Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the US – Latest State Updates – April 10, 2020


As of April 10th

Governor Ned Lamont today announced he has signed an executive order that enacts a series of protections for residential renters struggling to pay their housing costs during the COVID-19 emergency, ensuring that they will not be evicted during this nationwide crisis and receive grace periods over the next several months. The order also extends all previously enacted closures, distancing, and safety measures – including for schools, restaurants, bars, retail stores, gyms, and other establishments – through at least May 20, 2020. In addition, it permits food trucks to operate at certain highway rest areas, and also modifies educator certification testing.

Protections granted to residential renters during COVID-19 crisis

Governor Lamont’s order – Executive Order No. 7X – includes a provision taking the following actions to protect residential renters during the public health crisis:

  • All landlords are prohibited from issuing a notice to quit or beginning eviction proceedings before July 1, 2020, except for serious nuisance, such as physically harming another tenant or the landlord.
  • For rent due in April 2020, landlords must grant tenants an automatic, 60-day grace period for payment, instead of the existing 9-day grace period.
  • For rent due in May 2020, landlords must grant a 60-day grace period for payment upon the request of tenants. Under this provision, a tenant must to notify the landlord that they have lost a job, lost hours, or otherwise lost revenue or faced significant increased expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • If a tenant has a paid security deposit of more than one month’s rent, the tenant can apply all or part of that excess to April, May, or June rent. Under this provision, the tenant must notify the landlord that they have lost a job, lost hours, or otherwise lost revenue or faced significant increased expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, Governor Lamont announced that his administration reached an agreement with over 50 credit unions and banks in Connecticut to offer mortgage relief to homeowners during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in Executive Order No. 7S, provided temporary relief regarding upcoming municipal tax payments. Homeowners should contact their lender to discuss accessing mortgage forbearance.

Extension of all previously enacted closures, distancing, and safety measures through May 20

Also under today’s executive order, the deadlines for all closure, distancing, and safety measures enacted to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 that are contained within previously enacted executive orders are extended through at least May 20. This applies to the following provisions:

  • Executive Order No. 7D, Section 2, imposing limits on restaurant, bar, and private club operations
  • Executive Order No. 7D, Section 3, closing on-site operations at off-track betting facilities
  • Executive Order No. 7D, Section 4, closing operations at gyms, sports, fitness, and recreation facilities and movie theaters
  • Executive Order No. 7F, Section 1, closing large shopping malls
  • Executive Order No. 7F, Section 2, closing places of public amusement
  • Executive Order No. 7H, Section 1, imposing safety and distancing measures for workplaces and non-essential businesses
  • Executive Order No. 7N, Section 1, prohibiting social and recreational gatherings of more than five people
  • Executive Order No. 7N, Section 3, restricting retail operations

Food trucks permitted to operate at certain rest areas to provide meals to truck drivers and other essential workers

In addition, today’s executive order lifts restrictions on commercial activity in Connecticut highway rest areas and permits food trucks to set up in these locations with the goal of feeding hungry truckers and other essential workers during the pandemic. The directive comes in the wake of recently rescinded federal prohibitions against the commercialization of rest areas nationwide, freeing the states to provide additional necessities.

Governor Lamont reiterated his directive that everyone should “Stay Safe, Stay Home” and restrict themselves to essential travel only. Truck drivers, he said, have no choice but to be out on the road making critical deliveries and pick-ups.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) maintains seven rest areas on Interstates 84, 91, and 95. They are open 24/7, year round. They have food and beverage vending machines and restrooms, but no other travel services. They are distinct from the service plazas on I-95, 91, 395, and Route 15, which have gasoline, restaurants, convenience stores, and other amenities. The rest areas accepting food trucks are located in Danbury on I-84; Wallingford and Middletown on I-91; and North Stonington on I-95.

Food truck operators interested in participating will need receive approval from CTDOT by filling out a permit application and emailing it to Operators must have a state-issued Department of Public Health permit to prepare and serve food. Spaces for the food trucks will be marked off at each of the rest areas, and signage will be included strongly encouraging social distancing.

