Almost all US states have declared states of emergency to fight coronavirus — here’s what it means for them

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York at a news conference regarding the novel coronavirus on March 2. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

Almost every US states have declared states of emergency in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The country has reported more than 4,660 infections of the novel coronavirus, but amid a nationwide testing shortage the true figure is probably much higher. As of Thursday, almost every state had reported a case.

Business Insider is tracking the cases in the US:

The first week of March saw leaders in states across the country begin to ramp up their responses to the virus, which has killed more than 7,100 people and infected more than 182,000 globally. The coronavirus causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19.

Mayor London Breed of San Francisco also declared a state of emergency in the city last month, while several other US cities and counties have also declared public-health emergencies over the new coronavirus.

Despite the possibly alarming news, declaring an emergency is a strategic announcement that can help states activate emergency response plans and state emergency operation centres. It also can help governments get reimbursed for money they spend on preparedness from the state and federal government, and it authorizes leaders to use funds to deploy additional personnel, buy equipment, and prepare stockpiles.

President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on March 13.

For the coronavirus, it’s given government leaders the opportunity to implement restrictive measures to stop the spread of the virus – Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington is reportedly banning gatherings and events of more than 250 people in the Seattle metro area.

The response from state leadership is in stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s repeated downplaying of the outbreak and rocky public appearances in addressing officials’ response to the virus.

Here are the states that have declared emergencies.


Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington. Rachel La Corte/AP

Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in Washington on February 29 after the first coronavirus death was confirmed.

On Wednesday, Inslee announced a temporary ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in three counties that include parts of the Seattle metro area.

By March 13, the state had confirmed 37 deaths from the virus and more than 568 cases.


Gov. Gavin Newsom of California. Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California declared a state of emergency on March 4 after reporting the first death from coronavirus in the state. Gov. Gavin Newsom made the declaration to receive emergency federal funding to battle the outbreak.

The proclamation also includes provisions meant to protect consumers from price gouging and allows for out-of-state healthcare workers to assist facilities at the frontlines of the coronavirus battle.

“The State of California is deploying every level of government to help identify cases and slow the spread of this coronavirus,” Newsom said. “This emergency proclamation will help the state further prepare our communities and our health care system in the event it spreads more broadly.”

The California Department of Public Health said it was working closely with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state, including screening incoming passengers at both Los Angeles International and San Francisco International airports.

The state has 281 confirmed cases and four deaths.


Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland. Jose Luis Magana/AP

On March 5, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in Maryland after announcing the state’s first three positive coronavirus tests. The patients contracted the virus while travelling overseas and were quarantined in their homes.

“In order to further mobilize all available state resources in response to this threat to public health, I have issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency in Maryland,” Hogan said.


Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky. Bryan Woolston/AP

On March 6, Gov. Andy Beshear announced Kentucky’s first confirmed case of the virus and a state of emergency.

“While the overall threat to Kentuckians is still low, we as a state are going to take every necessary action to protect our people,” Beshear said during a press conference.


Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah. Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune, via AP, Pool

Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency in as an anticipatory measure hours before Utah’s Department of Health announced the state’s first case of COVID-19 on March 6.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the state’s first case was a person over age 60 who officials believe was exposed on a previous voyage on the Grand Princess cruise ship, which was later docked and quarantined. Despite the person’s positive test, officials stressed that they didn’t believe there was a larger threat of infection.

New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York with Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. Mark Lennihan/AP

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York. By March 13 the number of confirmed cases in the state reached 435.

Amtrak cancelled its nonstop service between New York City and Washington, DC.


Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Associated Press

On March 7, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida declared a level 2 state of emergency, an escalation from the public-health emergency he declared on March 1.


Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon. Andrew Selsky/AP

Gov. Kate Brown announced the declaration on March 8, which will remain in effect for 60 days but could be extended.

The announcement came as seven new cases in Oregon were announced, some of which stemmed from contact with people in northwestern Washington, according to the Associated Press.


Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

A state of emergency was issued by Gov. Eric Holcomb on March 6.

