State COVID-19 Reopening Guidelines

The following resource is intended as a snapshot to help navigate this rapidly-changing environment. Please consult with regulators within the appropriate jurisdiction and your own stakeholders including legal counsel before making a determination on how to best proceed with your company’s operations as your state reopens their economy.


Reopening Plan: “Reopening During the Coronavirus Pandemic” is a four-stage plan which includes Stage 1: safety and preparedness, Stage 2: lower-risk workplaces; Stage 3: higher-risk workplaces and Stage 4: end of stay at home order. About 80 percent of the state’s population lives in counties where retail operations have been rolled back. However, individual brick-and-mortar retail units are able to stay open across the state.  For county criteria click here. Read the entire Resiliency Roadmap here.  Read reopening guidance for businesses here. If a county allows manufacturing to resume, the state has issued these guidelines. The state senate ceased operations on Aug. 26 after a senator and law enforcement officer stationed at the capitol were diagnosed with Covid-19. The legislative session ends Aug. 31. It is uncertain if the session will resume in 2020.

Stage 1: Implemented statewide.

Stage 2: Implementation began May 5. Industry guidance can be found here. In most counties, in-store retail shopping and dine-in eating is permitted within capacity and cleanliness guidelines, as are malls, offices, hotels and sport venues without audiences. About 53 counties now meet the criteria, that include sufficient medical services, as well as enough temporary housing units to shelter at least 15% of county residents experiencing homelessness in case of an outbreak among this population requiring isolation and quarantine of affected individuals. Concerts, sports with audiences and theme parks remain closed.

Stage 3: As of June 22, all counties except Alameda and Imperial have moved into stage 3.  During stage 3 the state will phase in higher-risk workplaces at a pace designed to protect public health and safety, beginning with limited personal care and recreational venues (with workplace modifications).

Stage 4: End of Stay Home order.

***California’s reopening phases have been paused since June 19th. Bars, brewpubs and nightclubs, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and cardrooms have been closed since July 1. County closures include fitness centers, places of worship and cultural ceremonies, indoor protests, offices for non-critical infrastructure sectors, personal care services, hair salons and barbershops, and malls for those on the county monitoring list for 3 consecutive days. More information can be found here.

San Francisco on July 17 indefinitely extended its pause on the reopening. The pause keeps closed businesses such as hair salons, indoor dining, outdoor bars without food, indoor museums and aquariums, outdoor swimming pools, and real estate open houses by appointment.

Benchmarks between phases: There are six indicators for modifying the stay at home order and moving from each phase. These indicators are: the ability to monitor and protect our communities through testing, contact tracing, isolating, and supporting those who are positive or exposed; the ability to prevent infection in people who are at risk for more severe COVID-19; the ability of the hospital and health systems to handle surges; the ability to develop therapeutics to meet the demand; the ability for businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing; and the ability to determine when to reinstitute certain measures, such as the stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

Reopening Task Force: Governor Newsom created the Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery which  has  80 members and is described here. There will be various committees created for a number of sectors.

Contact: David Dickerson ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: “Reopen Connecticut Safer. Stronger. Together” outlines the rules for reopening the state’s economy on May 20th. Read the plan here.  Guidelines for Phases 2 – 4 will be forthcoming.

The following industries were opened prior to May 20th: Manufacturing and Essential Retail. The following industries reopened on May 20th: remaining retail and outdoor recreation with the following safeguards. Read the full retail sector guidance here.

Business must self-certify and commit to comply with the Sector Rules established to keep their employees and customers safe. Please self-certify here.

Phase 2 went into effect on June 17th. Retail businesses remain allowed to open at 50%, full retail phase 2 guidance can be found here. Indoor gatherings have increased to 25 people, outdoor gatherings have increased to 100 people, outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, race tracks) - 25% of fire capacity and distancing (consistent with outdoor amusement parks. Read more here.

Phase 3 movement has been paused indefinitely by Governor Lamont on July 7.

