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Midwest: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

Get the latest on coronavirus-related restrictions in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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Footsteps are painted on a sidewalk encouraging social distancing to help prevent the spread of coronavirus outside the entrance to Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

Footsteps are painted on a sidewalk encouraging social distancing to help prevent the spread of coronavirus outside the entrance to Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

Charlie Riedel

Part of a series on coronavirus-related restrictions across the United States.

Jump to a state: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, other states


  • Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a stay-at-home or in-place-of-residence order that allows for residents to leave for essential activities, essential government functions or to operate essential businesses or operations. A modified version of the order is in effect from May 1 through the end of the month.
  • Under the revised stay-at-home order, nonessential retail stores may fulfill phone and online orders through pickup and delivery. Greenhouses, garden centers, nurseries and animal grooming services may reopen as essential businesses. Essential businesses and manufacturers must provide face coverings to employees and implement new social distancing protocols.
  • The revised order also designates “the free exercise of religion” as an essential activity, though religious gatherings must be limited to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Schools will remain closed to in-person learning for the rest of the academic year, Pritzker announced on April 17.
  • On March 27, Pritzker announced measures to expand SNAP benefits and increase support for child care providers and people experiencing homelessness.
  • All essential workers in health care, human services, government services, and infrastructure qualify for the state’s Child Care Assistance Program as of April 1.
  • Under an executive order issued April 6, the Illinois Department of Corrections director can allow “medically vulnerable” inmates to temporarily leave prison for the duration of the state’s disaster proclamation.
  • Illinois’ tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15.
  • The state awarded $14 million to over 700 bars, restaurants and hotels through the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program.
  • Pritzker introduced a Remote Patient Monitoring Program, through which health workers will provide wellness kits and daily virtual visits to COVID-19 patients recovering at home.
  • The Illinois Department of Human Services launched a free emotional support text line for anyone experiencing coronavirus-related stress.
  • An executive order makes health care professionals immune from civil liability in coronavirus cases.
  • Essential personnel who contract COVID-19 on the job are now eligible for workers’ compensation.
  • Pritzker’s administration expanded access to unemployment benefits by easing eligibility requirements and waiving the waiting week for claimants.
  • The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin announced on April 16 that they will work in close coordination to safely reopen Midwestern states.
  • The Illinois State Board of Education “does not expect teachers and families to replicate their students’ usual school experiences at home,” and, along with the governor, is recommending any grades given during the pandemic “reflect the unprecedented circumstances” in which students are operating.
  • The state will provide additional SNAP benefits to the approximately 316,000 households with children eligible for free or reduced school meals, through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program.
  • A multi-state initiative will expand payment relief for people with private and non-federal student loans, which are not covered by the CARES Act. The agreement expands protections to student loan borrowers in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
  • The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is reopening select state parks, recreation areas, fish and wildlife areas and trails beginning May 1. Visitors must bring alcohol-based sanitizer and face coverings with them, and follow specific social distancing guidelines. Hiking, fishing and boating outings are limited to two people.
  • Beginning May 1, individuals must wear masks or face coverings in public places where they cannot maintain six feet of distance from others.
  • Health care facilities may resume certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions beginning May 1, in accordance with public health guidance.
  • A medical delegation from Poland is assisting the Illinois National Guard in its coronavirus response, continuing a partnership between the guard and the Polish military that dates back to 1993.
  • Pritzker announced on April 29 that the state had distributed nearly 20 million items of personal protective equipment to public health departments, hospitals, nursing homes and nonprofit organizations in every county.
  • COVID-19 testing is available to any individuals with symptoms, as well as asymptomatic health care workers, first responders, critical infrastructure employees, individuals exposed to confirmed cases and individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions.
  • A May 1 executive order temporarily allows county governments to issue marriage licenses via audio-video communication technology.
  • On May 5, Pritzker announced “Restore Illinois,” a five-phase plan for reopening the state on a regional basis. The state entered Phase 2 with its modified stay-at-home order on May 1. Regions that meet certain thresholds will be able to move from the “flattening” to the “recovery” phase after several weeks.
  • The governor announced on May 11 that he and his team will be working from home after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. Daily briefings and office operations will continue.
  • The state launched a dashboard of health-centric reopening metrics by region, which will be updated online daily.
  • The state is putting $25 million of existing funding towards Fast-Track Public Infrastructure Grants, a new initiative to accelerate work on local, planned infrastructure projects that are ready to begin work this summer.
  • The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs announced on May 13 that all residents and staff at the state’s four veteran’s homes had been tested for COVID-19.
  • The state launched the Get Hired Illinois job portal, and will offer residents free unlimited access to online workforce development courses through a partnership with Coursera, beginning in June.
  • Pritzker announced the Illinois Contact Tracing Collaborative, a technology-based approach to scaling up existing local contact tracing systems. The state Department of Public Health will drive the curriculum and software, and can support funding for local health department hires where needed. Two local health departments are piloting the initiative.
  • The “Illinois Connected Communities” grant program will assist local governments, schools and communities with building broadband capacity.


  • Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered Indiana residents to remain in their homes except for work deemed essential, caring for others and obtaining necessary supplies, beginning March 25. A two-week stay-at-home order issued April 6 extended earlier restrictions such as those limiting on-site restaurant, bar, and nightclub operations. It also closed campgrounds and required essential businesses to follow specific social distancing measures. On April 20, Holcomb issued a revised order effective through May 1.
  • On May 1, Holcomb announced a five-phased “Back on Track” plan to gradually lift restrictions in most of the state. All but three counties moved to the second phase on May 4. Elderly individuals and those with high-risk health conditions are directed to remain home under phase two. Executive orders implementing phases one and two of the plan are in effect through May 23.
  • Phase two of the plan began on May 11 for Lake and Marion counties, and started May 18 for Cass County. Local governments can impose more restrictive guidelines.
  • In phase two of the recovery plan, essential travel restrictions are lifted and socially distant gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed. Nonessential manufacturing and industrial operations can resume, though people who can work from home are encouraged to do so. Retail and commercial businesses can open at 50% capacity. Shopping malls can open at 50% capacity with indoor common areas restricted to 25% capacity.
  • Also in phase two, personal care businesses can open for appointments, restaurants and bars may reopen at limited capacity, boating is permitted and state government executive branch offices will begin limited public services. State government employees and individuals who work in offices can return to their workplaces in “small waves” but are encouraged to telework whenever possible.
  • An April 20 order extends earlier restrictions and clarifies some essential services. It designates yard work, gardening, planting and landscaping as approved outdoor activities, and permits pet grooming services to operate. It also allows hospitals to conduct “medically necessary procedures.”
  • Beginning April 27, health care providers can resume elective procedures if they have a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment and implement certain recommendations.
  • Under the revised stay-at-home order, nonessential retail businesses can conduct sales by phone or online for delivery and pickup. Restaurants and bars remain closed to dine-in services. Playgrounds, campgrounds, fitness centers and personal care services are closed. Laundry service providers and daycare facilities are open as essential businesses.
  • Holcomb postponed the state’s presidential primary from May 5 to June 2.
  • The governor prohibited utilities from cutting off services and banned landlords from evicting people from residential homes and communities.
  • Holcomb announced incarcerated individuals at the Miami Correctional Facility are producing face masks, personal protection gowns, face shields and hand sanitizer to be used in the fight against COVID-19.
  • All K-12 schools are closed to in-person instruction for the remainder of the academic year, and will continue with remote learning. Holcomb issued an executive order waiving education requirements that cannot be met due to the closure of school buildings.
  • Holcomb signed an executive order on April 7 allowing retired and inactive EMS professionals to provide health care services if they work under a licensed supervisor or obtain a temporary certification from the state’s Department of Homeland Security.
  • Religious and spiritual gatherings are capped at 10 people. Holcomb issued additional guidance for places of worship, encouraging them to close physical locations and conduct services virtually. The directive also lists restrictions for drive-in services and discourages vulnerable individuals from attending.
  • Holcomb issued an executive order allowing pharmacy students who have successfully completed all required course work to apply for temporary licenses with the Professional Licensing Agency.
  • The Indiana Department of Revenue delayed certain tax filing deadlines to July 15, in line with the federal extension. A May 8 executive order extends specific individual and business tax deadlines to match federal law.
  • The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin announced on April 16 that they will work in close coordination to safely reopen Midwestern states.
  • The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs is awarding more than $1.96 million in federal grant funding to 13 rural communities through the new COVID-19 Response Program.
  • Holcomb signed an executive order to expedite the review of unemployment insurance claim appeals and extend the business personal property tax deadlines to June 15.
  • The state launched, a free website with mental health resources for coronavirus-induced stress as well as pre-existing concerns.
  • Holcomb announced on April 28 that the state will launch 50 new testing sites in two weeks, partnering with OptumServe Health Services to expand testing capacity. Once the sites are open, an additional 6,600 Hoosiers can be tested per day. Testing is free and by appointment only, and insurance is not required. Individuals must have symptoms, be at high risk or have been exposed to a confirmed case in order to be eligible.
  • The state is also partnering with the company Maximus to centralize contact tracing efforts. Holcomb announced plans to hire and train 500 employees for a call center that is expected to be operational around May 11.
  • Beginning May 11, restaurants and bars may reopen in-house dining at 50% capacity, with no bar seating. Personal care service businesses can reopen by appointment only and in line with social distancing guidelines.
  • Beginning May 8, indoor worship services can resume statewide. Individuals in high-risk categories are directed to stay home.
  • An executive order extends Bureau of Motor Vehicles renewal deadlines, making driver’s licenses, identification cards and vehicle registrations that expire prior to June 4 valid through that date. It also extends deadlines for expiring state-issued professional licenses and permits to June 4.
  • The order also ensures election workers are able to collect stipends without reducing their unemployment benefits.


  • Gov. Kim Reynolds has not issued a statewide stay-at-home order, but has signed multiple proclamations continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration initially announced on March 17.
  • An April 27 proclamation continues the statewide emergency declaration through May 27, while loosening some restrictions from May 1 through May 15. As of May 15, restrictions previously loosened only in 77 counties are lifted statewide.
  • Provisions of earlier proclamations included the temporary closure of schools and the prohibition of gatherings larger than 10 people.
  • Reynolds had extended closures and limitations for restaurants, bars and certain retail stores. Her April 6 proclamation imposed additional regulations including the closure of malls, entertainment venues, playgrounds, campgrounds, tobacco stores, museums, and libraries until April 30.
  • Reynolds also called on police to enforce the prohibition on public gatherings larger than 10 people.
  • The state said existing permits to carry or acquire a firearm will not expire until further notice.
  • An April 10 proclamation introduced additional regulatory relief measures. The provisions give health facilities greater flexibility, remove some in-person regulatory requirements and “permit community colleges and school districts to adjust to the suspension of in-person instruction.”
  • Reynolds announced on April 17 that schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year. Instructional time requirements are waived, and schools will extend their previously-approved “continuous learning” plans.
  • Reynolds announced the launch of “TestIowa,” a public-private partnership set to increase the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity by up to 3,000 additional tests per day. The state created an online health assessment, which Reynolds is encouraging even asymptomatic individuals to fill out, and is setting up drive-through testing tents.
  • Reynolds signed a proclamation allowing hospitals to resume some elective surgeries through a phased approach, and reopening farmers’ markets with limited operations, beginning April 27.
  • In 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties, restaurants, fitness centers, malls, libraries, race tracks and some retail establishments can resume limited operations if they implement public health measures, effective May 1. The proclamation also lifts restrictions on religious and spiritual gatherings if they observe safety precautions.
  • Iowa Workforce Development issued guidance on April 27 saying Iowans who are idled by temporary coronavirus-related layoffs and who refuse to return to work when recalled by their employer will lose unemployment benefits, with a few exceptions.
  • A proclamation effective May 8 permits dental services to resume in compliance with board guidelines and permits additional establishments to resume limited operations with public health measures in place. It also adjusts school start dates, suspends certain requirements for private instruction and interscholastic athletics and provides additional professional licensure relief.
  • Campgrounds, drive-in movie theaters, tanning facilities and medical spas can reopen statewide.
  • In the 77 counties with relaxed restrictions, social and fraternal clubs were ordered to remain closed except for physically-distant golfing or food and beverage service.
  • In the remaining 22 counties, fitness centers, health clubs and gyms were allowed to reopen on an appointment-only basis for one patron at a time. Malls can reopen at 50% capacity, but must keep seating and play areas closed. Previously-closed retail stores can open at 50% capacity and in compliance with state guidance.
  • Reynolds said on May 11 that she would follow a “modified quarantine plan” after visiting the White House, where two staffers tested positive for COVID-19.
  • A proclamation effective May 15 permits salons, barbershops and massage and tattoo establishments to reopen statewide in a limited fashion, with public health measures in place. It also permits restaurants, fitness centers, libraries and racetracks to reopen in the 22 counties where they were previously closed.
  • Statewide closures of bars, theaters, casinos and gaming facilities, senior citizen centers and adult day care facilities, amusement venues, zoos, museums, aquariums, skating rinks and skate parks, playgrounds, door-to-door sales and swimming pools are extended through May 27.


