More than half of all states, including California and Michigan, pause reopening or take steps to halt the spread of COVID-19

A week after the United States surpassed 3,000,000 coronavirus cases — around a quarter of the

A week after the United States surpassed 3,000,000 coronavirus cases — around a quarter of the world’s cases and deaths — the coronavirus pandemic continues unabated. 

Governors and other leaders in states including California, Texas and Michigan continue to grapple with plans to reopen their economies – or slow them down again – amid this severe uptick in cases. Twenty-five states have taken action to cut down on skyrocketing COVID-19 cases.

Among measures on the table: shutting down high-capacity businesses such as bars and gyms, halting elective surgeries and requiring people to wear masks. 

Here is a look at which states have paused their reopening or taken other steps. This list is continually updated.


After days of an “alarming” upward climb in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced she will enforce a statewide mask order starting July 16. 

Ivey had previously said she believed a statewide mask mandate would be hard to enforce. But Ivey said the “numbers do not lie” and reiterated the severity of the situation. 

The order is currently set to run through July 31 and supersedes any local orders. 

Alabama saw 40 coronavirus deaths July 14, its largest single-day increase, as new cases and hospitalizations continued an “alarming” uphill climb. The state has a total of 56,441 cases and 1,136 deaths.

– Melissa Brown, Montgomery Advertiser 


Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order requiring bars, gyms, theaters and water parks to shut down June 29. The order follows mounting pressure to respond to ballooning COVID-19 numbers that followed his accelerated reopening plan, which he announced in May.

“Arizonans have been, by and large, terrific, fantastic and responsible,” the governor said. “But, we have found some situations in categories where we need to take more aggressive actions, and that’s what we’re going to do today.”

Arizona reported nearly 3,300 new COVID-19 cases and 58 additional deaths July 16. The state has reported a total of 134,613 cases.

– Maria Polletta and Rachel Leingang, Arizona Republic


Nearly two weeks after moving into phase two, which allowed for two-thirds capacity in restaurants and other businesses, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he’s not ready to ease business restrictions further as the state experiences a spike in coronavirus cases.

As of July 15, the state has surpassed 30,000 confirmed cases, nearly 6,500 which are currently active, per the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 


As California faces an explosion of new COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all bars to shut down and all restaurants, wineries, theaters and museums with indoor operations to shut down July 13. This follows an ordinance that only applied to some counties on the state’s monitoring list, including Los Angeles and Orange.

More than 30 counties must also close places of worship and fitness centers, among other non-essential businesses.

As of July 14, California has reported 336,508 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

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Gov. Jared Polis ordered a shutdown of all bars and nightclubs at the end of June, which will expire in 30 days. This decision comes about two weeks after bars and nightclubs reopened for limited in-person services statewide. 

The new guidelines for bars will allow bars to serve take-out alcohol. Bars that have also changed their business model in response to state guidelines and are now serving food can remain open as a restaurant as long as they keep patrons six feet apart, seated with their own groups, and do not allow groups to mingle. 

As of July 14, the state has 37,686 confirmed cases.

– Sady Swanson, Fort Collins Coloradoan


Delaware did not move into phase three of its economic reopening on June 29. The announcement, issued by Gov. John Carney, postponed official action until this week so officials “can get a better handle on what’s going on in Delaware and around the country.” 

“Too many Delawareans and visitors are not following basic public health precautions,” Carney said.

At the end of June, he also announced restrictions on parking at state beaches, as well as face covering requirements in public areas at the beach prior to the Fourth of July weekend. Those restrictions remain in place.

The state reported over 13,000 total cases as of July 15, with 521 deaths. 

– Jeff Neiburg and Meredith Newman, Delaware News Journal

Story Collins, 9 and her mother Heather Correia show their support for teachers after arriving at the Duval County School Board building, Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in Jacksonville, Fla. Duval County teachers and their supporters gathered in a parking lot before they drove to the Duval County School Board Building and protest plans of starting the upcoming school year with the rate of COVID-19 infections hitting record rates in Jacksonville.
Story Collins, 9 and her mother Heather Correia show their support for teachers after arriving at the Duval County School Board building, Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in Jacksonville, Fla. Duval County teachers and their supporters gathered in a parking lot before they drove to the Duval County School Board Building and protest plans of starting the upcoming school year with the rate of COVID-19 infections hitting record rates in Jacksonville.


The number of COVID-19 cases in Florida surpassed 300,000 on July 15, the third state to do so. On June 26, the state’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation announced it would suspend on-premise consumption of alcohol at bars statewide. Bars will still be able to serve drinks in to-go containers.

Halsey Beshears, the department’s secretary, said the action was taken because of an increase in COVID-19 cases and noncompliance by some businesses. Restaurants that serve alcohol will be allowed to stay open. However, Gov. Ron DeSantis has not rolled back any other reopening plans. 

