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Yale SOM-Tobin Center State and Local COVID Restriction Database

Tobin Center for Economic Policy

We hope that you find this page informative. We also want to thank everyone that has helped to put together the database so far and those that will help to maintain and improve it going forward. In particular, we want to thank the Tobin Center for Economic Policy for their generous financial support.

Click the text below each map to access animations. The animations display how orders evolved over time in the US. Warning: The animated map files are HUGE! They take a long time to load.

This website for tracking business and related restrictions issued by all U.S. states and counties in response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a joint project of the Tobin Center for Economic Policy and the Yale School of Management. Our goal is to produce a comprehensive database that researchers can use to help determine which restrictions have proven useful and which have not. To date, it includes over 149,268 dates on which state and local restrictions were started, modified or ended. Ultimately, we hope this will help policy officials make better decisions.

You can look up state and county orders in their respective dropdown menus.

To generate a table with a particular county’s data, you first need to select the state in which the county is located. Once you select a state or a state and county, a table will be displayed showing you the dates on which various restrictions were imposed or lifted. The state-level columns indicate when a statewide order went into effect or was lifted. The county columns cover any order that was not applied state-wide. If you see a date in the county column, it may have come from an order issued at either the state or the county level.

Data are being updated on an on-going basis, as new policies are introduced. There are likely some errors and omissions, especially for restrictions implemented in the last 30 days.  These are still being collected. If you find any errors or omissions in the data, we would appreciate your letting us know so that we can update our database accordingly. More accurate data will result in more accurate research that is helpful to everyone.

You can let us know about any corrections we should make. Please contact Professor Matthew Spiegel at matthew.spiegel@yale.edu.

Since the spring of 2020 we have employed a large team of research assistants to gather and check the data. That cost continues to build with our ongoing efforts. You can help us to maintain the data and expand it by purchasing an individual use license. Anyone purchasing a license will obtain a machine-readable copy of our data. If you just want to help fund this project you can also donate directly to it. Please contact Professor Matthew Spiegel at matthew.spiegel@yale.edu for details about obtaining a license, its cost, and payment options.

The project is led by Professors Matthew Spiegel and Heather Tookes. Their forthcoming paper ‘Business Restrictions and COVID Fatalities’ can be downloaded at https://doi.org/10.1093/rfs/hhab069 and their working paper ‘All or Nothing? Partial Business Shutdowns and COVID-19 Fatality Growth’ at https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3835510. Financial and institutional support from the Yale School of Management, the Tobin Center for Economic Policy, and the International Center for Finance have made this research endeavor possible. Web page design and management are led by the SOM IT Development & Operations Team.

Information For Reading This Data

Sample data from Alpine & Los Angeles Counties California

The table below lists the state and county government actions for which we are collecting data. (You can retrieve data from any county in the US via drop-down menus after you click in the box below verifying that you are not a robot.) State and county rules are reported separately.  If a date is listed in the state’s row, we believe it is the date a state first imposed or lifted a particular restriction that was applied statewide.

Business closures and openings reflect restrictions on businesses other than bars, restaurants, gyms, or spas. (They have their own entries.) We use each jurisdiction’s own rules for phased reopenings to define business reopening Phases 1, 2, etc... Because every state has its own way to define the re-opening phases, the categories provided in the table attempt to capture the national spectrum of emergency responses and re-openings. If you believe that another interpretation of a particular state’s phases is appropriate, we welcome your feedback.

If any businesses (other than restaurants, bars, gyms, or spas) were allowed to open and then ordered closed again, the reversal is listed as a Re-opening Reversed. Partial closures such as a capacity reduction are not included.

Restaurants, bars, gyms, spas, retail, and movie theaters are considered separately.  We track closures as well as indoor capacity limits for each of these.  The outdoor-only restrictions apply only to bars and restaurants.  We code gyms, spas, retail, and movie theaters as closed if they cannot offer indoor services. 

If gathering limits differ for indoor and outdoor activities, we take the maximum of the two limits.

Beaches and parks are listed as closed only if they are completely closed to the public. For example, closing just a park’s playground would not cause us to list the park as closed. If there is a state or national park in a particular county, we list the closure under the county where the park is located.

The Announcements tab displays data on both State of Emergency and Stay at Home orders.

The Masks tab displays mask recommendations and mandates for businesses and residents. Residential mandates are split into those that only apply indoors and those that apply to both indoors and outdoors.

The Medical tab displays rules restricting nursing home visits and those that prohibit elective medical procedures.  We let the counties and states define what an elective medical procedure is or is not. We record an order under this category if the local states that the goal is to ban elective medical procedures, however, they define it.

Contact

If you find any errors or omissions in the data, we would appreciate your letting us know so that we can update our database accordingly. More accurate data will result in more accurate research that is helpful to everyone.  

Please contact Professor Matthew Spiegel at matthew.spiegel@yale.edu.