Large Gathering Details:

Effective July 3 – outdoor private gatherings up to 100 people, one time exception for graduations up to 150 people; outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. fireworks, concerts in municipal parks) – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, cap of 500 people. Event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance; outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, race tracks) – 25% of fire capacity and distancing

Effective date to be determined (this large gathering phase has been paused indefinitely) – outdoor private gatherings (including graduations) up to 250 people; outdoor organized gatherings 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, no cap. Event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance; outdoor event venues – 50% of fire capacity and distancing.

Benchmarks between phases: The first set of businesses will start reopening when we see a sustained 14-day decline in hospitalizations, have adequate testing capacity, have a contact tracing system in place, and have procured sufficient PPE. The tentative timing for Phase 2 is June 17th.

On June 24, the governors of the tri-state area jointly announced the travel advisory, which requires a 14-day quarantine for visitors from states whose infection rates meet certain thresholds indicating “significant community spread.” Twenty-eight states as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and  Guam currently meet that threshold, for the full list click here.

Reopening Task Force: Connecticut has established a Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group but it is not open to the public.

Contact: Libby Yranski ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: The Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. is a three-step plan to re-open Florida supports the highest practicable level of business operation while maintaining public health and safety. Read the full plan here.

Phase 1: “Full” Phase 1 began May 18. It allows restaurants, bars, gyms, barbers and hair salons, sports teams and elective surgery to open at limited capacity. The state and Orange County have approved reopening plans submitted by Disney and Universal Studies to reopen in mid-July. Schools and nursing homes remain closed.  Retail and restaurants now operate at no more than 50% capacity.

Phase 2: Gov. DeSantis implemented Phase 2 on June 5, except for Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties, which require local approval. Phase 2 allows:

·       Bars and nightclubs and casinos may reopen at 50% capacity inside and full capacity outside;

·       Theaters and bowling alleys can reopen at a 50% capacity;

·       Retail Stores may open at full capacity;

·       Gyms may open at full capacity

Although there has been a recent spike in Covid cases, Gov. DeSantis announced he does not plan to roll back any openings. Counties, however, can make their own changes. The Republican National Convention has canceled its plans to hold some events in Jacksonville.

Although cities and counties in South Florida are operating under slightly different opening guidelines, in general they have reduced openings and access in response to recent spikes in infection rates. Miami-Dade has released its own reopening plan, The New Normal. The city of Miami plan, Stand Up Miami, can be found here. Concert Houses, Auditoriums and Playhouses can open in Broward County. Palm Beach County’s opening plans remain dynamic. The current status can be read here. Hillsborough County mandates face coverings in retail operations where persons cannon maintain social distancing.

Mass gatherings: Approval of mass gatherings are occurring as state, county and city governments approve a facility’s plans for opening under adaptations to keep visitors and staff safe.  Universal Studios is open. Disneyworld, Sea World, Universal and Bush Gardens are open, however the Republican National Convention was canceled in Jacksonville. The Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show is on as of now. The Miami Dolphins will play home games before crowds of 20 percent capacity in mid-September, with capacities re-evaluated before each game. Convention centers and other venues are seeking approval from state and local governments for adaptation and operating plans.  NMMA has canceled its Tampa Boat Show. IBEX in Tampa has shifted to a virtual platform.

The City of Islamorada's public boat ramps will reopen on Sept. 9.

*** Florida’s phased reopening strategy was paused on June 19.

Phase 3: A long-term goal, phase 3 will not require social distancing and will allow businesses, entertainment venues and public gatherings to resume with no restrictions. Retail will be allowed to operate at full capacity but will still have to maintain adequate sanitation practices for employees and patrons.

Benchmarks between phases: Movement from phase one into two and three will require a downward trajectory of the syndromic and epidemiology criteria while maintaining adequate health care capacity. The benchmarks are outlined in the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan.

Reopening Task Force: Governor Ron DeSantis created the Re-Open Florida Task Force. A list of Task Force members can be found here.

Contact: David Dickerson ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: “Reviving a Healthy Georgia” will be a three phase re-open approach. Phase one began on May 12 with Governor Kemp’s Executive Order. This order was extended on July 31 until September 10. Read more here

Additionally, the city of Atlanta has returned to Phase 1 in response to the increase in Covid-19 cases. Read more here.