– Jane Musgrave, Palm Beach Post; Dave Osborn, Naples Daily News


Hawaii is delaying its plan to allow out-of-state visitors until September.

In late June, Gov. David Ige’s office announced that travelers could visit Hawaii beginning Aug. 1, no quarantine required, by presenting a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of boarding a flight.

As of July 14, the state has 1,264 cases of COVID-19 and 22 deaths.

— Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY


Gov. Brad Little announced that the state will remain in phase four of its reopening process through at least July 24 after a nearly monthlong spike in COVID-19 cases. Phase four allows visits to senior living facilities and corrections facilities, and it allows nightclubs and sporting venues to open with limited capacity. It is the last stage before full reopening.

The state has reached a total of nearly 12,000  confirmed and probable cases as of July 14. 


Gov. Eric Holcomb announced a new stage of reopening will begin July 4.

Stage 4.5 will temporarily pause increases in capacity at restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, among others.

“This virus is on the prowl,” Holcomb said. “In some places it’s gaining momentum. It’s not slowing down.” 

The new stage is set to last through July 17. Under the governor’s initial five-phase plan to reopen the state, Stage Five was set to begin in most of the state on July 4.

The total number of people sickened by coronavirus in the state as of July 15 is 53,370, while 2,592 have died from it.

– Ethan May and Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star


Following an executive order that mandates masks in public spaces statewide, Gov. Laura Kelly will sign an executive order July 20 that make it mandatory for school districts to use masks, practice proper hygiene and perform daily temperature checks.

Each individual school district’s reopening plan will be based off recommendations and mandates set forth by the Kansas State Board of Education.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported over 20,000 positive COVID-19 cases as of July 14. The agency has reported 304 deaths.

– India Yarborough and Brianna Childers, The Topeka Capital-Journal  


Louisiana has hit over 84,000 total coronavirus cases as the state’s hospitalizations and ventilator use continued to rise. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a 28-day order June 23 to keep the state in phase two of reopening. That allows restaurants, malls, gyms, theaters, museums, bars and other businesses to operate at 50% capacity.

“The fact of the matter is we’re not getting better; we’re getting worse,” Edwards said. “Before it gets out of control we have to get better compliance.”

He also asked Louisianans to avoid large groups and remain home on the Fourth of July Holiday. He traces the origin of Louisiana’s summer surge in cases and hospitalizations to Memorial Day.

– Greg Hilburn, Monroe News-Star


A week after Gov. Janet Mills indefinitely postponed the resumption of indoor bar service, she issued a mandate requiring restaurants, stores and other businesses in the city’s southern and coastal regions to enforce mask-wearing.

According to the Portland Press Herald, Mills said that was necessary to deal with an uptick in cases in those areas after “they lifted restrictions dramatically.”

More venues in the state, including movie theaters and museums, reopened July 1 as part of its third phase of reopening, with a 50-person cap and a checklist of requirements.

As of July 16, the state has registered a total of 3,598 cases and 114 deaths. No new deaths were reported.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on July 15 extended Michigan’s state of emergency through Aug. 11.

The state of emergency does not in itself place any restrictions on Michigan residents. But it allows Whitmer to issue executive orders that place such restrictions, including current orders closing gyms and theaters in south and central Michigan, restricting occupancy at dine-in restaurants, and requiring face masks at indoor public places and crowded outdoor spaces.

The governor also signed a package of bills allowing cocktails-to-go at bars and restaurants, which she said would help these businesses serve more Michiganders. 

The state surpassed 70,000 cases July 14.

– Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press


After the state reported a daily high of 145 new COVID-19 cases on July 15, Gov. Steve Bullock issued a directive mandating masks. It requires businesses, government offices and indoor spaces open to the public to ensure that employees, contractors, volunteers, customers and the public wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose.

So far, the state has 2,231 cases and 45 deaths.

— Nora Mabie, Great Falls Tribune


Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive extending phase two of the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan through the end of July. Churches, salons, bars and gyms, all at limited capacity, were part of the state’s second phase.

The move fulfills a promise Sisolak made last week, when he announced a statewide mask-wearing mandate and said “any discussion of entering phase three will be tabled” until further notice.

The number of Nevadans who have tested positive for COVID-19 approached 30,000 as of July 14, with 612 deaths.

– Brett McGinness, Jenny Kane and Marcella Corona, Reno Gazette Journal

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state will pause the next phase in reopening businesses that have been closed or are operating under restrictions. The state would begin to enforce mask-wearing in public. Violators could be fined $100. 

The state recorded 223 new COVID-19 cases on July 14, bringing the state’s aggregate total to 15,841 cases. Of those, 6,496 COVID-19 cases — or about 41 percent — are designated as having recovered.

