To monitor the state and local government response to the coronavirus, MultiState created a COVID-19 State and Local Policy Dashboard in early March that provides a quick and easy reference to updates and information issued by state and key local agencies and policymakers. But after a government-mandated shutdown of many businesses across the country, governors are now focused on “reopening” the economy.
MultiState's COVID-19 State Reopening Guide provides a numerical rating of each state’s degree of “openness” — in other words, how open for business is each state now that states have begun shifting their focus to economic recovery? Each state’s rating is calculated based on a daily grading of eleven key factors. The map and chart below indicate current ratings, and the matrix and methodology section dives into the details.
Once a state decides its public health crisis has abated sufficiently to begin easing restrictions, the reopening process in each state is unique but generally resembles a reversal of the initial order of shutdowns we witnessed on a rapid basis in mid-March. This phased-in approach will take much longer than the initial shutdown and could still potentially reverse if a COVID-19 outbreak reemerges.
We frame the reopening question as “how open for business is each state?” instead of "how robust is each state's reopening plan" because states are starting from different positions. A handful of states never issued stay-at-home orders at all, while all states mandated at least some business closings on a sliding scale of strictness during the pandemic.
Once each state is evaluated based on the eleven factors described in the methodology, the factors are then condensed into each state’s “openness score.” The openness ratings range “most open,” indicating the state is fully open beyond standard social distancing guidelines (the highest possible score is 100) to “least open,” indicating the state is in full lockdown to (a score of 0). Each state’s grading is updated daily by our team of analysts.