© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News Partners

Midwest: Coronavirus-Related Restrictions By State

A doctor wears personal protective equipment while performing rounds in a portion of Scotland County Hospital set up to isolate and treat COVID-19 patients last month in Memphis, Mo.
A doctor wears personal protective equipment while performing rounds in a portion of Scotland County Hospital set up to isolate and treat COVID-19 patients last month in Memphis, Mo.

NPR is tracking coronavirus-related developments in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia so you can read up on your state's COVID-19 response and how it compares to others. This rundown focuses on statewide measures — local jurisdictions may vary.

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

Jump to a state: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Illinois

What's the big picture?

  • Illinois is in Phase 4 of its five-phase reopening plan. The state also released a resurgence mitigation plan in July in an effort to curb the spread of the virus and protect hospital capacity, in which health officials divided the state into 11 regions with varying levels of restrictions. As of Nov. 20, all regions are in "Tier 3," which has strict mitigation requirements for many businesses and activities.
  • A statewide mask mandate requires everyone over the age of two who can medically tolerate it to wear a face covering when in a public space and unable to maintain six feet of distance from others.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard, showing cases, deaths, tests and recovery rate, is here. Regional metrics are here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • Travelers are requested to stay home if possible and to monitor their health for 14 days, state officials say. An emergency travel order is in effect in Chicago.
  • In Tier 3, in-home gatherings are limited to household members. Funerals are limited to 1o family members. Meeting rooms, banquet centers and private clubs may not host gatherings.
  • In regular Phase 4, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 50 people.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • In more restrictive Tier 3, bars and restaurants are closed to indoor service and must close between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Indoor recreation and entertainment centers including theaters, museums and casinos must close, and occupancy is limited for outdoor activities.
  • Also in Tier 3, health and fitness centers are restricted to 25% capacity, indoor group classes are prohibited and reservations are required. All indoor group sporting and recreational activities are paused. Occupancy limits are lowered and additional mitigation efforts are required at retail stores and personal care service businesses.
  • In regular Phase 4, all businesses are open with capacity limits and other safety measures.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • State dashboards track schools with potential COVID-19 exposures as well as cases and outbreaks associated with schools.
  • Decisions about school operations are made at the local level. State board of education updates and resources are here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • State-run community testing sites, and mobile testing sites, are open to anyone regardless of symptoms, according to health officials.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • A variety of resources for individuals and businesses are on this page.

  • Indiana

    What's the big picture?

  • Indiana has shifted from a phased reopening to a county-by-county approach, with officials announcing in November that certain requirements apply statewide and tighter restrictions are targeted to counties with higher levels of COVID-19.
  • A statewide order requires everyone over the age of two to wear face coverings when they are in indoor and outdoor public spaces where social distancing is not possible, as well as on public transportation and in for-hire vehicles. It extends through Dec. 12.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard showing tests, cases and deaths is here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • Gathering size limits vary by county between Nov. 15 and Dec. 12. Indoor and outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of 250 people in blue counties, 100 people in yellow counties, 50 people in orange counties and 25 people in red counties. Special, seasonal or commercial events beyond those limits must submit a plan for local health department approval at least seven days in advance.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • In mid-November, state officials established a color-coded county map to enact tighter restrictions in higher-risk counties. The map is updated Wednesdays at noon.
  • Businesses statewide are open subject to social distancing, sanitation and other safety requirements. Those measures are stricter in orange and red counties. An overview of color-coded restrictions is here.
  • In orange counties, attendance at winter indoor K-12 extracurricular and co-curricular activities is limited to 25% capacity. In red counties, attendance at such activities is limited to participants, support personnel and parents/guardians. Also in red counties, vulnerable populations should remain isolated, curbside pickup is preferred, local officials may consider limiting the operating hours of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, senior center activities are suspended and hospitals and long-term care facilities may impose visitation limits.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • A state dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases among students, teachers and school staff is here.
  • Decisions about school operations are made at the local level. State education department resources are here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Healthcare providers may order a test for any patient who needs one based on their clinical evaluation, according to state officials. Testing at designated Optum/LHI sites is open to anyone who lives or works in Indiana. More information about testing and testing sites is here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • Information about resources and assistance for individuals, families, businesses and communities is available here.

