The table below collects the orders and directives issued by the 50 states (and the District of Columbia) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of the states have begun the process of re-opening their economies and reducing or otherwise modifying the restrictions that had been imposed since the COVID-19 outbreak. This table generally focuses on the restrictions that have been imposed on businesses and organizations providing goods and services to government agencies at all levels of government, i.e., government contractors, and explains how the restrictions have been eased under recent orders.

  1. Although common approaches have been taken in many states, the states' rules (which are generally based on a series of orders responding to changing conditions) are different and must be analyzed relative to the work being performed. In most circumstances, contractors that are part of the Defense Industrial Base ("DIB") (including supply chain), or that are providing products/services necessary for the federal/state/local government, are essential businesses and may continue to operate. However, even as essential businesses, they must comply with applicable portions of state and local orders, such as requirements that employees socially distance and that operating businesses allow telework to the maximum extent possible.
  2. State and local orders have changed frequently, though many updated orders have not affected the substantive restrictions applicable to contractors. We attempt to update this list when substantive changes occur.
  3. Many states define "essential businesses," which are exempted from closure orders, by reference to (or incorporation of) all or parts of the critical infrastructure sectors described by the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") and the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency ("CISA"), included in CISA's initial (3/19/2020) and revised (3/28/2020 and 4/17/2020) Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response. The infrastructure sectors identified by CISA include most government contractors and specifically the DIB, and, in the table below, DHS and CISA materials, including CISA's "Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response," are referenced as the "CISA Guidance."
  4. On March 20, 2020, Department of Defense Under Secretary for Acquisition Ellen Lord issued a memorandum to the DIB sector. The memorandum stated that DIB workers "have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work structure" and identified areas necessary to support weapon systems/software and support of military forces.
  5. On May 19, 2020, the CDC issued guidelines on supporting the COVID-19 response and the President's plan for "Opening America Up Again" (CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President's Plan for Opening America Up Again). The guidance outlines a three-phased approach for reducing community mitigation measures while protecting vulnerable populations, and proposes the use of six "gating" indicators to assess when to move through from one mitigation phase to another. Gating criteria include:
    1. Decreases in newly identified COVID-19 cases;
    2. Decreases in emergency department (ED) and/or outpatient visits for COVID-like illness (CLI);
    3. Decreases in ED and/or outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI);
    4. Decreases in percentage of SARS-CoV-2 tests positive;
    5. Treat all patients without crisis care; and
    6. Robust testing program.
    7. The CDC guidance also suggests best practices for surveillance and contact tracing, as well as specific interim guidance for childcare programs, schools and day camps, restaurants and bars, mass transit, and employers with high-risk employees. Additional reporting about this guidance is available here.

Arizona, New Mexico and South Dakota are the only states that have not seen developments since we last published this table.

Alabama Based on the governor's state of emergency declaration, the state health officer issued a Stay-at-Home Order (4/3/2020). It excepts leaving the residence to perform work at "essential business operations," which include federally designated critical infrastructure, citing the CISA Guidance. Also see orders linked here and here. The Stay at Home order is currently expired on 4/30/2020. The Reopening Alabama Responsibly (Phase 1) is available here. The governor issued a "Safer at Home" order on 4/28/2020, which it amended on 5/8/2020 and again on 5/21/2020. Under the current revised order, all non-work-related gatherings of any size are permitted as long as participants maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons from different households. Businesses are required to implement a variety of protective measures for employees and customers. The order also includes various sector-specific guidelines, including for childcare facilities, athletic facilities, swimming pools, and entertainment venues. As an example, athletic facilities are permitted to operate but must prohibit customers from accessing showers, hot tubs, steam rooms, lockers, saunas and other recreational water or spa facilities. Pools may be open subject to the socialdistancing rules. All Alabama COVID-19-related orders are available here.
Alaska The governor's Health Mandate (3/27/2020, updated 4/7/2020) limits intrastate travel and requires social distancing. The Alaska Essential Services and Critical Workforce Infrastructure Order (3/27/2020) requires cessation of all businesses not included in the "essential services and critical infrastructure" list. That list adopts CISA Guidance.

On 4/21/2020, the Alaska governor unveiled phase one of the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan, a plan for reopening segments of the Alaskan economy. The related order, which became effective on 4/21/2020, allows a number of nonessential businesses to reopen, subject to "following rigorous health and safety standards." Those standards include limited dine-in services at restaurants, limited in-store shopping at retail stores, limited provision of personal services (e.g., barbers, nail salons, hair salons), and limited in-store operation of nonessential businesses, such as professional business services. The press release and accompanying orders regarding the Reopen Alaska Responsibly Plan are available here. On 5/8/2020, the State transitioned to Phase 2 of its transition plan and allowed most businesses to reopen at reduced capacity. On 5/19/2020, the governor announced that the State would transition to Phase 3 on 5/22/2020, allowing all businesses to operate at 100% capacity. Houses of worship, libraries and museums, recreational activities, and sports activities may also resume.

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Originally published 20 June, 2020

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