  • Gov. Laura Kelly signed a statewide stay-at-home order that shuts down businesses, government and other operations unless considered essential. People must maintain six feet from others in public, and limit gatherings to no more than 10 people. Kelly extended the order through midnight on May 3. Phase one of the state’s reopening plan began on May 4.
  • The governor extended the closure of K-12 schools for the duration of the academic year.
  • Kelly issued an executive order temporarily preventing foreclosures and evictions.
  • State government operations were suspended for two weeks beginning March 23 and gradually reintroduced beginning April 6, with a majority of state employees working remotely.
  • Kelly signed an executive order on April 7 that designated religious services and funerals as “essential functions,” but limited in-person gatherings to no more than 10 people and required clergy to adhere to the safety protocols outlined in the stay-at-home order. State lawmakers voted along party lines to overturn the order the following day, saying it violated religious liberty. Kelly’s administration then sued the legislative council in Kansas Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously to uphold the order. On April 18, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the order through May 2. In a joint April 25 court filing with the churches that sued her, Kelly said many restrictions on public gatherings would be lifted beginning May 4.
  • An April 10 executive order extends professional and occupational licenses for the duration of the pandemic, waives late penalties and expiration fees, and extends deadlines for continuing education requirements.An April 16 order applies occupational licensing extensions to adult-care home workers.
  • Health officials are encouraging Kansans to wear cloth face coverings in public.
  • The Kansas Corporation Commission extended an emergency order prohibiting utility disconnects due to nonpayment until May 15.
  • Kelly and the Department for Children and Families announced the “Hero Relief Program” for financially-eligible essential workers, which expands DCF’s child care assistance subsidies for families and offers financial support directly to child care providers.
  • Kelly signed two executive orders on April 22. One expands the health care workforce by easing some requirements for certain medical licensees, allowing out-of-state health care providers to practice in Kansas and extending liability protections to health care workers responding to COVID-19. The other allows the sale of alcoholic beverages for carryout consumption, subject to certain requirements, and permits licensed establishments to sell liquor in containers other than the original.
  • On April 30, Kelly introduced her “Ad Astra“ plan for gradually reopening the economy. The plan requires local governments to operate under a regulatory baseline, while allowing them to impose additional restrictions if necessary. State officials have released reopening guidance for businesses and industries.
  • Under phase one of the plan, the statewide stay-at-home order is lifted but mass gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. Restaurants, libraries and child care facilities can open, and must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Bars, nightclubs, fitness centers, hair salons, barber shops and public swimming pools remain closed.
  • The Kansas Department of Revenue is phasing in the reopening of driver’s license offices, starting May 12.
  • More than $9 million in federal funding is being made available for the state’s Community Development Block Grant program to support community responses to the pandemic. Communities can apply for either economic development grants or meal program grants.
  • The state Department for Aging and Disability Services received more than $6.7 million in federal grants to help communities provide supportive services, meals, caregiver support services and long-term care ombudsman services.
  • On May 14, Kelly announced a new “1.5 phase” of the reopening plan, lifting some restrictions without fully moving into phase two. Effective May 18, personal care services like nail salons, barber shops, hair salons and tattoo parlors can reopen only for pre-scheduled appointments. Fitness centers and health clubs can open, but in-person group classes and locker rooms will remain closed. Limited in-person and drive-through graduation ceremonies are permitted with social distancing measures. Gatherings larger than 10 people remain prohibited.
  • In Phase 1.5, bars, nightclubs, non-tribal casinos, indoor leisure spaces, community centers, entertainment venues, fairs and parades, public pools, organized sports and summer camps will remain closed.
  • A May 14 executive order provides temporary relief from certain restrictions on shared work programs, allowing employers to participate in existing federal programs.
  • Kelly announced that the state will enter a modified Phase Two on May 22. Gathering limits will be increased to 15 people, and bowling alleys, theaters, arcades, trampoline parks and state-owned casinos can reopen. Organized sports practices can also resume. Bars, nightclubs, swimming pools, large entertainment venues and summer camps that are not associated with a state-licensed day care must remain closed. Fairs, festivals and parades are not allowed.
  • Kelly released guidance for observing Memorial Day, including restrictions on travel, gatherings and outdoor activities.