Benchmarks between phases: Georgia will prioritize increasing testing throughout the state and will rely on data proving a decline in COVID-19 patients to determine when it will be safe to move forward. A downward trend on COVID-19 cases, social distancing, sanitation and public health safety measures are still in place until July 12.

Reopening Task Force: For a complete list of Governor Kemp’s “Coronavirus Task Force,” click here.

Contact: Lee Gatts ([email protected]


Reopening Plan: “Restore Illinois” is a 5 phase plan to reopen the Illinois economy. Additionally, the state is broken down into 11 regions. Read more about Restore Illinois here. There are 5 phases in the plan – 1) Rapid Spread; 2) Flattening; 3) Recovery; 4) Revitalization and 5) Illinois Restored. On Friday June 26, Illinois and Chicago moved into in Phase 4 – Revitalization.

Benchmarks between phases:

In Phase 4 – Revitalization, gathering of 50 people or fewer is allowable and most sectors of the economy are open with some limitations. Once testing, tracing and treatment is widely available in the state – all sectors of the economy, including conventions, festivals and large events can take place. At that time, Illinois will be in Phase 5 – Illinois Restored.

Factors that cause move back in phases include: sustained rise in positivity rate; sustained increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 like illness; reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities and; significant outbreak in the region that threatens the health of region

Reopening Task Force: Governor Pritzker has created stakeholder groups consisting of industry leaders, organized labor and legislators to help devise guidelines for many sectors. These groups include the following: retail, health care, personal care services, restaurants and bars, accommodations, transportation, large scale events (conventions, etc), arts and culture, recreation and entertainment, daycare/preschools/day camps, K-12 Education; post-secondary education, including trade schools, social services, professional services (legal, finance, etc), industrial workspaces (manufacturing and warehousing), agriculture, utilities and telecommunications, and construction.

Travel Restrictions: Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady issued an order requiring travelers entering the city of Chicago from states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases to self-quarantine for 14 days. The order applied to travelers from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.


Contact: Jill Sims ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: Governor Holcomb established a 5 phased plan, “Back on Track Indiana” to restore the Indianan economy. For additional information on “Back on Track Indiana”, read more here.  Indiana is currently in Stage 4.5. Recent spikes lead Governor Holcomb to move Indiana from Stage 4 to a new stage, Stage 4.5 instead of Stage 5 which will continue through September 26, which is an extension of the previous date of August 27.

Stage 4.5: July 4 – September 26: Retail in full operation with social distancing. Hoosiers 65+ should remain socially distant; Hoosiers should work remotely as needed, face coverings encouraged, social gatherings permitted up to 250 people and no travel restrictions. Dining rooms may operate 75% capacity, while bars, night clubs, entertainment venues may operate up at 50%. Read further on the new Stage 4.5 here.

Stage 5: Estimated to begin in late August:  All sectors of the economy full open with social distancing, including large gatherings of 250+ people.

Benchmarks between phases: “Back on Track Indiana” will deploy a three-pronged approach to combat COVID-19 through robust testing, trace identification and protecting Hoosiers through PPE. It is important to note, counties may be permitted to advance to the next stage or be required to stay at a current stage or return to a prior stage when considering, among other things, the following: the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients; the capacity for critical care beds and ventilators; the availability to test for COVID-19; and the capacity for contact tracing.

Contact: Jill Sims ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: The Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery plan includes a three staged plan for gradual reopening of businesses and the economy. Although counties will set their own restrictions, they are authorized to approve resumption of outdoor dining and outdoor activities such as youth sports and youth day camps, and the reopening of outdoor pools and drive-in movie theaters. Stages will be rolled out gradually using a phased-in approach based on downward trends in infection rates and sufficient capacity in hospitals, testing and tracing. These three stages are low risk, medium risk and high-risk activities. These stages are broad in character and multi-phased within each stage. These sub-phases will be announced when benchmarks for the safe rollout of additional openings met. Changes will be made as warranted by public health and economic conditions.