Modifications made to educator certification testing

Finally, today’s executive order also modifies state statutes to authorize the commissioner of the Department of Education to temporarily defer any requirements regarding certification testing for educators as he deems necessary to address the impact of COVID-19 risks.

**Download: Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7X

Schools closed till May 20th, bars and restaurants likely closed till May as well

Gov. Lamont announced that he’s extending the executive order mandating that public schools in Connecticut remain closed until May 20th. In a conversation with businesses yesterday, the governor also stated that he believes bars and restaurants will remain closed until the 20th as well, although no official decision has been made.

Some lawmakers are beginning to get frustrated about the closures. Restaurant owner and Republican State Rep. David Rutigliano of Trumbull tweeted yesterday “@GovNedLamont its [sic] time to open up. Thus [sic] is crazy.”

Governor Lamont signs 24th executive order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

The executive order:

  • Suspends state statutes and regulations in all towns where the town clerk’s office is closed or so reduced in hours that it makes it unreasonable to have permits recorded. Permits shall be recorded as soon as the relevant town clerk’s office is reopened and staffed for routine business;
  • Modifies state laws surrounding the requirement for employers to be charged an “experience rating” so their unemployment premiums are not unduly increased because of the high number of claims caused by COVID-19.
  • Modifies Executive Order No. 7S, Section 6 regarding deferral and interest-rate reduction programs for eligible taxpayers, businesses, nonprofits, and residents who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It now applies to taxes and utility charges from quasi-municipal corporations. It also clarifies the time periods for which this applies.
  • Makes various revisions to state liquor laws.

You can access the full text of Executive Order No. 7W here.

COVID-19 Data updates on testing in Connecticut

Since the last update, an additional 1,003 Connecticut residents have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the statewide total to 9,784. To date, more than 33,502 patients have been tested in Connecticut. Approximately 1,464 patients have been hospitalized. The total number of COVID-19 associated fatalities statewide is 380.


As of April 10th

  • Daily State Public Health stats:
    • State cases are up to 11,483 at noon today as compared to 10,885 on Thursday at 7p. We are now up to 416 deaths up from 412 at 7p Thursday. 2,351 patients are hospitalized as compared to 2,298 at 7p Thursday. Dougherty, Fulton and Cobb Counties have the most cases in our State.
  • 390,132 filed unemployment claims last week, more than three times the claims filed the week before and more than were filed during all of last year.
  • Piedmont Hospital CEO Kevin Brown stated that the responsible steps taken to prepare for COVID patients will cause enormous financial losses. Those steps include stopping elective surgeries to save critically needed PPE for the COVID surge.
  • Carla Wong McMillan was sworn-in as the new Justice of the State Supreme Court.


  • Cobb County schools will move to a four-day school week [Monday – Thursday] effective Monday for the remainder of the school year.


As of April 10th

Minutes ago, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that she predicts she will extend the statewide stay-at-home order.  The order is set to expire on April 19.  However, at this time, she noted that she does not have any specifics on the extension.

Kansas currently has 1,166 confirmed cases of COVID-19.  The state also has recorded 50 deaths from the virus.

An update on the ongoing issue of the Legislative Coordinating Council overturning Governor Kelly’s Executive Order that prohibits mass gatherings of more than 10 people, including religious ceremonies: the Governor has decided to sue the LCC to try and stay their decision. She has filed directly with the Kansas Supreme Court in an effort to expedite the action. A full article detailing the Governor’s actions from the Sunflower State Journal is below.

Governor Kelly issued three new Executive Orders this evening. We have linked them below, for your reference:

Additionally, see the following press release from the Governor’s office regarding her recent lawsuit against the Legislative Coordinating Council.


As of April 9th

here is the link to the State of Minnesota COVID-19 Dashboard. This tool created by the Walz Administration has a substantial level of detail and information regarding Minnesota’s efforts to battle the Coronavirus.