  • Iowa

    What's the big picture?

  • Iowa strengthened its mask mandate and imposed tighter restrictions on social gatherings and certain businesses in November in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
  • A mandate effective Nov. 17 requires people wear masks when they are in an indoor public space and unable to social distance for 15 minutes or more, as well as in state facilities and in certain gatherings and establishments.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboards, showing tests, cases, deaths and other trends, are .
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • Indoor social, community, business and leisure gatherings are limited to a maximum of 15 people. Outdoor gatherings, including weddings and funerals, are capped at 30 people.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Businesses can operate in line with state and federal guidance.
  • A proclamation effective Nov. 17 through Dec. 10 suspends most organized youth and adult sports, including group fitness classes at gyms. Spectators at high school sports and activities are limited to two per student and must wear masks.
  • It also requires restaurants, bars, bowling alleys, arcades, pool halls, bingo halls and indoor playgrounds to close at 10 p.m. They cannot host private gatherings of more than 15 people. Masks are required by staff and customers of these establishments as well as in casinos.
  • Hospitals must reduce inpatient elective procedures by 50%.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • School districts can apply to temporarily move to majority-remote learning, with requests posted here.
  • Guidance and information from the state's education department can be found here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • The state prioritizes testing for individuals who have symptoms, have interacted with a confirmed case or have recently visited places where COVID-19 is more widespread, according to health officials. More information about testing appointments and locations is here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • Information about food resources, health resources and various Department of Human Services resources is available online.

  • Kansas

    What's the big picture?

  • Kansas began following a phased reopening plan in May, which became voluntary by the end of that month. General safety guidelines apply statewide, and decisions about restrictions and reopenings are made at the county level.
  • An order issued in July and reissued in late November requires individuals over the age of five to wear masks in indoor public settings and outdoors when social distancing is not feasible. It also mandates that businesses require employees and patrons to wear face coverings in certain settings. Counties can opt out or issue their own mask orders, which are tracked here.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard, which tracks cases, hospitalizations, deaths and other metrics, is here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • Visitors and residents should quarantine for 14 days upon arrival if they have been on a cruise ship or river cruise, or attended out-of-state gatherings of 500 people or more where individuals were not both wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Information about travel restrictions is updated every two weeks.
  • Gathering size limits vary by county.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Businesses are operating subject to general and industry-specific guidelines.
  • Restrictions on businesses vary by county.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • School operations vary according to public health metrics, available here. Reopening updates and family resources can be found here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Individuals with at least two COVID-19 symptoms can get tested through state labs, according to state health recommendations. Details about testing are here, and a testing site locator is here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • Resources for individuals, families and businesses are here. Apply for assistance and benefits here.

  • Michigan

    What's the big picture?

  • All regions are in Phase 4 of Michigan's reopening plan, with additional statewide restrictions on gatherings, businesses and schools imposed in mid-November.
  • Masks are required in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor public spaces.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboards, showing cases, deaths and other trends, are here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • An order effective Nov. 18 through Dec. 8 prohibits indoor gatherings at non-residential venues. Indoor gatherings at residential venues are limited to a maximum of 10 people from no more than two households. Outdoor gatherings at residential venues are capped at 25 people from no more than three households. Outdoor gatherings at most non-residential venues are limited to a maximum of 25 people and other occupancy limits depending on whether there is fixed seating.
  • Gatherings are prohibited at entertainment venues and recreational facilities, and are subject to additional capacity restrictions at establishments including retail stores and exercise facilities. Most gatherings at schools and organized sporting events are prohibited. Anyone participating in a gathering is required to wear a face mask.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Certain businesses are open and operating in line with sector-specific guidelines.
  • A November order placed additional restrictions on gatherings, businesses, schools and workplaces. Restaurants and bars are closed to indoor dining. Organized sports, except for professional sports, are paused, and group fitness classes are prohibited. Entertainment and recreational venues like movie theaters, bowling alleys, stadiums and casinos are closed. Colleges and universities must close to in-person learning, and workplaces must close where work can be done from home.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • Data tracking new and ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks associated with schools is updated weekly here.
  • As of Nov. 18, high schools are closed to in-person instruction. Operations of preschools through 8th grade classrooms vary by district. State education department guidance and updates can be found here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Individuals can get tested if they have symptoms, are a close contact of someone who is sick or has symptoms or work outside the home, according to state officials. More information about testing eligibility criteria is here. Search for testing sites here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • State guidance and information about various resources is available here.

