These GOP governors are still refusing to issue stay-at-home orders


The surgeon general has recommended every state do so to reduce spread of the coronavirus.

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, eight 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 eight who have not issued orders include:


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. 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 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. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also signed a shelter-in-place order on April 2, and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster finally issued a stay-at-home order on Monday, April 6.

The story has also been updated to note that Alabama Gov. Kay Ivy issued a stay-at-home order on April 3, set to expire on April 30; Missouri Gov. Mike Parson issued a similar order, effective April 6.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.