  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an extension of the statewide stay-at-home order on April 9, which introduced stricter restrictions for essential businesses. The order extended the prohibition on “all public and private gatherings among persons outside a single household” and encouraged people to limit the number of household members running errands. Whitmer has extended the order to May 28, though manufacturers can return to work beginning May 11.
  • An April 24 extension of the order relaxed certain restrictions. Nonessential retailers can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery. Big-box stores are no longer required to close off certain areas, such as garden centers. Landscapers, lawn service companies, plant nurseries and bike repair shops can resume socially-distant operations.
  • The order permits certain outdoor activities such as golfing and motorized boating, provided social distancing is practiced. State parks remain open. Individuals can travel between their residences, though it is “strongly discouraged.”
  • People are now required to wear non-medical grade face coverings in enclosed public spaces. Employers must provide masks to their in-person workers.
  • An executive order extends the closure of “places of accommodation” including bars, theaters, casinos and dine-in restaurants until May 28. Businesses are encouraged to continue food and beverage sales through delivery, walk-up, drive-through and window service.
  • Whitmer issued a rule banning employers from firing or otherwise retaliating against an employee “for staying home from work if they or one of their close contacts tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of the disease.”
  • Whitmer signed an executive order extending the deadline to complete the canvass from the March 10 presidential primary by a month to April 24.
  • All K-12 public, private and boarding school buildings were ordered closed through the end of the school year, with most in-person classes replaced with remote learning.
  • Whitmer issued an executive order temporarily suspending eviction allowing residents to remain in their homes even if they are unable to pay their rent or mortgage. She also expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits.
  • Whitmer has temporarily suspended requirements regarding the licensing and regulation of emergency medical services.
  • The TCF Regional Care Center, Michigan’s first alternate care facility, began accepting patients on April 10.
  • Whitmer signed an executive order temporarily extending valid driver’s licenses, state identification cards and commercial vehicle registrations that would otherwise expire during the state of emergency. She later revised and extended provisions of that order.
  • Whitmer also ordered the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to initiate a spirits buy-back program to help bars and restaurants with on-premise liquor licenses.
  • An April 15 executive order establishes specific procedures in long-term care facilities to protect the health and safety of workers and residents.
  • The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin announced on April 16 that they will work in close coordination to safely reopen Midwestern states.
  • The state Department of Health and Human Services partnered with meditation company Headspace to launch “Stay Home, Stay MIndful,“ a free website with mental health resources like guided meditations and at-home exercises for Michiganders.
  • On April 17, Whitmer signed executive orders extending the suspension of evictions and enhancing restrictions on price gouging through May 15. She later extended the price gouging restrictions until June 12.
  • Through an April 20 executive order, Whitmer created the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. The advisory body will conduct research into the causes of racial disparities in the impact of COVID-19 and make recommendations to address them.
  • An executive order allowing pharmacists to dispense 60-day refills of maintenance prescriptions has been extended through May 19.
  • An April 22 executive order extends temporary expansions in unemployment eligibility.
  • Whitmer also ordered the extension of all deadlines for case initiation in civil and probate matters for the duration of the emergency.
  • Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services launched the MiMortgage Relief Partnership on April 23. More than 200 state financial institutions have signed onto the initiative, which provides affected borrowers with a 90-day grace period for mortgage payments. It also temporarily provides relief from mortgage-related late fees and delays new foreclosures.
  • An April 26 executive order enacts safety measures for staff and customers at food establishments and pharmacies. It also suspends certain licensing and registration deadlines for the food service industry. These measures have been extended until May 29.
  • Whitmer signed an order extending the validity of personal protection orders that would otherwise expire during the pandemic through July 21.
  • An April 26 executive order expands protections for vulnerable populations in the state’s jails, local lockups and juvenile detention centers during the pandemic, replacing an earlier order.
  • Michigan has devoted $130 million in federal and state funding to a new “Child Care Relief Fund,” which will provide non-competitive grants to child care providers.
  • An April 29 executive order affirms the right to receive medical care without discrimination and requires health care facilities to develop protocols that ensure non-discrimination in the event of a hospital surge.
  • Whitmer announced the “Futures for Frontliners“ program, to provide tuition-free post-secondary education opportunities for essential workers.
  • After the Michigan Legislature refused to renew the state’s emergency and disaster declarations past their May 1 expiration, Whitmer issued executive orders extending them through May 28.
  • Certain types of lower-risk work, like construction, real-estate activities and jobs primarily performed outdoors, are allowed to resume beginning May 7.
  • The State Secretary of State mailed absentee applications to registered voters in the 33 counties holding elections on May 5. A limited number of polling places were open for socially-distant in-person voting.
  • Whitmer announced that more than $3.3 million in financial relief is going to 657 bar and restaurant owners in the state as part of its spirits buyback program.
  • The state created a rule expanding college student eligibility for food assistance.
  • A May 3 executive order effective until May 31 protects residents of congregate care settings by prohibiting nonessential visitors, requiring health screenings upon entry and mandating employees wear masks.
  • Whitmer signed an executive order expanding unemployment eligibility and expediting benefits.
  • An order allowing public bodies to meet remotely has been extended until June 30.
  • On May 7, Whitmer detailed the six phases of the “MI Safe Start Plan“ and announced the state is in phase three.
  • A May 11 executive order temporarily suspends certain youth work permit application requirements.
  • Michigan is participating in the federal Unemployment Insurance Agency Work Share program. Certain state employees will take two temporary layoff days per pay period from May 17 until July 25, resulting in up to $80 million in decreased wage costs. Employees will retain their existing benefits and collect partial unemployment benefits.
  • COVID-19 tests are available for anyone with symptoms, as well as essential workers regardless of symptoms.
  • Whitmer signed two executive orders on May 13, expanding the capacity of child care services for the essential workforce and establishing standard safety protocols for long-term care facilities.
  • Whitmer ordered the creation of the Return to Learn Advisory Council, which will formalize a process for determining how schools may be able to reopen in the fall.
  • An executive order expands telehealth options by authorizing and encouraging health care providers use telehealth services when appropriate, in effect through June 10.
  • Laboratory research is allowed to resume with specific workplace safeguards.
  • A May 18 executive order expands worker protections by requiring businesses resuming in-person work to adhere to strict safety guidelines, including making a COVID-19 response plan available to employees and customers by June 1.
  • Counties in two regions in the northern part of the state can choose to begin a partial reopening on May 22. An executive order allows for the reopening of retail businesses, office work that cannot be done remotely and limited seating in restaurants and bars. Businesses resuming operations must follow specific safety protocols.