  • Minnesota

    What's the big picture?

  • Minnesota, which follows a statewide "Stay Safe" plan, instituted a temporary pause of most social activities, sports and indoor businesses operations in mid-November as cases surged and hospitals approached capacity.
  • A mask mandate issued in July requires everyone over the age of five to wear face coverings in all indoor businesses and public indoor spaces unless alone. Workers must wear face coverings outdoors in situations where social distancing is not feasible.
  • Updates about the state's COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths, tests and other trends are available here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • Health officials ask visitors and residents arriving from out of state to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Any gatherings with non-household members are prohibited between Nov. 20 and Dec. 18. Outdoor gatherings are restricted to immediate household members only.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Certain businesses are open and operating subject to sector-specific guidelines.
  • The state instituted a four-week pause on most social activities, indoor businesses and sports from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18. Restaurants and bars are closed except for takeout and delivery. Gyms, fitness studios and indoor and outdoor events and entertainment are all closed to the public. Youth and adult organized sports are paused.
  • Religious ceremonies such as weddings and funerals are allowed, but receptions and gatherings related to these events must be postponed. Reception spaces are closed. Officials strongly recommend virtual religious services only.
  • Critical and non-critical but customer-facing businesses should telework if they can. Retail stores are open. Personal care service businesses are open with capacity limits and by appointment only.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • Under the state's Safe Learning Plan, districts shift between remote, in-person and hybrid learning depending on local conditions. More information about schools and childcare is here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Testing is available to anyone who is experiencing symptoms, is working at places that remain open or was in close contact with someone who tested positive, according to health officials. Minnesotans can also order at-home testing kits regardless of symptoms. Find testing locations here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • Information about state resources for individuals is here. Resources for businesses and organizations are here.

  • Missouri

    What's the big picture?

  • Missouri said it fully reopened by entering Phase 2 of its economic in mid-June. Businesses and individuals should still follow safety . Local health authorities can issue their own orders.
  • Missouri's governor issued a public health warning in mid-November outlining expectations for personal behavior including gatherings, traveling and social distancing, as cases surge nationally and health care system capacity shrinks.
  • There is no statewide mask mandate, though state health officials recommend people wear face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard, which shows cases, deaths, hospitalizations and other public health data, is here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • A November public health warning encourages people to limit interactions with others to less than 15 minutes and limit regular group interactions to small groups of no more than 10 family members, friends or coworkers.
  • The guidance advises different gathering size limits tailored to the level of risk in each county, with social groups capped at 10 people in extreme risk counties, 25 people in critical risk counties and limited to maintaining 6 feet of social distance in serious risk counties.
  • It also asks individuals to minimize out-of-state travel and take precautions upon return. It also encourages people to isolate as much as possible ahead of any travel for holiday gatherings.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • The state allows business to operate in line with recommended safety and sanitation measures. Additional restrictions and capacity limits on businesses vary by county.
  • Public health guidance issued in November recommends businesses in critical and extreme risk counties "consider occupancy limits reflective of social distancing."
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • A dashboard showing COVID-19 cases in school districts is here.
  • School operations vary locally and are tracked here, along with other guidelines and resources for school communities.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Test eligibility varies by testing site, with some requiring a physician's order. Find information about testing locations here and community testing events here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • A resource directory can be found here. Additional mental health resources are here.