Walz Administration COVID-19 Dash Board

Here are the current Minnesota statistics through 11 am, Thursday, April 9, 2020

Confirmed Cases1,242
ICU (243 available beds)63
Test Conducted32,294

Current Unemployment Claims since March 9th: 367,124


The Legislature has recessed for a quick Easter/Passover Break, their originally scheduled 10 day break was shortened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The MN Senate COVID-19 Working Group is scheduled to return Monday afternoon. The working group plans to review legislation likely to be considered next Tuesday on both the House and Senate Floors. House Committees reviewed the legislative proposals in hearings conducted earlier this week. To be considered on Tuesday, the legislation must be related to COVID-19 and agreed upon by the Walz Administration and all four leaders in the Minnesota Legislature. The following list was posted on the Senate Calendar this afternoon, and is a fairly good synopsis of the legislation under consideration for Tuesday.

Minnesota Department of Health Emergency Powers
Medical Assistance Eligibility
SUDS Waiver
Technical Forecast Corrections

-court deadline suspension (tolling)
-valid wills despite errors
-medical examiner/coroner access to information
-marriage license without physical appearance
-child support cost of living delay/appeal

-federal funds oversight
-deputy registrar title processing
-weight restrictions

-electronic signature for county documents
-open meeting law variances for military personnel and emergencies

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Legislature met and quickly adopted legislation which addresses workers’ compensation claims for employees who contract COVID-19 during their duties as health care workers (including home health care workers), paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers and firefighters. The changes would also pertain to corrections facility officers and counselors, as well as child care workers providing care for the children of health care workers and first responders. While all Minnesota workers could seek a workers’ compensation claim for COVID-19, this legislation will allow for this class of workers to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits without having to provide proof they contracted COVID-19 while at work. It is now presumed if any of these workers contract COVID-19, it is work related. The worker’s condition would have to be confirmed by a positive laboratory test or the diagnosis of a physician, physician’s assistant or nurse, based upon the employee’s symptoms. The bill was the result of negotiations between organized labor and the business community through the Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council. While the legislation provides coverage, the parties were unable to identify a way to pay for the new coverage which is projected by the Minnesota Department of Commerce to have a price tag between $320 and $580 million. The Speaker of the House is hopeful the bills funding can come from the state’s portion of Federal COVID-19 Funding. If not, the other funding options would be to create a new fund using a portion of the state’s budget reserves, to socialize the cost amongst all Minnesota employers or to increase the premiums for employers whose employees become infected and receive coverage. The following is a link to HF4357.

HF 4357 – COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation


Yesterday, in his first in-person briefing since his 16-day self-ordered quarantine, Governor Walz extended his “Stay at Home” Executive Order until May 4th. His previous order was set to expire at 5 pm on April 10th. The new order also extends his order closing Bars, Restaurants and Places of Amusement from May 1st to May 4th, and aligns the closure of all non-essential businesses with his previous order shutting down schools until May 4th. During his daily media event, the Governor discussed how effective Minnesotans have been in flattening the curve. The Governor’s new order further clarified a number of essential and non-essential businesses, allowed for landscapers and golf course maintenance to be permitted and put in place a process for businesses to request an exception from a committee of his commissioners. The process for requesting an exception is still being developed, we will provide that information once it is released. Here is a link to the Governor’s new order, and attached to this email is the updated list of essential workers.

Governor Walz Executive Order 20-33

The Governor also stated it is not likely students will be allowed to return to schools on May 4th, however he is not ready to completely close that door at this time. Marina owners, boat storage facilities and golf courses did not receive the news they were hoping for in the Governor’s latest order. The Governor’s order did not allow for a blanket exception to these operations, however they can apply for an exception through the appeals process the administration is putting in place.

Earlier today, the Minnesota Department of Revenue released new guidance and further delayed Minnesota Sales Tax payments for businesses impacted by Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-04. This is the order which shuttered bars, restaurants and places of amusement. Those payments are now delayed to May 20th. The Governor also announced today he is willing to consider, but is non-committal on additional tax extensions including a delay on the May 15th property tax payments. However, the state is also becoming concerned about its own cash flow.

