Eleven GOP Governors Still Refuse Stay-Home Orders

stay at home orders

The governors of Florida, Nevada, and Pennsylvania joined scores of other states in issuing stay-at-home orders this week in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. But as of Wednesday afternoon, 11 governors — all Republicans — had still not done so.

On Wednesday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams was asked about governors who had refused to issue statewide state-at-home directives. "My advice to America would be that these guidelines are a national stay-at-home order," he told NBC News.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has not used the term "stay-at-home" but acknowledged Tuesday that his "essential services and activities" order effectively amounted to one.

The 13 who have not issued orders include:


Gov. Kay Ivy told reporters last week, "Folks, at this point, we have no current plans [for a shelter-in-place order]." She noted, "Y'all, we are not California, we're not New York and we aren't even Louisiana."

Some parts of the state have issued local stay-at-home orders.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson has not issued a stay-at-home order. On Tuesday, he tweeted that social distancing efforts in the state were working.

"This gives Arkansans an objective: to do our part by being self-disciplined, following @ADHPIO guidelines, limiting our social gatherings, and maintaining social distancing to beat projections," he wrote. "This will save lives and help us overcome this crisis more quickly."


Gov. Kim Reynolds urged Iowans to voluntarily practice social distancing on Tuesday, saying, "I can't lock the state down. I can't lock everybody in their home."


Gov. Mike Parson has declined to issue a stay-at-home order, encouraging "personal responsibility" and local control instead. Some parts of the state have issued local stay-at-home orders.


Gov. Pete Ricketts said last week that he was not considering a "stay at home" mandate, as doing so was unnecessary.

North Dakota

Gov. Doug Burgum said last week that he was not considering a stay-at-home order. "That's the beauty," he said. "Fifty state governors, many who share borders and supplies, can approach the situation differently. It's not about staying home, it's about avoiding contact."


On Sunday, Gov. Kevin Stitt issued an order requiring travelers from six other states to self-quarantine for 14 days. Thus far, he has only ordered "vulnerable populations" from in-state to remain at home.

Some parts of the state have issued local stay-at-home orders.

South Carolina

Gov. Henry McMaster closed nonessential businesses on Tuesday but did not issue a stay-at-home order.

"We are not ordering people to stay at home, but from the very beginning we've been telling people to stay home… and a lot of people are staying home," he said.

Parts of the state have implemented local stay-at-home orders instead.

South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem has encouraged, but not ordered South Dakotans to stay home. She said last week that the state was "not at that point" and said she had no plans to do so.


Gov. Gary Herbert issued a "stay safe, stay home" directive last week, urging Utahns to "stay at home whenever possible." However, he noted that it was "not a shelter in place order."

As in other states, some parts of Utah have issued local stay-at-home orders.


Gov. Mark Gordon said on Monday that he was not yet issuing a stay-at-home order, but that one might come.

"If we're going to issue a shelter in place or stay at home order, it will not have multiple exemptions. It will be a true stay-at-home order," he told reporters.

Some parts of the state have issued local stay-at-home orders.

Updated after Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves issued a statewide stay-at-home order on April 1.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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