  • Nebraska

    What's the big picture?

  • Nebraska's Directed Health Measures have varied across counties and over time. Officials enacted more restrictive public health measures statewide in November and extended them through the month of December in an effort to protect hospital capacity. Nebraska's governor also announced in November that public health restrictions will be tied to hospitalization rate and that the state was in the "orange" or second most restrictive phase.
  • There is no statewide mask mandate, though several cities have issued their own. State health officials recommend wearing face masks when around other people and before entering the office of a healthcare provider. The latest health order requires masks for staff and patrons at indoor businesses where they are within 6 feet of each other for 15 consecutive minutes or more.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard, showing cases, tests and hospitalizations, is here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • State health officials recommend travelers practice strict social distancing and self-monitor for symptoms.
  • Indoor gatherings are capped at 25% of rated occupancy and no more than 10,000 people. Outdoor gatherings are permitted at 100% occupancy. Groups should be no larger than eight people, and six feet of separation between groups is required.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Under public health measures effective the month of December, six feet of separation between parties is required at gyms, restaurants, bars, clubs, weddings, funerals, churches and indoor gatherings.
  • Fan attendance at indoor youth extracurricular activities is limited to household members only.
  • Bars and restaurants can operate at full capacity, but parties are limited to eight people and tables must be spaced at least 6 feet apart, with customers required to stay seated except for in a few circumstances. Patrons and staff at personal care services businesses must wear masks at all times except for when receiving services performed on faces.
  • Guidance effective Nov. 16 postpones certain non-urgent hospital procedures.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • School plans vary by district. State education department resources and updates for schools are here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • The state prioritizes testing for individuals who have symptoms, have interacted with someone who has tested positive or have recently visited places where COVID-19 is more widespread. Individuals must take an online assessment before getting tested. Find that and testing site locations here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • Resources for health care providers are here. Information about other health and human services is here.

  • North Dakota

    What's the big picture?

  • North Dakota allowed businesses to resume or continue operations in line with "Smart Restart" protocols beginning in May. Its governor announced new requirements for businesses, gatherings and masks in mid-November, aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.
  • A statewide order requires everyone over the age of four to wear face coverings in indoor businesses and public settings, as well as in outdoor settings when it is not possible to practice social distancing, with few exceptions. It is in effect from Nov. 14 through Dec. 13. Businesses and local governments can institute stronger policies.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard, showing state- and county-level cases and trends, is here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • Anyone who is traveling out of state and needs to get tested for COVID-19 must not do so at a community testing event, according to health officials. They advise people not to travel if they are sick or have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
  • Guidance for large event capacity limits, issued Nov. 13, encourages local leaders to require an approval and permit process for events or gatherings larger than 50 people.
  • Officials have urged individuals to limit gatherings to their immediate household as much as possible for a month starting in mid-November.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Most businesses are open in line with general and industry-specific guidelines.
  • Additional mitigation measures took effect Nov. 16. Bars, restaurants and food service establishments are limited to 50% of their licensed seating capacity and no more than 150 patrons. They must close to in-person service between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
  • Banquet, ballroom and event venues are limited to 25% of their maximum capacity, with physical distancing and masks required. They cannot exceed the capacity limits for large gatherings detailed here.
  • Winter sports competitions are paused until Dec. 14.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • School operational status varies locally under the K-12 Smart Restart Plan. State updates and guidance on COVID-19 in schools is here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • State health officials recommend testing for individuals who have symptoms or have been in close contact with a confirmed case, as well as for college students. Testing events and locations can be found here, and more information about test results is here.
  • Testing guidance for migrant workers is here, and for out-of-state travelers here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • The state's COVID-19 resources are collected here.

  • Ohio

    What's the big picture?