  • Gov. Tim Walz extended the statewide stay-at-home order until May 18, which closed nonessential businesses and allowed Minnesotans to leave their residences only for certain essential purposes.
  • An executive order reopens certain businesses and activities from May 18 through May 31. It urges at-risk individuals to continue staying home, and encourages everyone to wear face masks in public places where social distancing is difficult.
  • Beginning May 18, retail stores, malls and other main street businesses can reopen at a maximum of 50% occupancy if they have a safety plan. Minnesotans can gather with friends and family in groups of no more than 10 people, with social distancing. Restaurants, bars, salons and gyms will remain closed.
  • Under a renewed stay-at-home order, retail and other non-critical businesses can begin offering curbside pick-up as of May 4. Minnesotans should continue to telework, and are directed to wear masks in any public setting where social distancing is difficult.
  • Walz announced on April 2 that the state’s health plans — including those offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and HealthPartners, among others — have agreed to waive expenses related to COVID-19 testing and treatment.
  • The governor issued a “temporary moratorium on eviction actions” allowing residents to remain “stably housed” while safeguarding the public.
  • Walz signed two executive orders on April 6: one that authorizes out-of-state mental health providers to treat Minnesota patients through telehealth services, and one that amends a previous order aimed at expediting state unemployment insurance benefits.
  • The state passed a bill expanding workers’ compensation eligibility for first responders and front-line workers by allowing them to qualify for benefits if they test positive for COVID-19.
  • Hiring for executive branch positions is frozen, and Walz has implemented salary cuts for himself, his chief of staff and cabinet agency commissioners for the rest of the year.
  • The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin announced on April 16 that they will work in close coordination to safely reopen Midwestern states.
  • An April 17 executive order expands the list of allowable outdoor recreational activities by reopening certain facilities, including parks, golf courses, bait shops and boating services. It requires Minnesotans partaking in these activities to practice social distancing, avoid crowded areas and stay close to home.
  • Walz signed legislation allowing restaurants and bars to sell unopened beer, hard seltzer, cider and wine with food orders during the outbreak.
  • On April 18, Walz launched a week-long statewide homemade mask drive, encouraging Minnesotans to create cloth masks and donate them to their local fire department between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 25.
  • The state authorized a total of $30 million to assist child care providers. The Minnesota Department of Human Services is awarding about $9.8 million to providers serving the children of essential workers as part of the first round of emergency funding.
  • On April 22, Walz launched a statewide testing strategy in partnership with the Mayo Clinic and University of Minnesota. The plan involves testing all symptomatic people, isolating confirmed cases and expanding public health surveillance tools.
  • On April 23, Walz ordered public K-12 schools to remain closed and continue distance learning for the rest of the academic year.
  • Walz is allowing certain non-critical businesses to return to work beginning April 27. He said this action will permit 80,000 to 100,000 Minnesotans to return to their jobs in industrial, manufacturing and office settings. Companies resuming operations must implement a “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan” and continue working from home as much as possible.
  • An April 25 executive order authorizes certain out-of-state health care professionals to participate in Minnesota’s COVID-19 response.
  • A May 4 executive order exempts federal, tribal, state and local COVID-19 relief funds from being automatically intercepted by creditors and debt collectors.
  • A May 5 executive order provides a roadmap for doctors, dentists and veterinarians to restart elective surgeries. Health care providers may begin offering certain procedures the week of May 11 if they create plans for maintaining a safe environment for patients and staff.
  • On May 7, Walz announced a five-point plan for protecting residents and staff at the state’s long-term care facilities.
  • The Department of Natural Resources reopened its public water accesses statewide, comprising about half of the boat launches in Minnesota, for the May 9 fishing opener. Anglers are directed to fish close to home and take specific precautions.
  • A May 11 executive order allows students in critical care sectors to attend classes for needed in-person training or testing in order to graduate, helping fill workforce shortages in those sectors.
  • Walz extended Minnesota’s peacetime emergency through June 12.
  • An executive order permits certain outdoor recreational activities and facilities to reopen beginning May 18 if they follow specific health and safety guidelines. Facilities include state parks, trails, forests and other state-managed recreational lands, public water accesses, public and private golf courses, ski areas, outdoor shooting ranges and outdoor recreational equipment rental outlets.
  • An executive order protects workers from discrimination and retaliation as a result of raising concerns about unsafe working conditions during the state of emergency. Individuals who quit their job because of any “adverse work condition related to the pandemic” will remain eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Walz signed an executive order directing the commissioner of education to provide a “safe and effective summer learning environment” for students. Public and charter schools can choose to offer summer learning through a hybrid model of limited in-person and remote learning, or continue distance learning.


  • Gov. Mike Parson issued a statewide “Stay Home Missouri” order effective April 6. People may only leave their places of residence when necessary, and must practice social distancing. Parson extended the order through May 3. Missouri will be in phase one of its “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan from May 4 through May 31.
  • Parson announced the two-phase “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan for getting Missourians safely back to work. The pillars of the plan are testing volume, personal protective equipment supply, health care system capacity, and public health data. The state has issued health and safety guidance for businesses, communities and citizens during the recovery period.
  • Under phase one of the plan, there are no limits on gathering size, but people must adhere to social distancing requirements as they resume social and economic activities. All businesses can reopen provided they follow specific social distancing guidelines. Local officials have the authority to put some additional rules and regulations in place.
  • Parson said that nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes and assisted living homes must follow stricter guidance during the first phase of the recovery plan.
  • The governor signed an executive order on March 27 to begin mobilizing the Missouri National Guard. The order has been extended through June 15.
  • Parson announced on April 8 that the state would begin converting a hotel in the St. Louis region into an alternate care site.
  • As of April 9, Missouri public and charter school buildings are closed through the remainder of the academic year.
  • Parson signed a $6.2 billion supplemental budget on April 10 that will provide access to federal funding under the CARES Act for coronavirus-related expenses and economic relief.
  • Missouri’s Department of Transportation received a $61.7 million federal grant for rural transit as part of the CARES Act.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration is awarding a $152.4 million grant for the state’s airports under the CARES Act.
  • The Missouri Department of Conservation said staffed shooting ranges, nature centers, visitor centers and educational centers are closed to the public through April 30. Conservation areas, nature center trails and boat accesses remain open.
  • Parson postponed municipal elections to June 2. He told NPR on April 15 that he does not plan to expand vote-by-mail options.
  • Parson announced that state grants totaling $3.05 million were awarded to 16 broadband development projects working to bring high-speed internet access to rural areas.
  • Parson announced two rounds of expenditure restrictions in April, of $180 million and $47 million respectively, to balance the budget and preserve funds to deal with COVID-19.
  • Parson extended Missouri’s state of emergency through June 15, allowing the suspension of certain regulations to remain in place after the stay-at-home order expires.
  • The majority of Missouri state parks and historic sites have remained open, and the Department of Natural Resources is gradually lifting various restrictions during the month of May.
  • Missouri State Parks campgrounds began a phased reopening on May 18.
  • On May 4, concession-operated lodging, dining, marina and retail operations began reopening at select state parks, in line with social distancing guidelines.
  • The Missouri Supreme Court and several judicial circuits suspended or postponed proceedings that included eviction and foreclosure cases until May 15.
  • Under phase one, medical providers can provide non-emergency health care at their discretion, in accordance with state public health and safety guidelines. Providers are encouraged to allow patients to wait in their vehicles.
  • An order allowing restaurants to sell unprepared food has been extended through June 15.
  • Under the CARES Act, Missouri is receiving $66 million for child care assistance and $1.5 million for regional food banks.
  • Beginning May 11, written and skills testing services for driver’s licenses are resuming at limited Missouri State Highway Patrol locations.
  • The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development is receiving an emergency grant of $1.3 million for COVID-19 disaster recovery, and will target dislocated workers across the state. It is also launching the #RecoverMO campaign to hold virtual job fairs and highlight short-term training programs.
  • On May 13, Parson announced expanded testing priorities for detecting and containing potential outbreaks. The strategy involves identifying potential outbreaks through community sampling, rapidly deploying tests and resources to outbreak sites and expanding testing access for vulnerable populations and essential workers. He said the state could perform 60,000 tests per week if needed.