Minnesota Department of Revenue Sales Tax Guidance

Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans testified before the Senate’s COVID-19 Working Group this week, and is scheduled to appear before the House Ways and Means Committee Monday afternoon. His testimony painted a rather dire picture of Minnesota’s fiscal situation, the change is shocking when you consider in mid-February the state had a projected $1.5 billion budget surplus projected for the current biennium. Using two different economic models, Commissioner Frans suggested the state’s sales and corporate tax revenues could fall anywhere from $1.5 billion up to $3 billion. The state has a new quarterly tax update due on April 11th. . The Commissioner has indicated the state will take the uncommon step of producing a revised forecast in the near future, rather than waiting until the traditional November forecast. One reason for the new forecast, in order for the Walz Administration to access the state’s healthy budget reserves they must first have a forecasted deficit.


As of April 9th

Missouri is now reporting 3,539 cases of coronavirus and 77 deaths. One week ago, we were at 1,834 cases and 21 deaths. On Monday Governor Parson’s stay at home order became effective. This order will remain through Friday, April 24.

The Legislature Returned to the Capitol This Week

The House and the Senate returned to the Capitol this week to approve the Fiscal Year 2020 supplemental budget. All entrants to the Capitol were required to submit to screening questions and physical screening by health professionals. Members of the public were not prohibited from entering the Capitol but were discouraged from doing so. The Senate, for the first time ever, streamed its proceedings online.

The supplemental budget is now a staggering $6.2 billion. When the House approved the same bill three weeks ago, it was only $420 million. The additional $5.8 billion is largely reflective of an infusion in cash the state is anticipating from the Federal Government’s coronavirus relief packages.

Lawmakers and the Governor are anticipating $3 billion from the bills already passed by Congress. The budget contains an additional $2.8 billion in spending authority for the Governor for two reasons:

  1. There is discussion of another federal relief package, and this would allow the Governor to act quickly in the event that happens.
  2. The federal government has not yet provided rules and regulations for most of the funds Missouri is expecting. This means it is unclear whether all the dollars will be money that can be spent upfront or if they will be reimbursable funds. Therefore, some of the extra spending authority is to allow the Governor to make expenditures and get reimbursements if necessary.

Highlights from the supplemental budget include:

  • $1 billion for local governments. It is anticipated 45% of these funds will go to Jackson County and St. Louis County, as the state’s only two jurisdictions containing more than 500,000 residents.
  • $1.5 billion for K-12 schools.
  • $900 million to buy and distribute medical equipment and provide staff and facilities for hospital overflow.
  • $47 million in stipends for front-line workers
  • $30 million for services for the homeless
  • $20 million for childcare facilities

The legislature also approved the one-year extension of the FRA tax. This will allow Missouri hospitals to pull down an additional $2 billion in federal funding.

What is Next?

The state constitution requires the budget for the next fiscal year to be completed by May 8. Governor Parson suggested that meeting that deadline may not be feasible and a special session in late May or June might be needed to complete the budget. This will give his administration and lawmakers a chance to get a better understanding of additional federal relief and the state’s FY2021 revenue situation. The effective deadline to complete the budget is June 30.

It is expected that some of the federal dollars included in the supplemental budget will not be spent before the current fiscal year expires. If this happens, the unspent funds will be re-appropriated as part of the FY2021 budget.

We anticipate that, if the Governor does not extend his Stay at Home order when it expires on April 24, the General Assembly will return to the Capitol on April 27 for the final three weeks of the regular legislative session. This would allow them to finish bills that made significant progress before the pandemic began.

Other Actions

On Thursday, Governor Parson ordered the State’s district and charter schools to remain closed through the end of the school year. He is allowing schools to continue running nutrition programs. He also stated that schools should continue e-learning through the end of their scheduled school year.

Governor Parson issued an Executive Order allowing notary publics to conduct their business remotely.

Governor Parson instructed the Department of Labor to implement an emergency rule that will create a presumption that first responders who contract COVID-19 did so in the line of duty and allow them to make a claim under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation law.

