office buildings.
Our State Legislative Sessions chart is being updated daily to include any changes to legislative schedules that result from the COVID-19 outbreak (click here to see the chart). We have also distilled these calendar updates into a map, shown below. Our Sessions chart and this map will also be updated daily.
To keep track of what state officials and agencies are saying about COVID-10 and to follow updates from their official accounts, we are creating Twitter Lists so that you can follow are the states in one place.
August 25, 2021 | Bill Kramer
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