  • Gov. Pete Ricketts has not issued a stay-at-home order, though Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House Coronavirus Task Force has called the state’s health directives “functionally equivalent.” All counties were previously covered by Nebraska’s Directed Health Measure provisions, the strictest of which limited public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people, prohibited elective procedures and closed dine-in service at restaurants and bars. As of May 4, each of the state’s 19 local health departments has its own Directed Health Measure, which gradually lift certain restrictions restrictions, effective through May 31.
  • Public, private, and parochial schools must operate without students through May 31, and all school-related extracurricular activities are cancelled through that date. Remote learning, child care services, and meal distribution may continue.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19, experience symptoms or reside with individuals who do must home quarantine for at least 14 days.
  • The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has issued safety and social distancing guidance for faith-based communities.
  • Organized youth and adult team sports are suspended until May 31.
  • Ricketts proclaimed April 10-30 as “21 Days To Stay Home and Stay Healthy,” urging Nebraskans to perform their civic duty by further avoiding nonessential errands and limiting social gatherings.
  • The proclamation offers additional guidance for practicing good hygiene and social distancing, directing people to telecommute or else “socially distance” their work, avoid visiting long-term care facilities, help children and seniors stay home, and shop alone and only once a week. The “Six Rules To Keep Nebraska Healthy“ will remain in place for the month of May.
  • Ricketts said on April 10 that he will not prematurely release individuals from state prisons during the pandemic.
  • The state is expanding SNAP benefits by easing certain eligibility requirements. It is also extending recertification periods by six months and providing emergency allotments to SNAP recipients in April and May.
  • Ricketts issued an executive order temporarily prohibiting residential evictions of Nebraskans impacted by COVID-19.
  • The state Department of Agriculture has enacted temporary regulatory changes allowing restaurants to sell unlabeled packaged foods to customers.
  • An April 15 executive order expands access to child care by waiving some regulations for the Child Care Subsidy Program. Participating providers may now bill the state for days when a child is absent, and participating families may now obtain in-home child care when other options are unavailable.
  • Ricketts announced that elective surgeries may resume on May 4, as long as hospitals and health care facilities meet specific requirements for available bed capacity and personal protective equipment supply.
  • The state is launching a public-private partnership to scale up COVID-19 testing capacity. The Test Nebraska initiative, similar to those in other states, will “assess, test and track” residents’ health, beginning with an online survey.
  • State officials recommended on April 22 that municipalities enact a moratorium on utility disconnects for 45 days or longer, noting that most had already done so.
  • Municipal officials are reminding residents to practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines at parks.
  • The Nebraska Department of Agriculture has issued guidelines for garden centers, nurseries and farmers’ markets. The state is establishing a Detasseling Task Force to protect agricultural workers.
  • On April 24, Ricketts announced that certain restrictions on social gatherings and business operations will be loosened on a regional basis starting May 4, though individuals must still practice social distancing.
  • The statewide closure of all beauty and nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services, gentlemen’s clubs, bottle clubs, indoor theaters and tattoo studios was extended to May 3. The state released guidance for the reopening of salons, barber shops, massage therapy services and body art services.
  • Statewide restrictions on places of worship are relaxed as of May 4. Ricketts has issued health and safety guidance for faith-based services.
  • Restaurants, personal care services and child care facilities can reopen, with limited capacity and social distancing protocols, in 10 districts as of May 4. The state has issued new guidelines for restaurants, such as requiring workers to wear masks.
  • Dental facilities with sufficient supply of personal protective equipment can resume surgeries beginning May 4, in accordance with state guidance.
  • The state relaxed its health directives in three additional districts on May 11. A fourth district moved to a less restrictive Directed Health Measure on May 13. Less restrictive health measures took effect in three more regions, in the southern part of the state, on May 18. These relaxed measures allow for the limited reopening of restaurants and personal care services, and increase the per room childcare limits from 10 to 15 children.
  • Ricketts issued an executive order expediting the processing of unemployment claims and retroactively extending benefit eligibility to start March 15.
  • Ricketts announced the state will conduct a virtual observance for Memorial Day. It is also opening a virtual veterans service office.
  • Beginning June 1, schools can open their weight rooms for use by student athletes, as long as they follow the guidelines for gyms and health clubs. Organized team practices for baseball and softball can tentatively resume. Baseball and softball games may begin on June 18 “unless circumstances dictate a change in date.”

North Dakota

  • Gov. Doug Burgum has not issued a statewide stay-at-home order.
  • Many types of businesses were ordered closed through April 30, including recreational facilities, gyms, entertainment venues and “all salons operated by licensed cosmetologists.” Restaurants and bars closed to on-site patrons, but takeout and delivery services continued. Businesses can resume or continue operations in accordance with “North Dakota Smart Restart“ protocols as of May 1.
  • Burgum announced on May 1 that K-12 schools will continue with distance learning through the end of the academic year.
  • Burgum issued an executive order waiving the one-week waiting period to obtain unemployment benefits, as the state saw a surge in jobless claims.
  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19, and their household members, are ordered to self-quarantine in their place of residence for 14 days, according to an April 6 executive order.
  • Burgum signed an order suspending visitation to long-term care facilities, “except in cases of end-of-life or compassionate care circumstances,” until further notice.
  • Burgum signed an executive order allowing Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities and Qualified Residential Treatment Programs to make certain policy and regulatory changes in order to continue providing critical services for vulnerable youth.
  • Burgum released the state’s finalized hospital surge plan on April 14.
  • Burgum outlined a plan to expand the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity, with the goal of performing 1,800 tests per day by April 30.
  • On April 27, Burgum announced that he would lift certain restrictions and implement new guidelines for businesses as they continue or resume operations after the executive order expires on April 30. He has emphasized that the reopening of businesses is voluntary for those that can meet protocols, and is encouraging people to continue teleworking whenever possible.
  • The “North Dakota Smart Restart“ roadmap offers universal protocols and industry-specific guidance for businesses to protect the health and safety of both workers and customers. On April 28, Burgum released guidance for sectors including restaurants, bars, salons, tattoo parlors and fitness centers. On April 29, Burgum released guidance for movie theaters.
  • The North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department has issued rules and timelines for easing restrictions on park use. Marinas and boat ramps opened on May 9 and 10. Campgrounds will reopen May 21 for limited-service camping. All visitor centers, concession buildings and comfort stations will be closed until Memorial Day. Site-specific equipment rentals will resume starting Memorial Day weekend. Playgrounds are closed and special events are canceled until further notice.
  • Burgum is allowing schools to use their facilities for high school graduation ceremonies with specific safety, sanitation and social distancing protocols. The state has issued guidance, and is letting local school boards and administrators decide “whether, when or where” ceremonies should be held.
  • Burgum announced that starting June 1, public and nonpublic schools will be able to host certain activities including summer school, driver’s education and college admissions testing. Schools can still choose to offer summer instruction through distance learning. Students will be allowed in school buildings from May 15 to May 30 to retrieve belongings and return equipment.
  • The North Dakota Emergency Commission voted to utilize over $500 million in federal funding for the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, with most of the money going towards economic recovery.
  • Burgum issued operating protocols for large gatherings, banquets, ballrooms and event venues. Facilities can host gatherings at up to 50% of their certificate of occupancy, capped at 250 people. Gatherings of any size should only be held if proper social distancing can be maintained.