Governor Parson announced that the state is preparing its first alternate care site. A hotel in Florissant is currently being converted into a care facility and could be utilized as early as next week.

North Carolina

As of April 10th

  • Laboratory confirmed Coronavirus cases: 3,823
  • Coronavirus deaths: 75
  • Currently hospitalized: 398
  • Completed tests: 47,809
  • NC Counties affected: 92/100

Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 131 on Thursday requiring social distancing in retail centers; a mandatory protective order for nursing homes, which prevents gathering in common spaces and group activities; and additional measures to facilitate unemployment claims processing.

Executive Order 131, Retail Establishments, Long Term Care Facilities, Unemployment Insurance, April 9

Also, new this week, a list of North Carolina state agency Coronavirus programs with links (see below).

Week of April 6th

North Carolina reported a dozen new deaths from Coronavirus Thursday, as the state’s total pushed past 3,600 cases and Gov. Roy Cooper announced Executive Order 131 which controls social distancing in retail centers. The new executive order mandates that stores may not have a number of people inside at one time that is more than 20 percent of the store’s state fire capacity (or 5 people for every 1,000 square feet). Stores must mark six feet of distance at places people need to gather, such as at checkout lines. The order also requires frequent cleaning and disinfection and stores should make hand sanitizer accessible, use shields at checkouts and mark aisles as one way to limit traffic. The new retail rules go into effect at 5pm on Monday, April 13.

Executive Order 131 also put in place a mandatory protective order for nursing homes, which prevents gathering in common spaces and group activities. It requires employees to wear face masks and facilities to screen for signs of sickness in employees and residents. The Order also includes additional measures will be put in place to get unemployment claims processed faster. Since March 16, the state has received 497,000 unemployment claims and processed $40.3 million to North Carolina residents.

On Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Governor Cooper’s request to use FEMA funding to utilize facilities such as hotels and college dormitories to temporarily house people that are currently unstably housed and who need to quarantine due to coronavirus. Cooper says this will provide “safe options to self-isolate or social distance” to those without stable housing.

The approved plan will provide 16,500 individual units spread out across hotels, motels, trailers, and dorms for people in the following situations: those who test positive for COVID-19, needing isolation but not hospitalization, those who have been exposed to COVID-19 and require quarantine and those needing social distancing because they are in at-risk groups for contracting COVID-19 such as the elderly, people with underlying health conditions and the immuno-compromised. FEMA will fund 75 percent of the costs and the state will cover the remaining 25 percent, which includes support security, food, utilities, and laundry.

The state Department of Health and Human Services is tracking the racial demographics of people who have died from Coronavirus. About 38 percent of those deaths have been black or African American, a racial group that makes up 22 percent of the population. Although only a handful of states and cities are tracking demographics for cases and deaths, figures published so far show similar disproportionate impacts along racial lines. Public health experts say it is too early to know exactly why black communities are bearing the brunt of the disease.

North Carolina DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen stated that the numbers are partly a reflection of long-standing equity issues in the state and national health system. On average, she said, black Americans have less access to care and higher rates of chronic disease. Uncontrolled chronic diseases – conditions like asthma, diabetes and lung disease – also raise risks for black patients. Cohen also noted that black North Carolinians make up a high proportion of essential workers – from healthcare to retail – increasing their exposure to potential infection.

The State Department of Insurance (DOI) is working with insurance companies so they can provide financial assistance to consumers during the coronavirus outbreak. Many automobile insurers are announcing rebates and discounts due to the statewide stay-at-home order, but rebates are not allowed in North Carolina and discounts must be filed in advance with the Department for approval. DOI has developed a filing mechanism that will quickly allow companies to legally offer discounts to help their policyholders. The plan provides companies with an expedited way to bring economic relief to North Carolina residents. While existing laws do not allow monies to be given to policyholders that are not tied to a decrease or cancellation of coverage, DOI will help companies that are offering legal discounts.