New Jersey

Shelves that held hand sanitizer and hand soap were mostly empty at a store in Jersey City, New Jersey, on March 3. Seth Wenig/AP

Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency on March 9, after 11 people in New Jersey had tested positive for the virus. reported that officials had closed some schools and said 24 other possible cases were under investigation in the state by the NJ Department of Health.


Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado. Jim Anderson/AP

Gov. Jared Polis made the declaration March 10 after Colorado confirmed its 15th case, with all cases surfacing in just a few days.

Business Insider’s Julie Bort reported that the state was dealing with especially concerning diagnoses that came from all over the state, including high-traffic tourist and urban areas.

Polis said the state’s Department of Labour and Employment would institute “emergency rulemaking” to accommodate workers across the state in food handling, hospitality, childcare, healthcare, and education.

Under the emergency, new rules would allow those workers to get tested and take sick leave while waiting for results if they exhibit flu-like symptoms and would provide unemployment insurance for those who don’t have leave. Additionally, the department is creating a drive-thru testing facility to fulfil doctors’ orders, and the DMV will temporarily allow residents older than 65 to renew their driver’s licenses online and avoid public spaces.


Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

As of March 9, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency, local news agencies reported.

The proclamation will free up funds for state agencies to use to handle the outbreak.


Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio. AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth

Gov. Mike DeWine signed a state of emergency on March 9.


Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania. AP Photo/Marc Levy

Gov. Tom Wolf signed an emergency disaster declaration on March 6.


Gov. JB Pritzker of Illinois. Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP

Gov. JB Pritzker issued a state of emergency on March 9, according to the Southern Illinoisan.


Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts. Charles Krupa/AP

Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10 amid a “significant uptick” of cases.

“This declaration will give our administration more flexibility to respond to this evolving outbreak,” Baker said after state officials announced they were examining 51 additional “presumptive positive” cases.

North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina. AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on March 10 to stop the spread of the virus.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. AP Photo/David Eggert

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency of March 10, after Michigan had its first two cases of COVID-19.

“I have declared a state of emergency to harness all of our resources across state government to slow the spread of the virus and protect families,” Whitmer said in a tweet.


Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, according to local media outlets.


Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut. AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Gov. Ned Lamont issued a state of emergency on March 10.


Gov. John Bel Edwards of Louisiana. AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a state of emergency on March 11.


Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia. AP Photo/Steve Helber

Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on March 12.

“While Virginia has been preparing for weeks and we have adequate funding on hand, it has become increasingly clear that states need to lead the national response,” Northam said in a tweet.


Gov. John Carney of Delaware. REUTERS/Doug Curran

Gov. John Carney declared a state of emergency on March 12.

“Today’s emergency declaration will make sure we have the authority and resources necessary to effectively prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” Carney wrote in a tweet.


Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Montana declared a state of emergency on March 12.

“Declaring a state of emergency means I can mobilize all available state resources to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Montanans. That’s why I’m doing so now, before we have a confirmed case in our state,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in a tweet.


Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a state of emergency on March 12.

“This declaration will give our State additional tools and flexibility to respond to this rapidly developing situation, and it will advance measures to mitigate and ultimately contain COVID-19,” Sisolak said in a tweet.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo

According to local news outlets, Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared a public-health emergency on March 11.


Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas. AP Photo/John Hanna

Gov. Laura Kelly issued a state of emergency on March 12. The announcement was made after a man in his 70s died from COVID-19.


Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin. AP Photo by Scott Bauer

Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on March 12.


Hawaii Governor Davide Ige AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

On March 5, Hawaii issued an emergency proclamation.


Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey,

Gov. Bill Lee issued a state of emergency on March 12.


Gov. Kay Ivey gives the State of the State Address to a joint session of the Alabama Legislature, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in the old house chamber of the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency on March 13.

New Hampshire

Republican N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu gestures during his State of the State address at the State House in Concord, N.H., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Gov. Chris Sununu declared a state of emergency on March 13.

“While the current risk remains low, we are taking preventative steps today to ensure that all state resources are at the ready to respond and deploy in a moments notice,” Sununu said in a tweet.

South Carolina

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster speaks at a news conference introducing state Rep. Bobby Cox as his pick to lead the state’s veterans’ affairs agency, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, at a news conference in Columbia, S.C. AP Photo/Meg Kinnard

Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency on March 13.