Indoor dining, pools and gyms are open at 50% capacity with distancing and strict public health requirements. Casinos, arcades, and malls resumed operations with strict safety protocols.

Benchmarks for phases: There are no set dates for implementing the plan’s three tiers and multiple phases. It includes “stop signs” signaling that more stringent measures will be reinstated if infection rates rise significantly. Within each of those broad categories, the governor will announce which jurisdictions have met the health criteria that permits a change in operation guidelines for businesses and for people.

Low Risk: The decisions on what “Low Risk” activities can resume will not be announced in whole as one package, but rather as a phased rollout over a period of time using the White House’s recommended protocols.  Stage one began May 15. It is a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopening businesses.

Medium risk: A longer stage of the initial recovery, with many weeks between progress toward greater flexibility in business operations.

High risk: There is no realistic timeline yet from any of the scientific experts for achieving this level, as it requires either a widely available and FDA-approved vaccine or safe and effective therapeutics

began May 15 and allows manufacturing and limited commerce. The status of regions of the state can be found here.

Governor Hogan directed local leaders on July 14 to step up enforcement of public health requirements and capacity limits. State health officials have connected an increasing number of COVID-19 cases to non-compliance with face covering and physical distancing rules.

Reopening Task Force: Maryland Coronavirus Response Advisory Team for medical issues and 13 Industry Recovery Advisory Groups, including manufacturing and tourism.

Contact: David Dickerson ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: “Reopening Massachusetts” outlines the four phases of the Commonwealth to open they are: phase 1: Start, phase 2: cautious, phase 3: vigilant and phase 4: new normal. On June 5 the state is on track to move into Phase 2. In order to reopen, businesses must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Phase 1 Dates:

May 18th – Essential businesses, manufacturing and construction may resume. Manufacturing safety guidelines can be found here.

May 25th - Retail remote fulfilment and curbside pickup. Beaches and most outdoor activities, including recreational boating businesses and the charter/for-hire fishing industry, may reopen and resume with guidelines.


Phase 2 Date: June 8 - Retail is allowed to reopen to have patrons with restrictions, including a max of 8 persons (including store staff per 1,000 square feet of accessible indoor space or 40% of the retail store’s maximum permitted occupancy. Read more here.


Phase 3 Date: statewide July 13 – Phase 3 Step 1 does not have any additional retail increases.  However, updated guidelines were released on August 18 they can be found below:

·       Updated recreational boating access guidance can be found here.

·       Charter and for-hire fishing guidance can be found here.

·       Reopening Standards for Recreational Boating Businesses can be found here.

On August 7, Governor Baker paused the states reopening plans indefinitely. He also reduced outdoor gatherings from a maximum of 100 people to 50. 

Beginning August 1st, travel restrictions will go into effect for 43 states. All travelers including returning residents must complete travel forms prior to arrival, unless visiting from one of the seven lower-risk state and quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in the Commonwealth.

Benchmarks between phases: Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer before moving to the next phase. If public health data trends are negative, specific industries, regions, and/or the entire Commonwealth may need to return to an earlier phase.  There are six key public health indicators that will show progress throughout the state including: COVID-19 positive test rate, number of individuals who died from COVID-19, number of patients with COVID-19, healthcare system readiness, testing capacity and contact tracing capabilities.

Reopening Task Force: The Reopening Advisory Board is Co-Chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. The Board includes representatives from the business community, public health officials, and municipal leaders from across the Commonwealth.

Contact: Libby Yranski ([email protected])


Reopening Plan:  Michigan’s “Safe Start” plan is built in 6 phases to reopen the Michigan economy. Additionally, the state is split into 8 regions. Read more about the Michigan Safe Start plan here.

Michigan is currently has some regions in Phase 4 and some in Phase 5. On July 15, Governor Whitmer has indicated if cases continue to spike Michigan will revert back to Phase 3. Read more about upcoming phases below:

In July, Governor Whitmer closed indoor service at bars in Michigan and restricted in person gatherings to 10 individuals. Read more here.

Phase 4: Improving: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining. Additional lower risk businesses can open with strict safety measures; such as other retail with capacity limits; offices but telework if possible.

