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There is Very Little Consistency or Apparent Coordination Between 7 State Reopen Pact ; Here's W

Despite being a southern state in every way imaginable, with a culture completely consistent with that of the Upper South, a shared history with the American South, and everything from dialect to food preferences that align incontrovertible with the region, Kentucky is partnered with six Midwestern states to coordinate reopening their state economies.

This week, several states, Kentucky included, have provided additional details about their plans to reopen their state's economy. As they have, there is very little consistency or apparent coordination among the seven states. Some have provided details that including target dates. Some are already permitting major chunks of their populations to return to work. Some are allowing stay-at-home orders to expire or loosening restrictions. And some states have provided virtually no details at all.

At this juncture, it's unclear exactly how the seven states are actually coordinating.

Regardless, as of May 1st, here is where each one currently stands in reopening its economy.


Governor Beshear has provided one of the more detailed plans in the group. A phased reopening of health care services in Kentucky began April 27 and will occur through four phases until May 27.

This week, Beshear also laid out timetables for a handful of other industries.

  • May 11 – Manufacturing, construction, vehicle and vessel dealerships, professional services (at 50% of pre-outbreak capacity), horse racing (without spectators), pet grooming and boarding

  • May 20 – Retail, houses of worship

  • May 25 – Social gatherings of no more than ten people, barbers, salons, cosmetology businesses, and similar services


Governor Mike Dewine has, from the outset of the virus, been among the most aggressive Governor’s in the United States. The state’s stay-at-home order is set to expire on May 1, but he has said that it will be extended in some form after that date.

The state has provided the most detailed plans in the region:

  • General offices, distribution centers, manufacturers, and construction companies can open on Monday, May 4.

  • Retail stores and consumer and service businesses will be permitted to open on May 12

  • DeWine said elective medical procedures and surgeries could proceed beginning Friday, May 1, as long as they do not require overnight stays.

  • Dental offices and veterinary clinics also are allowed to reopen Friday.

  • Gatherings of more than ten people remain forbidden.

  • So-called “hands-on” services such as barbershops, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors, massage therapists and others must remain closed

  • Campgrounds, gyms, larger daycare centers, movie theaters, casinos, health clubs, amusement parks, zoos, and museums will remain closed.

  • The state has not made wearing a mask in public mandatory, but masks are required for all workers at all times and recommended for customers, including in stores and workplaces.


Governor Eric Holcomb is expected to announce Friday, May 1, whether he will be extending his stay-at-home order, which is slated to expire on Friday, May 1.

Dentist’s offices, abortion clinics, dermatology offices, and veterinary clinics reopened on April 27, but Holcomb has yet to provide details or target dates for the rest of the state’s economy.

Some malls in the state are planning to reopen this weekend.


Minnesota has taken a “faily aggressive posture compared with other states.” Several businesses were permitted to reopen on April 27, thanks to an Executive Order signed by Governor Tim Walz on April 23. The order largely impacted non-customer facing businesses such as manufactures and offices. An estimated 20,000 companies and as many as 100,000 workers qualified under the order.

Even before that, on April 17, Walz signed an executive order that reopened outdoor recreational businesses, including golf courses, bait shops, public and private marinas, and outdoor shooting ranges.

Governor Walz said his approach would focus on “how do we live with COVID,” saying that goals such as “14 days with declining cases” would be “arbitrary.”

On Thursday, Walz extended his stay-at-home order until May 18, but with new flexibility for retailers to provide curbside pickup or deliver, allowing another 15,000 retailers to reopen. By Monday, May 4, approximately 82% of Minnesota businesses will be allowed to be open.


Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has extended the state’s Stay at Home order until May 26 and provided very few details on his plans to reopen. His three-phase plan mostly mirror’s the White House’s Reopen America Plan, but Evers has given little indication on what reaching benchmarks will mean.

On April 27, Evers said businesses that can offer “free of contact with customers” like dog groomers, upholsterers, and lawnmower repair shops can open April 29.

Outdoor recreational vehicle rentals like those who deal with boats, golf carts, kayaks, and ATVs can also open April 29, as can automatic or self-service car washes. The state has also announced that it will be reopening state parks soon.


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has been widely criticized for the arbitrary applications of her state’s shutdown orders, has extended the state’s stay-at-home order until May 15.

On Monday, Whitmer laid out a framework for how the state will plan to reopen but has given no timeline for the when reopening will begin to take place. The state is currently allowing retail stores to be opening for curbside pickup and golf courses to remain open.


Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker announced April 23 that he would be signing an extension that runs through May 30.

The modified order will go into effect May 1 and allows state parks to begin a phased reopening; allows greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries to reopen as essential businesses. Other non-essential retailers are permitted to reopen for curbside pickups.

It also, importantly, requires individuals to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance, meaning most places where people are indoors.

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