The coronavirus pandemic is taking an economic toll, and how much of one is still to be determined. Charles Perusse, director of the Office of State Budget and Management, gave a budget update presentation to state lawmakers which pointed out the state budget balance of $2.25 billion on the bottom line, showing how much money the state still has left over after a failure to agree on a full two-year budget led to a series of mini-budgets with lower spending levels. “That was a month ago. Obviously, a lot of things have changed,” he said. “We anticipate a substantial revenue loss.”

The General Assembly Fiscal Research Division and the Office of State Budget and Management will publish a consensus revenue forecast in mid-May. An email sent March 30 to legislative budget writers stated that revenue could be down $1.5 to $2.5 billion during the biennium, with most of that loss in the 2020-21 fiscal year, and this is only a preliminary estimate. While legislators typically craft the budget in May and June, the revenue uncertainty could prompt a delay this year. Rep. Jason Saine, the lead House budget writer, said a July and August timeline might be more realistic.

Helping North Carolina’s cities and towns stabilize after suffering declining sales tax collections will require hefty state support, according to the North Carolina League of Municipalities. The League made several requests of lawmakers in anApril 3 letter, to include: $60 million each month for April, May and June to offset anticipated lost sales tax revenue as a result of mandatory business closings and social distancing measures; $50 million in interest-free loans to aid with cash flow challenges; and $100 million in grants to help local water and wastewater utilities meet cash flow needs.

The support is needed because the potential 20 percent decline in sales tax revenue could mean a loss of nearly $90 million in revenue for cities and towns for a single quarter. Municipalities now take in as much as $1.3 billion in sales tax revenue annually, which makes up about 28 percent of the operating budget of the median North Carolina city. Governor Cooper issued an earlier Executive Order which prohibits utilities from disconnecting customers who do not pay their bills. Many such utilities are owned by cities, which will take a hit financially and these utility systems have fixed costs and staff that must be paid. Finally, some of the state’s larger cities are facing deep declines in hospitality tax revenues because of plunging demand for hotels and restaurants. Occupancy taxes produce about $300 million in local government revenue annually, much of it in Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham and Asheville.

Recognition of looming financial pressures on state and local governments is prompting unprecedented action by the Federal Reserve, which announced programs aimed at propping up municipalities. But the plan to buy $500 billion in debt is restricted to cities with a population of at least 1 million, and counties with at least 2 million. No North Carolina cities or counties would qualify.

Stay-at-home orders have driven demand for gasoline to its lowest level since 1993. At $1.76 a gallon for regular unleaded, North Carolina’s average price is 8 cents cheaper than a week ago, 47 cents cheaper than early March and 85 cents cheaper from this time last year.

Executive Actions, Week of April 6th

Legislative Actions, Week of April 6th

North Carolina Agencies/Programs

Local Government Actions

Relevant Articles


As of April 10th

Governor Abbott conducted a news conference at the Texas Capitol at 2pm today joined by Dr. John Hellerstedt, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, Chief Nim Kidd, head of the Texas Division of Emergency Management, and Dr. John Zerwas, Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of the University of Texas System. 

Current shelter-in-place and travel restrictions remain unchanged. On Saturday, the Texas Governor’s Mansion will be bathed in blue light in honor of healthcare workers and first responders fighting COVID-19.    

The Governor began the news briefing praising recent federal efforts on stabilizing and helping the US energy and agriculture sectors, both very important to the Texas economy.

Governor Abbott said that next week he will issue an executive order to put Texas on the path to economic recovery, including ways to safety reopen the Texas economy.     

Current COVID Texas numbers:

  • 11,671 confirmed cases (3,047 in Harris County/Houston)
  • 226 fatalities
  • 1,366 estimated recovered  (this is a newly tracked number)
  • 115,918 total tested
  • 1,532 currently in TX hospitals
  • COVID+ cases in 176 of Texas’s 254 counties.  +Cases are now doubling about every 6.3 days down from every 3 days a month ago.  

Texas currently has 20,488 available hospital beds, 2,248 ICU beds, and 7,834 ventilators available.

The Gov. announced the launch of the Texas Child Care Portal to assist essential workers – such as docs and nurses – to access child care in 153 counties in Texas.   

