This guide will be updated as new restrictions are imposed or lifted. Last Update: May 6, 2020, 7:10 pm.
Governor Kay Ivey ordered all Alabama residents to shelter in place beginning April 4, after repeatedly insisting such an action was not necessary. It did not last long. Ivey later signed an executive order allowing all retail stores to reopen at 50 percent capacity starting April 30.
“We know that what we are announcing today will please some and make others frustrated that we’re not going further at this time, but our job must be always to find the right balance,” Ivey said at a press conference on the reopening plans.
Governor Mike Dunleavy relaxed his “Hunker Down” order for the state, which went into effect on March 28. Beginning April 24, restaurants, retail stores, person care services, gyms, law firms, and marketing offices were permitted to reopen, with restrictions. Restaurants and personal care services may serve customers in-house by reservation only, and strict social distancing and disinfection procedures must be in place.
Governor Doug Ducey ordered all Arizona residents to shelter in place beginning March 31.
On April 29, Ducey announced he would extend the state’s stay at home order to May 15, with some changes aimed at slowly reopening Arizona’s economy. Retail stores were permitted to reopen starting May 4, and can expand their operations on May 8, provided they follow strict state guidelines. Ducey said he intends to permit restaurants to open starting May 12.
“The objective, while continuing to focus on protecting public health, is going to be turning up the light in our economy,” Ducey said at an April 29 press conference.
While the state never issued a shelter in place order, Governor Asa Hutchinson on March 19 ordered all restaurants and bars to close their dining rooms and operate on a to-go or delivery basis only. A few days later, the Arkansas Department of Health ordered salons, barbershops and tattoo shops to close.
Recently, Hutchinson has moved to reopen most businesses. Restaurants may reopen beginning April 29, and restrictions on gyms and indoor recreational facilities will be lifted April 30. On May 1, beauty salons and barber shops may reopen, and places of worship and larger venues may resume operations starting May 4.
“Even if we do decide to lift restrictions on certain industries after May 4, I want to emphasize that they will remain under Phase One guidelines that call for masks, social distancing, and limits on the size of gatherings,” Hutchinson said in a statement.
On March 19, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all 40 million Californians to shelter in place until further notice. More recently, Newsom has said he plans to reopen the state in phases. Beginning May 8, some retailers, including bookshops, flower stores, clothing retailers, and sporting goods stores, may reopen, provided they obtain approval from local officials and alter their operations to meet new state health guidelines.
It’s not clear when restaurants may reopen. Newsom has yet to issue any statewide directives, but he has said that they could reopen in certain rural counties if approved by local officials and public health officers.
Newsom said that the state’s reopening plans will not override local orders, if county and city officials have stricter guidelines in place. “We are not telling locals that feel it’s too soon, too fast to modify,” he said at a press conference on the order.
On April 27, the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and the city of Berkeley announced their stay at home guidelines would be extended through the end of May. But those Bay Area jurisdictions will allow a wider range of outdoor activities, including construction, golf, and child care, beginning May 4.
Newsom said he will announce more details about the partial reopening plans May 7.
Governor Jared Polis issued guidelines allowing some businesses and retail stores to reopen beginning April 27. Under the order, which is in effect until May 26, retail stores can allow customers in-store beginning May 1, so long as they follow social distancing and other health guidelines. Hair salons, massage parlors, and other personal services can open May 1 with 50 percent occupancy, provided both customers and employees wear masks and no more than 10 people are in the establishment at once.
Businesses with offices can allow half of their employees to return to work in-person beginning May 4, so long as they follow strict social distancing and screening guidelines. Colleges and universities may hold classes in-person for learning that cannot be done remotely.
The order does not override municipalities with stricter orders in place, such as Denver, Adams, Jefferson, and Boulder counties, where shelter in place orders have been extended until May 8.
On March 23, Governor Ned Lamont issued a shelter in place order for all 3.5 million Connecticut residents. Beginning May 20, Lamont plans to permit the reopening of offices, retail stores, hair and nail salons, and outdoor restaurants and museums. Other businesses will reopen in stages in coming months.
Governor John Carney ordered all Delaware residents to shelter in place beginning March 24. The order was slated to be in effect till May 15 or “until the public health threat is eliminated,” the governor’s office said, but restrictions have recently begun to be relaxed.
Some businesses around the state will be permitted to resume limited operations beginning May 8, Carney said. Barbershops and salons will be permitted to reopen, but may only offer services to workers at essential businesses, and must follow strict operating guidelines. Jewelry stores may do business by appointment only, while other small retailers will be allowed to do curbside pickup only.
District of Columbia
Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a stay at home order for all residents, effective April 1. The order has been extended till at least May 15.
After weeks of criticism over his reluctance to enact sweeping social distancing measures, Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all Florida residents to shelter in place beginning April 2. A previous order applied only to four southeastern counties: Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward, and Monroe.