Phase 5: Containing: Continued case and death rate improvements and outbreaks can quickly be controlled. Most businesses open with strict mitigation practices (restaurants, bars, schools, travel).

Phase 6: Post-pandemic: All businesses, events and gatherings are open with new safety guidance.

Benchmarks between phases: Reopening will focus on 3 central questions: A) Is the epidemic growing, flattening, or declining? B) Does our healthy system have the capacity to address current needs? Can it cope with a potential surge of new cases? C) Are our testing and tracing efforts sufficient to monitor the epidemic and control its spread?

What factors determine progression to next phase?

Phase 4 to 5: Cases and deaths at low absolute rates per capita. Health system capacity is very strong. Robust testing, contact tracing and containment protocols in place.

Phase 5 to 6: High uptake of an effective therapy or vaccine.

Note: it is also possible to move backwards if risk increases and if we stop adhering to safe practices.

Reopening Task Force: Governor Whitmer announced the creation of advisory workgroups to provide input on safely engaging various sectors of the economy. The first round of work groups include childcare, hair salons/barbershops, home services providers, outdoor recreation and restaurants/bars. Subsequent workgroups that are expected to be established include amateur sports, churches/community centers, congregate care facilities (criminal justice settings, nursing homes, adult foster care, homeless shelters, etc.), entertainment, gyms, libraries, retail, rideshare/taxi/limo, traditional office setting, travel/tourism, and wellness services.

Contact: Jill Sims ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: Minnesota has established the “Stay Safe MN” plan which is outlined in 4 Phases. The plan is fluid and often changing, thus must be closely monitored.  Minnesota is currently in Phase 3. Read more here.

Phase 3 includes: Gatherings of 25 or less outdoors, 10 or less indoors; drive-in gatherings per MDH guidelines; critical and noncritical businesses open; telework encouraged; retail open at 50% capacity; indoor and outdoor dining open with capacity limits; outdoor recreation open with guidance and entertainment venues to open at 25% capacity up to 250 people.

Phase 4 includes: Gatherings of TBD; drive-in gatherings per MDH guidelines; critical and noncritical businesses open; telework encouraged; retail open at increased capacity; indoor and outdoor dining open at increased capacity; outdoor recreation is open with guidance.

Benchmarks between phases: While there have not been specific benchmarks laid out by the Walz administration; various executive orders have outlined opportunities for sectors of the economy to reopen. Additionally, the administration has focused on “Safely Adjusting the Dial”, which can be found here.

Key factors for reopening sectors of the economy include:

·       Case infections – slowed rates of positive cases

·       Hospital preparedness – ensuring beds, ventilators and PPE are readily available

·       Social distancing statistics – ensuring Minnesotan’s cooperate with social distancing measures

·       Testing – goal of testing at least 5,000+ daily

Contact: Jill Sims ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: Show Me Strong Recovery Plan has two phases. Phase 1  allows the reopening of all businesses, including marine dealers, provided that the social distancing guidelines set forth in the new health order are followed. Phase 2, which began June 16, contains no statewide public health ordesr. Missouri is now fully open for business. Businesses that are less than 10,000 square feet must maintain 25 percent or less of the authorized occupancy. Businesses larger than 10,000 square feet must maintain 10 percent or less of the authorized occupancy. Business guidance can be found here.

Benchmarks between phases: The movement between phase one and phase two will be based on the status of the following:

  1. TESTING: Rapidly expand testing capacity and volume in the state, including testing for those who are currently contagious and those who have developed immunity to the virus.
  2. PPE: Expanding reserves of personal protective equipment (PPE) by opening public and private supply chains, and continuing to utilize Missouri businesses in that effort.
  3. HOSPITALS: Continuing to monitor and, if necessary, expanding hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home.
  4. PREDICT: Improving the ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data.

Reopening Task Force: None

Contact: David Dickerson ([email protected])

New Jersey

Reopening Plan:  Governor Phil Murphy announced his vision, "The Road Back: Restoring Economic Health Through Public Health," to restart New Jersey and put the state on the road to recovery. This plan has four stages 1 – 3 and the “new normal”, read more here.