Regarding the Texas Workforce Commission, Abbott announced that 363,335 Unemployment Insurance claims paid have been paid totaling $250+million.

Yesterday, Governor Abbott, HHSC Announced Emergency Rule to Increase Supply of Direct Care Providers in Nursing Facilities.

Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has adopted an emergency rule to temporarily allow more nurse aides to serve residents in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 response.  The emergency rule temporarily allows nursing facilities to hire people to provide nurse aide services without having to complete a full certification program in their first four months of employment. This action will expand the eligible pool of direct care workers and help long-term care providers who may face critical staffing shortages.

Gov. Abbott made these 3 announcements on Wednesday:

Federal Approval Of Emergency SNAP Benefits. Texas HHS will provide more than $168 million in emergency SNAP food benefits to help Texans during the COVID-19 response. HHS received federal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide the maximum, allowable amount of SNAP benefits to recipients based on family size. The emergency allotments are currently authorized for the months of April and May and will affect all SNAP recipients in the state of Texas.

SNAP recipients will see the additional amount on their Lone Star Card by April 15 for this month’s benefits, and by May 15 for next month’s benefits. Disbursements will be staggered and will begin on April 9. SNAP recipients do not need to take any further action to receive the additional benefits.

Temporarily Suspended Certain Statutes To Allow For Appearance Before Notary Public Via Videoconference.  The Gov. suspended certain statutes concerning appearance before a notary public to execute a self-proved will, a durable power of attorney, a medical power of attorney, a directive to physician, or an oath of an executor, administrator, or guardian. These suspensions temporarily allow for appearance before a notary public via videoconference when executing such documents, avoiding the need for in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Waiver Of Federal Match Requirement For Victims Services Grant Recipients.  The Governor’s Public Safety Office (PSO) will provide a one-time emergency waiver of the federally required cash or in-kind match contribution required for the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) and STOP Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant funds. This waiver follows an unprecedented match waiver process recently initiated for states by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime and Office on Violence Against Women.

This waiver will provide financial relief to 600 grant recipient organizations in Texas who are federally required to contribute up to 25% of their own funds or donated services towards a project in order to remain eligible for continued grant funding.


As of April 9th

Department of Health Services Weekly Facebook Live Q&A

On Thursday, the Department of Health Services a Facebook Live Q&A session on the state’s COVID-19 response. Joining Secretary-designee Andrea Palm & Chief Medical Officer Ryan Westergaard were Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman & Unemployment Insurance Deputy Administrator Amy Banicki.

Of note from the Facebook Live session were the following points:

  • Secretary-designee Palm started the briefing out recounting her advice to Governor Evers to postpone Tuesday’s election for health safety reasons, the Governor’s attempt to postpone the election and her disappointment in the court’s decision to not allow the election to be postponed. Palm went to thank the poll workers and members of the National Guard who stepped out to carry out the election duties.
  • Palm also updated on Wisconsin’s new case numbers for the state of Wisconsin (charts at the bottom of the email):
    • 15 labs conducting tests with a 3,353 tests per day capacity
    • 129 new positive cases (2,885 total for the pandemic in Wisconsin)
    • 53 new hospitalizations (843 total hospitalizations- represents 29% of those who have tested positive)
    • 111 deaths (up 12 from Wednesday’s report of 99 deaths)
    • 31,424 negative test results (an increase of 1,309 negative tests over Wednesday, 30,115 negative test results to date)

The Facebook Live Session is archived at:

DHS will hold a media briefing with Governor Evers tomorrow, Friday, April 10th at 1:30 PM and will be carried live on YouTube;

Gov. Tony Evers issued Emergency Order #22 related to Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS)

Gov. Tony Evers today issued Emergency Order #22 to give the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) flexibility in regulating fire departments, construction services, physical therapists and certified public accountants during this public health emergency.

