- Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed an executive order imposing a fine of up to $100 for violating the state’s mask mandate. The order took effect at midnight on Sept. 17. Connecticut has required individuals to wear masks in public places since April 17.
- Thirty-four states have orders requiring individuals to wear masks in indoor or outdoor public spaces. All 24 states with a Democratic governor have statewide mask orders, while 10 out of 26 Republican states require face coverings.
No ‘New Normal’ in Constitution
Judge William Stickman IV of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania struck down some of Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) COVID-19 orders. The suit was brought on behalf of various Pennsylvania counties, businesses, and elected officials.
It challenged, Wolf’s restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, the continued closure of “non-life-sustaining” businesses, and prolonged stay-at-home orders.
Writing that the “liberties protected by the Constitution are not fair-weather freedoms,” Stickman, an appointee of President Donald Trump (R), ruled that the “Constitution cannot accept the concept of a ‘new normal’ where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures.”
- In March and April, 48 states canceled in-person instruction for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Those states accounted for 99.4% of the nation’s 50.6 million public school students. Montana and Wyoming did not require cancellation of in-person instruction for the year. Montana schools were allowed to reopen on May 7 and Wyoming schools were allowed to reopen on May 15.
- The current status of school reopenings is as follows: Washington, D.C., has a district-ordered school closure, five states have a state-ordered regional school closure, two states are open for hybrid or remote instruction only, four states have state-ordered in-person instruction, and 39 states have reopenings that vary by school or district.