New Jersey entered Phase one on May 18 which relaxed outdoor activities, however boaters are reminded they cannot congregate in parking lots, at boat ramps or at popular fishing locations. Beginning May 20, Governor Murphy has added boat dealerships to the list of essential businesses that may open however they must operate following strict provisions, found here.

New Jersey entered Phase 2 on June 15.  Non-essential retail businesses are allowed in-store operations at 50% capacity while following sanitizing and social distancing guidelines. Additional manufacturing and retail phase 2 guidelines are found here. Outdoor gatherings increased to 500 people on July 3. On July 2, casinos will be allowed to reopen at 25%.

***Governor Murphy announced on June 29 that the current reopening restrictions are paused.

As of August 4, indoor gatherings are now limited to 25 percent of a room's capacity, but regardless of the room's capacity, the maximum limit shall be 25 persons, down from 100 persons. Any private residence or residential unit shall be treated as a single room. However, this change will not be applicable to the following events: weddings, funerals, memorial services, religious services or celebrations, and political activities. These events may continue under the previous rules that limited these events to 25 percent of a room's capacity, but with a limit of 100 persons.

Benchmarks between phases: New Jersey will move toward subsequent stages based on data that demonstrates improvements in public health and the capacity to safeguard the public. If public health indicators, safeguarding, or compliance worsen on a sustained basis, New Jersey will be prepared to move back to more restrictive stages as well. The restart will be phased-in within each stage, rather than opening all businesses and activities at once within a stage. There are six principles and key metrics that will guide the process for lifting restrictions. These metrics include:

Principle 1: Demonstrate sustained reductions in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations; 14 day trend lines showing appreciable and sustained drop in cases.

Principle 2: Expand testing capacity

Principle 3: Implement robust contact tracing

Principle 4: Secure safe places and resources for isolation and quarantine

Principle 5: Executive a responsible economic restarts

Principle 6: Ensure New Jersey’s resiliency

On June 24, the governors of the tri-state area jointly announced the travel advisory, which requires a 14-day quarantine for visitors from states whose infection rates meet certain thresholds indicating “significant community spread.” Twenty-eight states as well as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam meet that criteria and a full list can be found here.

Contact: Libby Yranski ([email protected])

New York

Reopening PlanNew York Forward is a regional approach with multiple metrics applied regionally. The state has been split into 10 regions. Industry guidance and reopening protocols can be found here.

Phase I includes: Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Select Retail for Curbside Pickup Only, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing

Phase 2: Professional Services Finance and Insurance Retail Administrative Support Real Estate, Rental, and Leasing

Phase 3: Restaurants and Food Services

Phase 4: Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation Education

All of New York’s 10 regions are in the fourth and theoretically final phase of the four-phase reopening process.  Phase 4 allows schools and low-risk arts, entertainment, and recreation businesses to reopen — all with social distancing required — but not movie theaters, shopping malls, or gyms. Gatherings of up to 50 people will also be allowed. Check here for a map of the regions. Click here to learn if your business’s operations are restricted. A status report on regional infection rates can be found here.

Benchmarks between phases: Regions will begin reopening of businesses when the infection rate is sufficiently low; the health care system has the capacity to absorb a potential resurgence in new cases; diagnostic testing capacity is sufficiently high to detect and isolate new cases; and robust contact-tracing capacity is in place to help prevent the spread of the virus. Each region will open gradually with at least two weeks between phases.

On June 24, the governors of the tri-state area jointly announced the travel advisory, which requires a 14-day quarantine for visitors from states whose infection rates meet certain thresholds indicating “significant community spread.” Thirty-four states as well as Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. meet that criteria, for a full list click here.

Reopening Task Force: 100 business, community and civic leaders comprise the New York Forward Reopening Advisory Board .

Contact: David Dickerson ([email protected])

North Carolina

Reopening Plan:  The “Stay Ahead of the Curve” reopen strategy is a three-phase plan. North Carolina is currently in phase 2 until September 11.  For more details of each phase, click here.