  • Gov. Mike DeWine issued a stay-at-home order requiring individuals to stay at least 6 feet away from non-household members “as much as reasonably possible” until at least May 1. A modified order extends stay-at-home directives through May 29, while incrementally allowing certain businesses and activities to resume according to sector-specific requirements.
  • An expanded stay-at-home order took effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 6 that requires essential business to limit the number of customers allowed in stores and asks travelers entering Ohio to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Most in-person voting for the March primary was eliminated, and absentee voting was extended until April 28.
  • Residents are encouraged to donate personal protection equipment to Ohio health care workers and first responders by contacting local emergency management agency offices.
  • An executive order signed April 4 expands access to telehealth services from counselors, social workers, and marriage and family counselors by eliminating certain requirements.
  • DeWine signed an executive order into effect on April 7 that allows establishments with liquor licenses to sell and deliver drinks, including high-proof liquor, for off-premises consumption.
  • Ohioans are encouraged to wear cloth masks in public, in line with CDC recommendations. DeWine said on April 28 that wearing masks in retail stores is strongly recommended but not required, though face coverings can still be mandated for employees.
  • DeWine announced on April 15 that he had approved the early release of 105 individuals from state prisons under an existing emergency overcrowding statue.
  • In response to people traveling from out of state to purchase alcohol, in-person liquor sales in border counties have been restricted to Ohio residents only.
  • The Ohio Department of Health ordered long-term care facilities to notify residents and families within 24 hours of a staff member or resident testing positive for COVID-19.
  • DeWine signed an executive order providing nearly $5 million in emergency funding to Ohio’s food banks and hunger relief network.
  • Lt. Gov. John Husted announced on April 14 that over 660 critical employers were seeking to fill approximately 41,000 essential job openings.
  • The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin announced on April 16 that they will work in close coordination to safely reopen Midwestern states.
  • DeWine said starting May 1, the state will begin a gradual “phased-in reopening”of its economy.
  • On April 20, DeWine extended school closures through the rest of the academic year. He said distance learning will continue and districts will have flexibility as they plan for next year, leaving open the possibility of a “blended system” in the fall.
  • DeWine created a Minority Health Strike Force to examine how COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting minority groups in the state and provide assistance.
  • The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation approved the sending of $1.6 billion in dividends to private employers and local government taxing districts. DeWine announced on April 21 that more than 170,000 checks would be mailed out within five days.
  • An April 22 order directs health care providers in hospitals and outpatient surgery centers to reassess elective procedures and surgeries that had previously been postponed. Providers are required to inform patients of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and its impact on the post-operative recovery process.
  • The Ohio Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services launched a mental health talk line for anyone experiencing stress related to the coronavirus.
  • The state is covering the costs of continuing care for more than 200 youths who would otherwise age out of the foster care system during the pandemic.
  • Health care procedures that do not require an overnight hospital stay, as well as all dental and veterinary procedures, can resume beginning May 1.
  • On April 27, DeWine announced the first steps of economic reopening. Manufacturing, construction and distribution can reopen starting May 4. General office environments can also reopen that day, but teleworking is encouraged. Consumer, retail and other services may resume starting May 12. All businesses must follow specific social distancing guidelines.
  • Gatherings remain limited to 10 people, and closures are extended for businesses including dine-in restaurants and bars, personal appearance and beauty services, senior centers, gymnasiums and all sites of entertainment and recreation.
  • Ohio has shipped 4.1 million pieces of personal protective equipment to local emergency management agencies.
  • Nearly $16 million in criminal justice grant funding is available to help local agencies prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • The state Department of Education issued guidance for socially distant graduations. Virtual ceremonies are preferred.
  • DeWine announced $775 million in reductions to Ohio’s General Revenue Fund for the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30. Budget cuts will be made to Medicaid, K-12 Foundation payment, higher education funding, education line items and other agencies.
  • Restaurants and bars can reopen outdoor dining on May 15 and dine-in service on May 21, in line with recommended and mandatory best practices.
  • Personal care services such as hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons and tanning facilities may reopen beginning May 15 in compliance with state guidelines.
  • The state is offering a one-time Liquor Rebate Program to help bars and restaurants. Eligible permit holders can receive a $500 rebate for high proof liquor.
  • Ohio will distribute SNAP benefits to the families of the 850,000 students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • Massage therapy, acupuncture, cosmetic therapy and tattoo and body piercing services can reopen beginning May 15, in line with mandatory and recommended best practices.
  • The Ohio Department of Aging is offering a free, daily check-in phone call for adults over the age of 60.
  • Child care providers and day camps can reopen beginning May 31 if they meet required safety protocols. The state is putting more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding towards reopening grants for all of its child care providers.
  • Campgrounds can reopen beginning May 21 in line with mandatory and recommended best practices.
  • Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles locations can reopen for certain services if they meet safety protocols, beginning May 26. Services that can be completed online should be done remotely.
  • Gyms and fitness centers can reopen beginning May 26 in accordance with state guidance.
  • Leagues for non-contact and limited-contact sports can operate with safety protocols beginning May 26.
  • As of May 26, public and club pools that are regulated by local health departments can reopen if they meet safety requirements and best practices.
  • Horse racing can resume without spectators beginning May 22. This does not apply to casinos and racinos.
  • DeWine ordered mass testing at Ohio’s two state nursing home facilities for veterans.
  • DeWine is assembling an enforcement team, comprised of law enforcement and health officials, to conduct safety compliance checks in reopened bars and restaurants. Businesses that violate the Stay Safe Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could lead to losing their liquor license, and the state will work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against business owners.

