While some orders are currently set to expire by the end of April, others will last through May, and some are more open-ended

By Maria Pasquini and Julie Mazziotta
Updated May 01, 2020 11:27 AM
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As Americans enter another month with non-essential business, schools and offices closed and many dealing with unemployment from the losses to the economy, legislators throughout the country are faced with decisions about when to lift stay-at-home orders.

President Donald Trump has left that choice up to state governors. And while most of the country is eager to resume their pre-quarantine lives and conservative groups have organized small protests against the current restrictions across the country, health experts say that it is not a decision that should be rushed. The U.S. has only just passed the likely peak of the COVID-19 outbreak and thousands of people are still being diagnosed with and dying of the virus each day.

Additionally, experts say that widespread testing — something that has not been available in the U.S. throughout the outbreak — is needed before people can go back to work and school, or else the country risks a resurgence in cases.

Currently, some stay-at-home orders are set to expire by the end of the month, others will last through May, and several states have yet to make any announcements about when they will lift restrictions.

And Trump said Wednesday that the federal guidelines for social distancing — which were put in place on March 15 and then extended to April 30 — will not be renewed. “They’ll be fading out because now the governors are doing it,” he told reporters during a White House press briefing, TIME reported.

Although individual orders vary from state to state, most stipulate that people with essential jobs — such as doctors, firefighters, police and grocery store workers — are allowed to go to work, while everyone else must stay at home. Residents are permitted to leave to get groceries and other essentials, and most orders allow people to go outside for walks or exercise, while staying six feet apart from other people.

As of April 30, there are at least 1,045,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and 60,945 people have died.

Here’s when the states under full stay-at-home orders will begin to lift restrictions, based on the information they have made available.

Alabama

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s stay-at-home order went into effect on April 4, and expired on April 30. Retail stores can now have 50 percent occupancy and beaches and parks are open.

Alaska

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy allowed restaurants, retail stores and hair and nail salons to begin reopening on April 24, though with restrictions. Restaurants are only allowed to have 25 percent capacity and must require reservations.

Arizona

Arizona’s order is currently set to remain in place through May 15, although Gov. Doug Ducey has expressed doubts that the state will immediately begin to reopen.

It’s too early right now for me to say that there’s something magical about May 1st. Of course I’m hopeful. I want to be aspirational on this,” Ducey, who has been criticized for exempting golf courses from the order, said during a recent press conference.

Arkansas

The state was never under a formal stay-at-home order, but most businesses were closed. They will begin to reopen, with restrictions, on May 4.

California

There is no current timeline for when California’s stay-at-home order, which went into effect on March 19, will be lifted.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that before decisions can be made, the number of hospitalizations will need to be on the decline for several weeks, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Colorado

Colorado’s stay-at-home order expired on April 26, and any businesses can now offer curbside pickup. On May 1, nail and hair salons were allowed to reopen.

Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont has extended Connecticut’s statewide order until May 20. The state has been under a stay-at-home order since March 23.

RELATED VIDEO: Frontline Healthcare Workers Stand Up to Lockdown Protesters in Colorado

Delaware

Delaware’s statewide restrictions are set to remain in effect “until May 15 or until the public health threat is eliminated.”

District of Columbia

Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented the order on March 30, which has been extended through May 15.

Florida

Florida’s stay-at-home order is set to last through April 30. The state has faced widespread criticism for its handling of the spread of the virus, including its decision to reopen some beaches and parks.

Georgia

Gov. Brian Kemp drew criticism after he was the first to announce the reopening of businesses in his state. As of April 24, gyms, hair and nail salons, bowling alleys and tattoo parlors are open and restaurants were allowed to have small amounts of dine-in customers beginning April 27.

Hawaii

Hawaii’s stay-at-home order was put in place on March 25, and were extended to May 31, although Gov. David Ige has indicated that not all restrictions are likely to be lifted.

“This is not about ripping off the Band-Aid,” added Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell during an April 16 press conference, according to Hawaii News Now. “As we go forward over many, many months, the stay-at-home/work-at-home order will remain in place but will be modified. It has to be thought out. It has to be very careful and … based on science.”

Idaho

Idaho’s stay-at-home order was amended on April 15 in order to extend the mandate through April 30, an additional 15 days.

Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has extended Illinois’ stay-at-home order to last through May 30, though parks will reopen May 1.

Indiana

Indiana’s state order has been extended through May 1, a decision that was made in collaboration with several neighboring states.