– Algernon D’Ammassa and Lucas Peerman, Las Cruces Sun-News

New Jersey

Face masks will be required outside under an order expected to be signed July 8 by Gov. Phil Murphy. The announcement of the expected new mandate comes just a couple days after Murphy said there should be a national requirement for facial coverings “certainly when you’re going out.”

This mandate follows a postponement on reopening indoor dining, a major blow to an industry that has struggled since the coronavirus outbreak began.

“It brings me no joy to do this, but we have no choice,” he said.

As of July 15, the state has registered 172,742 confirmed cases and 13,308 confirmed deaths.

— Terrence T. McDonald,

North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper moved to extend the state’s current reopening phase through the end of July, rather than reopen further. The state is adding a new requirement that people wear face coverings in most public spaces.

According to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, the state will remain paused in phase two through the end of July.

The state registered over 93,000 cases in total. The state reported 2,160 new cases on July 16, the second-highest total during the pandemic. 

– Todd Runkle and Mackenzie Wicker, Asheville Citizen Times; Brian Wicker, USA TODAY Network


Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced that bars, restaurants and gatherings will be restricted beginning July 16. This comes more than two weeks after mandating masks “whenever anyone leaves home.”

Bars, restaurants, wineries, breweries and private clubs must serve some kind of food to remain open, and must only serve at 25 percent capacity for indoor dining. 

As of July 15, Pennsylvania is grappling with over 97,000 cases, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The state’s death toll stands at nearly 7,000.

– Jasmine Vaughn-Hall and Shelley Stallsmith, York Daily Record

South Carolina

After July 11, South Carolina’s 8,000 restaurants, bars, breweries and other establishments were ordered to stop serving alcohol after 11 p.m.

His executive order, which he called “the last call,” will not affect the sale of beer, wine and liquor at grocery stores or convenience stores. Bars and restaurants that violate the order can lose their liquor licenses, McMaster said.

The move was meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state’s under-40 population. As of July 15, the state has 62,071 confirmed cases and 984 confirmed deaths. 

— Nikie Mayo and Kirk Brown, Greenville News

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Gov. Bill Lee granted authority July 3 to mayors in 89 counties in Tennessee to issue their own face mask mandates as COVID-19 cases rise statewide. The move follows a record day-over-day increase after the state health department reported 1,822 new cases. 

That comes days after Lee extended his state of emergency declaration on June 29, along with a host of other provisions that were set to expire this week.

Tennessee will remain in a state of emergency until at least Aug. 29, according to Lee’s latest order. The order expanded access to telehealth services, allowed restaurants to offer take-out and delivery alcohol, and eased access to unemployment benefits. 

As of July 15, Tennessee has had at least 66,788 confirmed cases and 767 deaths. 

– Joel Ebert and Brett Kelman, Nashville Tennessean 

National Guard Specialist Shumirai Tsikada, right, passes a coronavirus testing kit through the window of truck at the West Side Senior Activity Center in Odessa, Texas on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
National Guard Specialist Shumirai Tsikada, right, passes a coronavirus testing kit through the window of truck at the West Side Senior Activity Center in Odessa, Texas on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.


Rolling back an aggressive reopening process, Gov. Greg Abbott closed Texas bars and limited restaurant occupancy, leading to a lawsuit from a state group, and prohibited elective surgeries. He also issued a statewide mask order July 2, requiring Texans in counties with more than 20 positive COVID-19 cases to wear masks in public spaces.

Texas health officials on July 15 reported a record-breaking number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in a single day with 10,791 cases. 

– Nicole Cobler and Hojun Choi, Austin American-Statesman


A week after mandating masks at all state facilities, troubling numbers prompted Utah Gov. Gary Herbert to require masks in regions of Utah that are home to several of the state’s famous national parks July 2. He announced a pause in reopening in June.

Utah has counted over 31,000 cases total, with nearly 2,000 hospitalizations and 234 deaths as of July 16.

– The Spectrum


Virginia became the first state to require emergency standards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in workplaces July 14,  requiring employers maintain appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training and hazard communications in workplaces.

The new regulations will not go into effect until they are published in a newspaper of general circulation, which is expected to occur during the week of July 27.

This followed patchwork of regulations following the third phase of reopening, including prohibiting bar seating in restaurants and bars.

As of July 15, Virginia has had more than 73,000 cases of COVID-19, with just over 6,900 total hospitalizations and nearly 2,000 deaths.

– Leanna Smith, Staunton News Leader


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced July 14 that the statewide pause for counties looking to advance from their current stage of economic reopening will continue through at least July 28.

The pause — implemented earlier this month — was originally intended to be in place for two weeks for the state’s 39 counties, which are in various phases of a four-stage economic reopening plan. But Inslee said the number of confirmed cases and hospitalization rate is troubling.

Statewide, more than 41,700 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed. 

– The Associated Press

Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19 reopening plans: State-by-state updates on restaurants, masks

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