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Where Each State Stands on Retail Restrictions as COVID-19 Cases Rapidly Rise

An increasing number of states are hitting pause or pulling back on their reopening plans amid a surge in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths across the country. Currently, more than 11.2 million people in the United States have been sickened, while at least 247,400 have died.

Over the past several days, new coronavirus-related mandates were enacted in the states of California, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and more. While some local governments have limited the number of people allowed to gather both indoors and outdoors, others have enforced new regulations on travel, ordered nonessential businesses to close early or required the use of face masks in public spaces.

These renewed restrictions come at a crucial time for retailers, who are heading into the important holiday shopping season.

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Here, FN rounds up the measures that have been put into place to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Alabama: Retailers must enforce social distancing and implement sanitation practices, but restrictions on occupancy rates have been lifted. See more state actions here.

Alaska: Retail has reopened and is currently operating at 100% capacity.

Arizona: No new preventive measures have been instituted for retail.

Arkansas: No new restrictions have been imposed on retailers.

California: The state rolled back reopening plans after reporting 1 million cases last week. As part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, 41 of 58 counties are now in the most restrictive purple tier, which means retail stores must limit capacity to 25%.

Colorado: Under Gov. Jared Polis’ Safer at Home order, counties fall into three levels: Level 3 allows retail to operate at 25% capacity with a maximum of 25 people; Level 2 permits businesses to increase operations to 50% capacity; and Level 1 is the least restrictive with 50% capacity and a larger maximum cap.

Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont has rolled back reopening to Phase 2.1 from Phase 3, meaning businesses are subject to a 10 p.m. closing time.

Delaware: Retail stores can continue to operate at 60% capacity, among other restrictions. See more information here.

Florida: No new restrictions have been put into place for retail, which is operating at or near full capacity.

Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp has extended restrictions through Nov. 30.

Hawaii: The majority of the state is operating under Gov. David Ige’s Act With Care plan, which permits businesses to resume operations with restrictions. See the latest proclamations here.

Idaho: Gov. Brad Little has rolled back the state’s reopening, prohibiting indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.

Illinois: Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced that more counties should regulate indoor and outdoor gatherings to no more than 10 people. The majority of counties, however, are seeing a cap of 25 people or 25% of a room’s capacity.

Indiana: Gov. Eric Holcomb has moved the state to a county-by-county approach: Those designated as red must limit gatherings to 25 people, while those that are orange should cap gatherings to 50 people. No counties have been recorded blue, which indicates the least amount of spread. Nearly all restrictions have been lifted on businesses.

Iowa: Retail stores are able to continue operations as long as they take safety precautions. See the state’s laws here.

Kansas: No new statewide mitigation efforts have been instituted for retail.

Kentucky: Retail stores can operate, with some restrictions. See the state’s protocols here.

Louisiana: The state remains in Phase 3, allowing businesses to operate at 75% capacity, and will keep its current safety measures in place until Dec. 4.

Maine: Retailers can allow five people in a store per 1,000 square feet.

Maryland: The state is in Stage 3 of reopening, permitting retail stores to operate at 75% capacity. In Montgomery County, its most populous county, and Baltimore, its most populous city, retailers are allowed to operate at 25% capacity.

Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker’s restrictions took effect on Nov. 6, requiring residents to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions for work and essential trips. Many businesses must close from 9:30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Michigan: Retail store capacity is limited to 50%.

Minnesota: Retailers can allow a limited number of customers into stores.

Mississippi: Most businesses have to limit the number of customers to 75% capacity, plus implement safety precautions.

Missouri: No new statewide restrictions have been put in place for retail.

Montana: All businesses can continue to operate with social distancing practices.

Nebraska: New health measures, announced on Nov. 11, include 6 feet of distance in public spaces, as well as masks for employees and customers at indoor businesses.

Nevada: Retail stores are able to operate with restrictions. See the state’s response here.

New Hampshire: Retailers can operate with restrictions. See the state’s guidance here.

New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy’s restrictions, which took effect at 6 a.m. on Nov. 12, limit indoor gatherings to 25% of a room’s capacity, with a maximum of 25 people. Wearing face masks at retail establishments is required.

New Mexico: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s stay-at-home order took effect Nov. 16. Retail stores, however, can operate at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 75 people. They must close by 10 p.m.

New York: The state is in Phase 4 of its reopening plan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions effective at 10 p.m. on Nov. 13, limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings to 10 people.

North Carolina: Retailers can continue to operate with capacity limits, plus other restrictions. Read more here.

North Dakota: Masks are required to be worn in businesses and indoor spaces, effective Nov. 14 through at least Dec. 13.

Ohio: Gov. Mike DeWine is considering capping the hours that many businesses can operate if cases continue to increase. People are required to wear face masks while in indoor public spaces. Stores must have signage about the face mask requirement, while employees should also wear face masks. A Retail Compliance Unit will conduct inspections to ensure that retailers are following the statewide law.

Oklahoma: Businesses must enforce social distancing and implement sanitation practices.

Oregon: Gov. Kate Brown has ordered a two-week freeze that starts Nov. 18 and ends Dec. 2. Retailers must limit capacity to 75%.

Pennsylvania: Retailers can continue to operate with restrictions. See the governor’s guidance here.

Rhode Island: Gov. Gina Raimondo’s stay-at-home advisory is in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday and from 10:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday through Saturday. Retailers can remain open with restrictions.

South Carolina: Retail stores are able to continue operations, and no new statewide restrictions have been enacted.

South Dakota: Under Gov. Kristi Noem’s Back to Normal plan, employers must sanitize high-traffic areas and check employees to ensure they are not ill with the virus. Retailers must promote social distancing and should consider capping the number of customers allowed inside stores.

Tennessee: Gov. Bill Lee has lifted restrictions for businesses in 89 counties, while the remaining six are subject to restrictions. Social distancing is encouraged at public spaces, and local authorities can require people to wear face masks.

Texas: Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an order that allows most businesses to operate at 75% capacity in areas where there is a low number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients. Businesses in high-hospitalization areas, however, must cap occupancy to 50%. Counties with no more than 20 active coronavirus cases are exempt. Texas became the first state to top 1 million infections last week.

Utah: A statewide mask mandate is effective until Nov. 23. Businesses are able to operate with safety precautions put in place.

Vermont: The state requires some businesses to keep a daily log of visitors.

Virginia: The state is in Phase 3 of its reopening plan. Face masks are required in indoor public spaces. Retailers must limit their operations to 10 patrons or less with adequate social distancing.

Washington: Gov. Jay Inslee’s new restrictions, which were announced Nov. 15 and extend through Dec. 14, require retailers to limit capacity to 25%.

West Virginia: On Nov. 13, Gov. Jim Justice ordered all businesses to require the wearing of face masks and the posting of signs that notify customers of the face mask requirement. He also urged businesses to call the police if they spot people inside their establishments who are not wearing face masks.

Wisconsin: People are required to wear face masks in indoor public spaces. Gov. Tony Evers has also issued a stay-at-home order, with exceptions for work and essential trips.

Wyoming: Businesses can operate with some restrictions in place. See the state’s guidance here.

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