Iowa

The state never formally shutdown, despite having one of the largest single outbreaks after hundreds of workers at a large pork plant tested positive. But restaurants, retail stores and other businesses were told to close, and those restrictions will lift on May 1, though with limited capacity.

Kansas

Gov. Laura Kelly announced on April 16 that Kansas’ stay-at-home order would be extended through May 3.

“Cases of COVID-19 continue to increase and have spread to additional counties in Kansas. Extending the stay-home order will keep Kansans safe as we work to fight this pandemic,” Kelly said. “While we won’t be able to lift all restrictions on mass gatherings overnight, we will continue to develop mitigation efforts so Kansans, their families and businesses can plan for the future.”

The decision was made alongside Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

Kentucky

An end date for Kentucky’s stay-at-home order has yet to be announced by Gov. Andy Beshear.

Louisiana

At the start of April, Gov. John Bel Edwards formally extended the state order to last through May 15.

“It is absolutely critical that each Louisianan take this stay-at-home order seriously. Act as if your life depends on it — because it does,” he said.

Maine

Maine’s stay-at-home order expired on April 30. Salons and parks are now allowed to open, and fishing and golfing can resume, but retail stores, restaurants and gyms are still closed.

Maryland

Maryland’s statewide order, which went into effect last month, will stay in place until further notice, said Gov. Larry Hogan.

Hogan has also spoken out against actions taken by President Trump that seemingly encouraged nationwide protests against stay-at-home orders.

I don’t think it’s helpful to encourage demonstrations,” he said on CNN’s State of the Union on April 19. “it just doesn’t make any sense.”

Massachusetts

Gov. Charlie Baker has extended Massachusetts’ stay-at-home order through May 18.

“If we can limit face-to-face, person-to-person contact now, we can slow the spread and get back to work as soon and as safely as we possibly can,” he said on March 31, according to NBC Boston.

Michigan

Michigan’s stay-at-home order, which has been met with considerable backlash, was extended through May 15. However, retail stores can now offer curbside pickup and golfing and boating is allowed.

“Michigan right now has the third-highest death count in the country. We are the 10th-largest state. As you can deduce, this means we have a uniquely hard issue going on here,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on CNN’s State of the Union on April 19, noting that the “sacrifice” was helping to save lives and begin to slow the spread of the virus.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has said the possibility of extending the order again is unlikely.

Minnesota

Minnesota’s current stay-at-home order is set to last through May 4, but Gov. Tim Walz allowed around 100,000 factory, agriculture and office workers to return on April 27.

Mississippi

Days before the state’s stay-at-home order was set to expire, Gov. Tate Reeves announced a one-week extension, which would last until April 27. Now, Mississippi is under a "safer at home" order which allows for some retail stores to open. But gyms and salons, among other businesses, are still closed.

Missouri

Missouri’s stay-at-home order has been extended through May 3, a decision which was made in collaboration with the state of Kansas.

“We are seeing very early signs in the data leading us to be cautiously optimist that Missouri is beginning to slow the course of the infection and see improvement, even in our hardest hit areas like St. Louis and Kansas City,” said Gov. Mike Parson said. “We must be ready for a slow but steady road to recovery with some sort of social distancing continuing even as we begin to reopen the economy. I look forward to seeing Missourians safe, healthy, and back to work.”

Montana

Gov. Steve Bullock let the state’s stay-at-home order expire on April 24. Montana is now slowly reopening, beginning with places of worship and retail stores.

Nebraska

The state was never under a formal stay-at-home order, but businesses were largely closed. That will be in place until May 3.

Nevada

Nevada’s statewide order has been extended through at least April 30, and has been protested by hundreds of residents, according to KRNV.

New Hampshire

The state’s stay-at-home order is currently set to last through May 4, although Gov. Chris Sununu has yet to announce whether it will be extended.

New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy has not indicated how long the statewide stay-at-home order will stay in effect. In his executive order, Murphy indicated that the order, which went into effect on March 21, “shall remain in effect until revoked or modified by the Governor.”

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan has extended the statewide order to May 15.

New York

New York, which has been hit especially hard by COVID-19, was the second state to go under a stay-at-home order, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has since extended the order to last through May 15.

North Carolina

The state’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 30, and Gov. Roy Cooper extended it to May 8.

Cooper previously said that in order to begin lifting restrictions the state will need to make progress in testing, contact tracing and flattening numbers.

“In order to ease restrictions, we have to see COVID-19 trends move in the right direction,” he said during a press conference, according to ABC 11, going on to note that even after the current order was lifted, restrictions would still remain.