  • Ohio embarked on its phased reopening plan beginning in May, allowing certain sectors and activities to resume operations gradually. Officials instituted additional restrictions, including a nightly curfew and stronger mask and gathering requirements, in November. 
  • A statewide order issued in July requires individuals to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces and outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible, as well on public transportation and in for-hire vehicles. Health officials issued an order in November to enforce mask-wearing in retail locations.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard, which tracks cases, hospitalizations, deaths and other metrics, is here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • People entering Ohio after travel from states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those states are tracked here.
  • Mass gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people. A revised health order effective Nov. 17 places limits on wedding receptions, funeral observances and other events at banquet facilities. They include requiring guests to be seated at all times, limiting tables to no more than 10 people from the same household and prohibiting dancing as well as socializing in open congregate areas.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Businesses can operate subject to general and sector-specific requirements. 
  • A Nov. 19 order effective for three weeks requires individuals to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for certain essential activities. 
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • A dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases reported by schools is here.
  • Instructional models vary by district and are tracked here. More information for schools and districts is available here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Testing is available at community health centers, private companies, retail sites and pop-up locations. Most require people to undergo a screening process before getting tested. More information about testing locations and requirements is here.
  • Tests are available to individuals regardless of symptoms and at no out-of-pocket cost at certain pop-up sites through the state's walk-up/drive-up testing initiative.  
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • Resources for families and parents are here. Economic resources are collected here. Resources for farm workers and operators are here. Mental health resources are here.

  • South Dakota

    What's the big picture?

  • South Dakota's "Back to Normal" plan, released in April, offers personal hygiene and sanitation guidelines for individuals, businesses and schools. The state did not impose a stay-at-home order in the spring.
  • There is no statewide mask mandate, but health officials encourage individuals to consider CDC guidance on the subject.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboard, which shows cases, hospitalizations and other trends, is here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • There are no statewide travel or gathering restrictions in place, though state officials encourage vulnerable individuals to consider staying home.
  • Ahead of Thanksgiving, Gov. Kristi Noem urged personal responsibility and said "smaller gatherings may be smarter this year."
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • There are no statewide business restrictions. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines, and state health officials have released guidance about the risks of certain social activities.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • The state's education department encourages school leaders to work with local government and health officials to make decisions based on current conditions. More information and guidance about school operations is available here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Mass testing events are free and open to the public, according to state officials. Individuals must pre-register to secure a testing time. Details are here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • A state government resource directory is here. Mental health resources are here. Economic assistance is here. Reemployment assistance for businesses and individuals is here. Resources in multiple languages are here.

  • Wisconsin

    What's the big picture?

  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state's Safer-at-Home order in May, preventing it from enacting its phased reopening plan, though local governments can issue restrictions such as on businesses and gatherings. An executive order issued Nov. 10 advises Wisconsinites to stay home as much as possible and recommends individuals and businesses take additional precautions to protect public health. 
  • A statewide mask mandate took effect on Aug. 1. Another order issued Nov. 20 requires individuals ages five and older to wear face coverings when they are indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit.
  • The state's COVID-19 dashboards, which track cases, deaths and other public health metrics, are here.
  • What are the rules for traveling and gathering?

  • State officials recommend people cancel or postpone all travel, including within the state. 
  • A November order advises individuals to avoid gatherings of any size with people outside of their living unit to the extent possible and maintain a six-foot distance from non-household members. Additional restrictions on gatherings vary locally.
  • What's open, and what's restricted or closed?

  • Businesses can operate in line with general and sector-specific guidance.
  • The Nov. 10 order strongly encourages businesses to limit the number of staff and customers in offices, facilities and stores, and take specific safety precautions where remote work is not possible. 
  • Additional restrictions on businesses vary locally.
  • What's the status of K-12 schools?

  • School operations vary locally. Information and recommendations about schools and childcare during the pandemic is available here.
  • What should I know about testing?

  • Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms or was in close contact with an infected person should get tested, according to state health officials. More information about testing is here, and a community test site locator is here.
  • Where can I learn about resources and relief?

  • Information about state resources and assistance can be found here.
  • 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.


    This is part of a series aboutcoronavirus-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 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.