Of note in the order:

  • The order streamlines the construction process for critical health care structures so that spaces are available to provide healthcare to those suffering from COVID-19.
  • The order suspends specific time limits for conducting inspections and issuing permits on non-critical buildings, making it easier for DSPS and partnering municipalities to adjust to changing processes and prioritize critical buildings, such as isolation centers.
  • The order extends exam deadlines for certified public accountant candidates, since most testing centers are currently closed.
  • The order temporarily suspends some face-to-face requirements for physical therapists and physical therapy assistants.
  • The order enables DSPS to limit paper plan submission by contractors in a variety of construction fields.

Link to Emergency Order #22

Outdoor Religious Gatherings

28 Republican members of the State Assembly and State Senate sent Governor Tony Evers a letter requesting clarification whether or not outdoor religious gatherings were permitted under Emergency Orders #8 and #12. The authors noted that “as of the writing of this letter, churches in Taylor, Walworth, Waukesha, Outagamie, and Dane Counties have apparently received communications prohibiting any planned outdoor worship services even if specifically designed to comply with social distancing guidelines set forth by Emergency Orders #8 and #12.”

The authors pointed to a Legislative Council memo addressed to Sen. David Craig (R-Big Bend), which concluded “Under both Emergency Orders #8 and #12, it is permissible for a religious service to be held outside, including a drive-up service, as long as there is compliance with certain restrictions specified in the orders.”

In a press release, Governor Evers responded, “reiterating options for religious gatherings and services.” His release stated;

Religious organizations and places of worship have inquired about opportunities to continue offering faith-based services and gatherings while still complying with the governor’s “safer at home” order.

Under the governor’s order, churches and religious entities are considered essential. Any gathering must include fewer than 10 people at a time if it occurs in a room or confined space. Thus, churches and religious entities wishing to conduct services while still complying with the governor’s order may, for example, conduct services via:

  • Parking lots with congregants staying in cars, avoiding person-to-person contact;
  • Streaming online; and
  • Having small gatherings (fewer than 10 people in each room) with multiple services.

Churches and religious entities are encouraged to review and comply with all DHS guidelines, including guidelines for community and faith based organizations available here.

(Link to Press Release)

Gov. Evers Directs DNR to Close 40 State Parks, Forests, and Recreational Areas

Gov. Tony Evers today directed the Department of Natural Resources to close several state parks to protect the health and safety of Wisconsinites.

Due to unprecedented crowds, litter, vandalism and out of an abundance of caution to protect public health and safety and help flatten the curve, the following Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Recreational Areas will close at the end of the day Thurs., April 9, and will remain closed beginning Fri,, April 10, until further notice

“I wanted to keep state parks open for the public to enjoy during this challenging time which is why outdoor activity is listed as an essential activity under the Safer at Home order,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “Unfortunately, growing difficulty with ensuring social distancing compliance, dwindling cleaning supplies and mounting trash are some of the challenges faced by our state parks staff. We have to address the growing public health and safety concern and protect Wisconsinites.”

(Link to Press Release)

Gov. Evers Announces Construction of Alternative Care Facility at Wisconsin State Fair Park

Gov. Tony Evers today announced that the Army Corp of Engineers has officially been engaged by his administration and has already begun mobilizing at the Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park to begin the development of an alternative care facility (ACF). The Army Corp of Engineers has partnered with states throughout the country to build ACFs to support existing, local medical infrastructures in response to the spread of COVID-19.

“We are extremely appreciative of FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers for their responsiveness as we continue to see an increase in the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers. “This alternative care facility will be a critical addition to the southeastern region of our state and will be essential to continuing to ensure our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed.”

To construct the facility, the Army Corp of Engineers signed a contract with Gilbane, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A number of local subcontractors have also signed-on to assist in constructing the ACF at Wisconsin State Fair Park, including:

  • HGA (Design)
  • Johnson Controls
  • Staff Electric
  • F. Ahern
  • Hetzel Sanfillipo

(Link to Press Release)

Updated DHS testing numbers from Thursday:


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David Quam

About David Quam

As a member of Dentons’ Public Policy practice, David co-leads Dentons 50, the firm’s 50-state advocacy network that provides clients facing complex, multi-state policy matters with on-the-ground government relations capabilities in every state capitol.

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Crawford G. Schneider

Crawford G. Schneider