Benchmarks between phases: Governor Cooper announced that the state will analyze the following metrics in order to determine when to proceed to the subsequent phases:

·       COVID-like syndromic cases over 14 days;

·       Lab-confirmed cases over 14 days;

·       Positive tests as a percentage of total tests over 14 days; and hospitalizations over 14 days.

Phase two will occur at least 2 – 3 weeks after phase one, phase three will occur at least 4 – 6 weeks after phase two.

Reopening Task Force: For information provided by the NC Coronavirus Task Force, click here.

Contact: Lee Gatts ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: “Responsible Restart Ohio” is a plan to reopen the Ohio economy guided by the principles of protecting the health of employees, customers, and their families, supporting community efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 and responsibly getting Ohio back to work. In late June, Governor DeWine noted he might impose county by county restrictions due to the increase in COVID-19 cases – which is a reverse in course from the statewide plan.

The plan established some sectors, such as manufacturing, to return to work on May 4. Other sectors are still closed as outlined. There have not been deliberate benchmarks noted as to when there will be changes for the sectors of business still closed. Read more here.

Reopening Task Force: There are multiple advisory groups for Responsible Restart Ohio. You can read more details about each group here. The groups are as follows: personal services group, restaurant advisory group, casinos and racing group, travel and tourism group, fair advisory group, outdoor recreation advisory group, gyms advisory group, large venue advisory group, and sport leagues advisory group.

Contact: Jill Sims ([email protected])

South Carolina

Reopening Plan:  Governor McMaster announced “AccelerateSC,” a coordinated COVID-19 advisory team to consider and recommend economic revitalization plans for South Carolina. The State will release “multiple phases” to reopen the State Economy. Read more here. On Thursday, May 20, Governor McMaster released guidelines allowing large attractions to reopen. Click here, to read the latest updates from AccelerateSC.

Benchmarks between phases: South Carolina is currently in phase 2 of the reopen strategy as defined in Governor McMasters’ Executive Order. No further information has been given regarding advancement to additional phases.

Reopening Task Force: For more information regarding the “AccelerateSC” task force, click here.

Contact: Lee Gatts ([email protected]


Reopening Plan: Governor Lee has released the “Tennessee Pledge” reopening plan, that will have “multiple phases.” Read more here. The pledge includes guidance and best practices for businesses. The general guidelines for all business here. Tennessee has updated the best practices guidelines to include attractions and large venues. Read more here.

Benchmarks between phases: Tennessee has made progress on slowing the spread of disease and improving Tennessee’s readiness. Below are the following metrics the State is tracking:

·       Disease monitoring: The curve of illness is flattening. Syndromic data monitoring of influenza-like illness has seen a steady decline since mid-March and syndromic data monitoring of COVID-19-like illness has seen a steady decline since the end of March. The daily growth rate of new cases reported has been stable for more than 14 days.

·       Increase in testing: Tennessee has dramatically increased testing capacity, with rapid deployment of large volume and rapid testing when cases are identified in high-risk populations. Testing is available throughout the state, and residents have access to testing via health care providers, local health departments and drive-thru stations in every part of the state. Testing for expanded symptomatology has also been implemented to better ascertain the true volume of disease. There has been a downward trajectory of positive tests as a percentage of total tests since April 1.

·       Increase in health care capacity: Careful monitoring of hospital bed usage shows capacity to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. The UCG has been working with hospitals, providers and regional planning groups to increase the capacity of current facilities to “surge” if and when it is needed and to plan for additional clinical alternative care sites if needed.

·       Increase in PPE available: Tennessee has been working closely with businesses across the state and beyond to identify possible sources of masks, gloves and other forms of PPE. The UCG has streamlined requests for PPE through regional emergency management coordinators and TEMA. To date, millions of dollars have been dedicated to the purchase of PPE to supplement routine supply channels for health care workers and first responders.

Reopening Task Force: For more information regarding the Tennessee Economic Recovery Group, click here.