“I’m anxious to get North Carolina back to normal, but we have to be realistic for a while. There will be a new normal for a while,” he said.

North Dakota

The state was never under a formal stay-at-home order, but most businesses were closed. Those restrictions expired April 30, and restaurants, bars, gyms, salons and movie theaters can now all open with limits.

Ohio

“We understand that this is tough – it is very difficult. But, I would not be making these decisions if it wasn’t a mater of life and death,” said Gov. DeWine. “We have to keep this monster down. It’s not dead – it’s very much alive.”

Oklahoma

Gov. Kevin Stitt never ordered a formal stay-at-home order but businesses were largely closed. Currently, parks, gyms and salons are allowed to reopen, and more restrictions will lift on May 1.

Oregon

Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order, which was issued on March 23, does not stipulate when restrictions will be lifted.

“The order is effective immediately, and remains in effect until ended by the Governor,” a press release states.

“None of us have ever been through this before, and that means there is no way to know exactly what lies ahead. We don’t know yet when this outbreak will end, or what changes this will bring for our state and for our country. But I want to make sure that we’ve done all we can to end it as quickly as possible,” said Brown.

Pennsylvania

Gov. Tom Wolf has extended Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order, which was originally set to expire at the end of the month, until May 8. Wolf had resisted a statewide order until April 1.

Rhode Island

Gov. Gina Raimondo has extended the state’s stay-at-home order to last through at least May 8.

Rhode Island is working with Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware to coordinate plans to battle the virus and revitalize the economy in the region.

South Carolina

South Carolina’s stay-at-home order was the first to end, on April 20. Gov. Henry McMaster has allowed beaches and parks to reopen, and retail stores can allow a limited amount of customers.

South Dakota

The state was never under a formal stay-at-home order, but most businesses were closed, with no end date. The state is currently dealing with large outbreaks of COVID-19 at several different meat factories.

Tennessee

Gov. Bill Lee initially placed the state in a stay-at-home order until April 14, although the order has since been extended to last through the end of the month.

It’s clear that our economy cannot stay shut down for months on end,” Lee said earlier this month, noting that their goal was to begin re-opening the state in May. “We need Tennesseans to go back to work.”

On April 27, he allowed restaurants to reopen, and then parks and retail stores two days later. Gyms can reopen on May 1.

Texas

Although there was initially some confusion with several cities and counties enacting their own orders in lieu of a statewide restriction, Gov. Greg Abbott put Texas into a stay-at-home order on April 2, which expired on April 30. Now, restaurants, movie theaters, stores and malls are allowed to reopen.

Utah

The state was never under a formal stay-at-home order, but most businesses were closed. Gov. Gary Herbert announced tentative plans to allow dining in restaurants and to reopen gyms and parks on May 1.

Vermont

Vermont’s stay-at-home order has been extended through May 15, a month later than the original order was set to expire.

“These are incredibly difficult times, and I know this extension is disappointing news for many. But the fact is, Vermonters are literally saving hundreds of lives by staying home,” Governor Phil Scott said in a press release. “We are making big sacrifices to save lives, but we cannot let our foot off the gas just yet.

Virginia

Virginia’s order went into effect last month, and is set to remain in place until June 10, “unless amended or rescinded by a further executive order.”

We are in a public health crisis, and we need everyone to take this seriously and act responsibly,” said Gov. Ralph Northam. “Our message to Virginians is clear: stay home. We know this virus spreads primarily through human-to-human contact, and that’s why it’s so important that people follow this order and practice social distancing. I’m deeply grateful to everyone for their cooperation during this unprecedented and difficult time.”

Washington

Gov. Jay Inslee has extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 4.

“We are yet to see the full toll of this virus in our state and the modeling we’ve seen could be much worse if we don’t continue what we’re doing to slow the spread,” Inslee said in a press release announcing the month-long extension.

The state is home to the nation’s first case and death, and became the first epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.

West Virginia

West Virginia’s stay-at-home order went into effect on March 24 and will continue “until terminated by subsequent executive order” from Gov. Jim Justice.

Wisconsin

Despite protests over the initial stay-at-home order — which was set to last through April 24 and would subject violators to up to 30 days in jail, a $250 fine, or both — an extension was announced on April 16.

The order will now remain in effect through May 26 and mandates that all K-12 schools “ shall remain closed” for the rest of the school year. Previous penalties will remain in place.

Wyoming

The state was never under a formal stay-at-home order, but most businesses were closed. On May 1, gyms, barber shops and hair salons are allowed to reopen.

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