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States Respond to COVID-19: New Restrictions as Case Counts Rise

As hospitalizations for COVID-19 reach a record high, states are implementing new restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.


As cases rapidly increase in Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) changed course on mask requirements by issuing a statewide mask mandate for the first time. Individuals older than two now must wear masks in public indoor places. Further, the state limited social gatherings for business, leisure, and community purposes. However, the state offers exceptions for schools and spiritual gatherings.

North Dakota

North Dakota was one of few states that never implemented lockdown restrictions in the spring when the virus began to rapidly increase. On Nov. 13, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced several mitigation efforts to protect vulnerable populations, ensure hospital capacity, keep schools open, and help the economy recover. Among efforts to reduce exposure, the governor urged communities to limit gatherings and wear masks when in public.

New Mexico

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) and state health officials are temporarily reimplementing a statewide order closing in-person services for all non-essential activities. New Mexico‘s stay-at-home order represents the most sweeping order in recent months.


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) also implemented partial lockdown restrictions and, along with governors from Washington and California, discouraged interstate travel. Oregon does not have a stay-at-home order, but Brown closed many recreational facilities and limited operation for retail stores and restaurants.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Abigail Painchaud is a policy associate at America's Essential Hospitals.

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