Contact: Lee Gatts ([email protected]


Reopening Plan: Using guidelines in the state Texans Helping Texans: The Open Texas Report, the state entered Stage 3  on June 3, increasing capacity limits to 75 percent for marine dealerships and other retail businesses. Details are available here.  On June 12, all restaurants were permitted to operate at 75 percent of capacity. Amusement parks and fairs can open at 50 percent capacity in areas with less than 1,000 current Covid-19 cases. A full list of phases, dates and businesses and activities that will be opened in each phase can be found here. And here.

***Governor Abbott has reversed some of the state's phased reopening plan.  All bars and similar establishments that receive more than 51% of their receipts from alcohol and rafting and tubing businesses are required to close. Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more must be approved by local governments. As of July 2, masks must be worn in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases while in a business or other building open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible.

The state paused any further phases to open Texas as the state responds to the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Businesses that are permitted to open under the previous phases can continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under the minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Click here to sign up for updates regarding business openings and restrictions.

Benchmarks between phases: The Governor has used two broad benchmarks for reopening Texas businesses, the first is hospital rates and the second is COVID-19 positivity rates. As they decrease, more businesses have been allowed to reopen with greater capacity.

Reopening Task Force:  Members of the Strike Force to Reopen Texas can be found here. Contact: David Dickerson ([email protected])


Reopening Plan:  Governor Inslee’s Safe Start phased in plan can be read here.

As of July 16, the following counties are in phase 3: Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Island, Kittitas, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum and Whitman; the following are in phase 2: Adams, Clallam, Clark,  Cowlitz, Grant, Jefferson, King, Kitsap,  Klickitat, Okanogan, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Walla Walla, and Whatcom. All other counties remain in phase 1. Phase 2 allows in-store retail operations may resume with limitations. Retailers must follow the guidance found here.  Full guidance for phases 1 – 3 is available here.

Phase 1 allows: some outdoor recreation; essential businesses open; auto/RV/boat/ORV sales; retail (curb-side pick-up orders only)

Phase 2 allows: outdoor recreation involving 5 or fewer people outside of your household; remaining manufacturing - retail (in-store purchases allowed with restrictions)

Phase 3 allows: outdoor recreation of 50 or fewer people outside of your household; retail requirements remain the same as Phase 2.

***Effective July 2nd all county applications have been paused indefinitely.

Benchmarks between phases: Before reopening Washington and modifying physical distancing measures, COVID-19 disease burden must be low and decreasing as measured by: Number and trend of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Washington State; Modeling data, including Institute for Disease Modeling on Puget Sound area rates of COVID-19 spread, University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation modeling, and Youyang Gu modeling; Mobility trends in Washington State, including WSDOT traffic data and Google Mobility Data.  Counties with less than 25 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents over a 14-day span can apply to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state.

The state will stay in every phase for a minimum of three weeks. During that time, the Department of Health and the Governor will re-evaluate the above indicators and determine if the state should remain in the current phase, advance to the next phase or return to the previous phase. No phase will last less than three weeks before moving to the next phase, in order to allow one complete disease incubation period plus an additional week to compile complete data and confirm trends.

A number of different factors were considered when deciding which activities could be resumed and which businesses could be reopened in various phases. These factors included: risk of disease spread during the individual or business activity; number of people who could potentially be infected during the individual or business activity; economic benefits to opening the business; individual benefits to opening the business.

Contact: Libby Yranski ([email protected])


Reopening Plan: On May 13, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the Stay at Home order; thus creating confusion and complexities to reopening and resuming business operations. Currently, Governor Evers has indicated that local government will implement policies and procedures as to reopening.

Initially, the “Badger Bounce Back Plan” was put forth by Governor Tony Evers to decrease COVID-19 cases and deaths to a low level and increase capacity in health care systems for a phased opening of Wisconsin businesses. Read more about the Badger Bounce Back Plan here.

Benchmarks between phases: The Badger Bounce Back plan notes the following metrics should be in place before moving from “Safer at Home” to “Badger Bounce Back”

·       Access to more testing and labs

·       Expanded contact tracing

·       Aggressively tracking the spread

·       Access to more PPE and supplies

·       Increased health care system capacity