The six states with the toughest COVID-19 restrictions currently in place are…


As much of the nation begins reopening, including non-essential business, a select group of states continue to enforce restrictions.

California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington have employed some of the heaviest regulations during the COVID-19 crisis, including limits to construction.

Here is a breakdown of recent moves from the six states:

California: The governor announced that certain non-essential businesses can reopen effective immediately. The state also issued health guidance for retail businesses. But a statewide “stay at home” order is in effect until further notice.

IllinoisA “shelter in place” order has been issued and extended. The order exempts building supply stores and construction. The order does not expire until May 30. A five phase reopening plan, Restore Illinois, has also been introduced but benchmarks must be met before non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen. The governor also announced new requirements for essential businesses

Michigan: The governor has issued a modified “stay at home” order through May 28. Non-essential construction is allowed to reopen along with the reopening of non-essential businesses, including retail, in several northern Michigan counties effective May 22.

New York: The “stay at home” order has been extended through May 28. The Capital Region has joined Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Regions as regions that have met the seven metrics required to begin reopening. Memorial Day ceremonies are being permitted with 10 people or less.

Vermont: The governor issued an amended “stay at home” order through June 15. The state is planning to allow for the reopening of certain non-essential businesses beginning June 1. The order expires on June 15. While outdoor construction was allowed to resume operations, it requires a maximum of 2 workers per job and location.

Washington: The “stay at home” order has been extended through May 31. Pre-existing construction projects prior to a March 23 lockdown have been allowed to resume. But a full start-up of statewide construction has yet to be green-lighted. 

[Editor's note: This story originally appeared on]

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