South Dakota

  • South Dakota has no statewide stay-at-home order. Gov. Kristi Noem issued an executive order through May 31 that strengthens the language used to require South Dakotans to practice CDC-recommended hygiene practices and social distancing. It also orders businesses and local and municipal governments to restrict gatherings of 10 or more people, tells employers to encourage staff to telework and social distance, and requires health care organizations to postpone all nonessential elective surgeries.
  • Noem also ordered adults over the age of 65, and anyone with certain underlying medical conditions, in Minnehaha and Lincoln counties to stay home. There are exceptions for critical infrastructure jobs and essential errands. The order expired on May 11, though Noem said she would revisit it if necessary.
  • Health care providers are instructed to postpone nonessential elective surgeries.
  • Noem signed into law a bill that allows for injunctions to enforce directives or orders for the containment of a coronavirus respiratory syndrome.
  • Elections to be held between April 14 and May 26 have been postponed.
  • Requirements that students take national standardized tests have been waived.
  • The state has created a small business economic disaster relief subfund that can make appropriations.
  • On April 9, Noem extended her previous executive orders through May 31.
  • Schools are ordered to remain closed and continue with “distance learning” through the end of the academic year.
  • Noem signed an executive order removing barriers to licensure for health care professionals and expanding access to telehealth.
  • After nearly 300 workers at the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Sioux Falls tested positive for COVID-19, Noem asked the company to temporarily suspend operations. Ken Sullivan, Smithfield’s CEO and president, announced on April 12 that the plant would shut down indefinitely. Noem said she was working with the CDC and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to safely reopen it. The CDC released its finalized report on April 23. The plant began a partial reopening on May 4.
  • Noem signed an executive order on April 20 giving hog producers temporarily flexibility in their state and county regulatory operations.
  • At an April 21 press conference, Noem encouraged people not to attend two upcoming auto races that had sold hundreds of tickets, but did not opt to take more restrictive action. The speedways later decided to hold the races without spectators present.
  • The governor’s Small Business Relief Fund announced its first 94 recipients, totaling more than $5 million in loans.
  • On April 28, Noem announced the “Back to Normal“ plan, which outlines guidance for individuals, schools, employers, health care providers and local governments. She also signed an executive order putting the plan into effect.
  • An executive order effective through May 31 provides guidance regarding how the “Back to Normal” plan will apply to state government. Cabinet secretaries and bureau commissioners have the authority to call employees back to the office, though administrative leave is still allowed for employees who cannot come in and cannot work remotely. Approved out-of-state work-related travel is allowed.
  • Noem signed an executive order suspending a statute related to the renewal of certain alcoholic beverage licenses.
  • Officials announced that South Dakota is ramping up testing of vulnerable populations. A four-week plan to test all residents and staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities statewide began May 18. Noem said the state will also conduct mass testing in some tribal communities, and work with employers of essential and critical infrastructure as it did at Smithfield Foods.


  • On May 13, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court overturned the existing stay-at-home order and ruled that all future statewide coronavirus-related restrictions must be approved by the legislature’s rule-making committee. In response, some local governments have issued their own stay-at-home orders and announced that the state’s order will continue to apply in their jurisdiction. Evers is urging Wisconsinites to “continue doing their part“ by staying home, practicing social distancing and limiting travel.
  • Previously, Gov. Tony Evers had extended the statewide stay-at-home order through the morning of May 26. Residents were ordered to stay at their place of residence with the exception of essential activities, and maintain six feet of distance from others, and all public or private gatherings of people who are not part of the same living unit were prohibited.
  • Public and private K-12 schools are closed to in-person instruction and extracurricular activities for the remainder of the academic year.
  • Evictions and foreclosures in the state were ordered suspended on March 27. Certain licensing requirements for health care workers were also suspended.
  • Two state-operated voluntary self-isolation facilities will open in Madison and Milwaukee.
  • Evers issued an executive order on April 6, a day before the state’s primary election was set to take place, delaying in-person voting to June 9. State Republicans immediately challenged it in Wisconsin Supreme Court, which blocked the delay.That night, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state could not accept absentee ballots postmarked after its voting day, reversing a lower court decision that would have given Wisconsinites six extra days to vote by mail.
  • While religious institutions are considered essential under the stay-at-home order, they must still abide by the 10-person limit. Evers issued guidance encouraging houses of worship to conduct services online, in parking lots with congregants in their cars, or shifts of small groups.
  • The state is seeking active and retired health care professionals, as well as individuals who wish to help in non-clinical support positions, to volunteer for the new Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry.
  • The governors of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin announced on April 16 that they will work in close coordination to safely reopen Midwestern states.
  • Evers announced the “Badger Bounce Back” plan on April 20. The plan outlines phases and criteria for the incremental reopening of Wisconsin’s economy.
  • An April 27 executive order further eases restrictions on certain businesses. Nonessential businesses can do curbside drop-offs of goods and animals. Rentals of outdoor recreational vehicles like boats and golf carts can resume, and automatic and self-service car washes can operate. All of the businesses must operate “free of contact with customers” by taking payments online or by phone; they must also follow disinfecting practices.
  • The Department of Natural Resources reopened 34 state parks and forests on May 1, under special conditions to minimize overcrowding and facilitate social distancing. Camping is prohibited and events are suspended through May 26. It previously closed 40 state parks, forests and recreational areas “until further notice.”
  • Evers announced on May 1 that state officials are working with local health departments to create testing sites in areas lacking access to tests or experiencing high rates of COVID-19.
  • Wisconsin received a donation of 10,000 procedural masks and 1,000 medical outfits from Heilongjiang Province, its sister state in China.
  • On May 4, Evers announced a plan to further expand the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity, with the goal of conducting 85,000 tests per week.
  • Evers also announced a plan to scale up contact tracing efforts, with the goal of having 1,000 tracers statewide.
  • The state has compiled general and industry-specific guidelines for reopening.
  • Evers announced that $2 million in grants is available for one thousand eligible and ethnically diverse micro-businesses that have suffered losses due to the pandemic.
  • A May 11 order allows all standalone and strip mall-based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time while enforcing social distancing protocols. It also permits drive-in theaters to resume limited operations.
  • The state received a donation of approximately 210,000 procedural masks from international businesses and the Taiwanese government for distribution to health care and public safety professionals.
  • Evers announced $75 million in assistance for small businesses through the Wisconsin Economic Development Commission’s “We’re All In” initiative, funded largely by federal aid from the CARES Act. Eligible small businesses can apply in June to receive cash grants of $2,500.
  • The Department of Children and Families announced the Child Care Counts initiative, a $51 million emergency payment program to support Wisconsin’s early care and education community.

The first version of this page was originally published on March 12. This is a developing story. We will continue to update as new information becomes available.

NPR’s Brakkton Booker, Merrit Kennedy, Vanessa Romo, Colin Dwyer, Laurel Wamsley, Aubri Juhasz and Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.

This is part of a series about coronavirus-related restrictions across the United States.

Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin

South: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia

West: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


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