Idaho Gov. Brad Little talks to reporters at the State Capitol building Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Boise, Idaho. AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger

Gov. Brad Little issued a proactive emergency declaration on March 13.


Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts speaks during a news conference with State business and education leaders in Lincoln, Neb., Friday, March 13, 2020. Nebraska state officials have now confirmed 13 cases of the new coronavirus and developed a plan to order school closures for six to eight weeks if the outbreak worsens. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. AP Photo/Nati Harnik

Gov. Pete Ricketts declared a state of emergency on March 13.


Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivers the State of the State address Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Jefferson City, Mo. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Gov. Mike Parsons declared a state of emergency on March 13.


Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in St. Paul, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in support of a House Democratic plan aimed at making insulin more affordable. Joining Walz, is Nicole Smith-Holt, right, mother of Alec Smith, for whom the bill is named. Alec Smith died in 2017 at age 26 of diabetic complications because he had been rationing his insulin. AP Photo/Steve Karnowski

Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency on March 13.


Georgia Governor Brian Kemp speaks during a dedication of the state’s new Nathan Deal Judicial Centre, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Atlanta. The new judicial centre, named for a former governor is the first state building in the history of Georgia that is devoted entirely to the judiciary. AP Photo/John Amis

Gov. Brian Kemp will announce a state of emergency on March 14, local news outlets reported.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo faces reporters during a news conference, Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Providence, R.I. Raimondo, took questions on what officials described as the state’s first presumptive positive case of coronavirus. Officials said the person is in their 40s and had travelled to Italy in February of 2020. AP Photo/Steven Senne

Gov. Gina Raimondo declared a state of emergency on March 9, local outlets reported.

New Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a red-flag gun bill Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Santa Fe, N.M., that allows state district courts to order the temporary surrender of firearms. The Democratic governor urged sheriffs to resign if they refuse to enforce the new law that can temporarily remove guns from people that may pose an immediate safety threat to themselves of others. AP Photo/Morgan Lee

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency on March 11, local news agencies reported.


Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses reporters at a news conference Monday, March 9, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. State officials said 23 people have been tested for the new coronavirus with no positive results. AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a declaration of public health disaster emergency on March 11.


Republican Gov. Tate Reeves discusses the importance of establishing a task force on State Cybersecurity during a news conference, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Jackson, Miss. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Gov. Tate Reeves issued a state of emergency on March 14.


Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon talks to reporters at a news conference Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Cheyenne about a request by Wyoming and Montana for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on Washington state’s denial of a key permit to build a coal export port facility in Longview, Washington. The coal-producing Rocky Mountain states argue the denial violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits states from impeding trade between one another and with other countries. AP Photo/Mead Gruver

Gov. Mark Gordon declared a state of emergency on March 13.

South Dakota

In this Jan. 23, 2019, file photo, Gov. Kristi Noem gives her first budget address to lawmakers at the state Capitol in Pierre, S.D. Noem will use her State of the State address to pitch prospective businesses on why they should move to South Dakota, the Republican governor told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. AP Photo/James Nord

Gov. Kristi Noem declared a state of emergency on March 13, local outlets reported.

North Dakota

Governor Doug Burgum (R-ND) speaks to delegates at the Republican State Convention in Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S. April 7, 2018. Picture taken April 7, 2018. REUTERS/Dan Koeck

Gov. Doug Burgum declared a state of emergency on March 13, local outlets reported.


Governor of Maine Janet Mills speaks during the 2019 United Nations Climate Action Summit at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 23, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Gov. Janet Mills signed an emergency proclamation on March 15.


Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott, speaking on Thursday Feb. 6, 2020 at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt., said he thought President Donald Trump abused his power and he doesn’t think the president should be in office. Scott also praised Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican to break ranks with his party and vote to convict Trump. Scott has been a frequent critic of the president. AP Photo/Wilson Ring

Gov. Phil Scott declared a state of emergency on March 13.


Governor Greg Abbott speaks at the National Rifle Association-Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum in Dallas, Friday, May 4, 2018. Sue Ogrocki/AP

Gov. Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster on March 13.

Texas has 48 cases of COVID-19.