Most of the state will reopen beginning May 4, with restaurants allowed to resume dine-in services at 25 percent capacity, and retail stores, museums, and libraries permitted to reopen with restrictions. Elective surgeries will be permitted to resume, but bars, gyms, schools, and salons will remain closed. Some state parks and beaches will reopen. The order will not apply to Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, home to many of the state’s cases.
“Everyone in the media was saying Florida was going to be like New York or Italy, and that has not happened,” DeSantis said in a press conference with President Trump April 28.
Governor Brian Kemp, who was one of the last state officials to order residents to shelter in place, became one of the first to roll back such restrictions, issuing an executive order April 20 permitting a variety of businesses to reopen.
High-touch businesses such as tattoo studios, hair salons, massage parlors, and gyms were allowed to open starting April 24, provided they follow state mandated social-distancing and public health guidelines. Bowling alleys, theaters, social clubs, and dine-in restaurants could reopen beginning April 27.
Governor David Ige announced a statewide shelter in place order, effective March 25. The order includes exceptions for outdoor recreation like swimming and surfing. On April 26, he extended the order through May 31, with a few exceptions.
Beginning May 1, some real estate services, car dealerships, and golf courses were permitted to reopen, with restrictions. The order also applies to any fully automated services that don’t require direct interactions with customers, such as automated car washes; low-contact mobile service providers, like mobile pet groomers and car detailers; and services that are provided on a one-on-one basis, such as private tutoring and musical instrument lessons, so long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
Ige’s second order expanded that list to include most retailers and shopping malls, astronomical observatories, florists, nonprofits, and repair services, which will be permitted to reopen starting May 7. He later altered the order again so retailers on Oahu will not be permitted to reopen until May 15—the date Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell had originally suggested. On Maui, there is no set reopening date for retailers and shopping malls.
Governor Brad Little ordered all 1.8 million Idaho residents to stay at home, effective March 25. The order is set to expire April 30, after which Little says the state will reopen in stages.
Under stage one, which is set to take place May 1 to May 15, places of worship, daycare facilities, and organized youth activities, including summer camps, may reopen. Personal care services, gyms, and restaurants are permitted to reopen in stage two, set for May 16 to 29.
Governor J. B. Pritzker ordered all Illinois residents to shelter in place beginning March 21. The order has been extended until at least May 31, however, Republican lawmakers in the state are waging a legal war to weaken it.
GOP state lawmaker Darren Bailey filed a lawsuit alleging that Pritzker did not have the legal authority to extend the stay at home order beyond 30 days. A judge granted Bailey a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing the public health restrictions against him. Pritzker said the state attorney general’s office will appeal the decision. “This ruling has put the people of Illinois at risk,” Pritzker said in a statement.
A church sued also the state, prompting Pritzker to amend it, adding “the free exercise of religion” to the list of essential activities permitted while sheltering in place. Religious gatherings are now permitted, so long as activities are limited to 10 people maximum and abide by social distancing guidelines.
Governor Eric Holcomb ordered residents to shelter in place beginning March 25. The order expired May 1, replaced by a new mandate requiring all Indianans over the age of 2 to wear a face covering when in public spaces where social distancing is difficult. Restrictions on some businesses, such as greenhouses and pet groomers, have been relaxed, as have restrictions on non-essential medical procedures.
Holcomb plans to reopen the state in five stages by July 4. Beginning May 4, most retail and commercial businesses may resume operations at half capacity, non-essential travel restrictions were lifted, and office workers were permitted to return to work “in small waves.” Social gatherings of up to 25 people are allowed, so long as all members follow social distancing guidelines. Beginning May 8, places of worship will be allowed to reopen, though people over the age of 65 will not be permitted to attend services. On May 11, restaurants will be permitted to open for dine-in services at half capacity, and personal services businesses such as salons and barbers can offer appointments by reservation only.
Counties that have experienced recent upticks in Covid-19 cases will have to wait longer for restrictions to be loosened: beginning May 11 in Lake and Marion counties, and May 18 for Cass county.
Restaurants, gyms, retailers, shopping malls and other businesses in 77 of the state’s 99 counties will be permitted to reopen May 1 at 50 percent capacity, under an order from Governor Kim Reynolds. In-person church gatherings of 10 or fewer people will also be permitted.
Urban areas, including Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, are not covered by the order.
“I strongly encourage all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, in all counties of the state to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and purpose,” wrote Reynolds.
Governor Laura Kelly ordered residents to shelter in place beginning March 30. Most businesses will be permitted to reopen beginning May 4, provided they follow state social distancing guidelines and new public health practices. Certain types of businesses will not be permitted to open until at least May 18, including theaters, gyms, bars and nightclubs, non-tribal casinos, and personal service businesses, such as salons and tattoo parlors, where close contact is unavoidable.
In some harder-hit areas, such as Wyandotte and Johnson counties near Kansas City, local officials have instituted stricter rules, opting to keep their shelter in place orders in effect for the time being.
Governor Andy Beshear ordered all residents of Kentucky to effectively shelter in place under a “Healthy At Home” order beginning March 23. Recently, he unveiled a “Healthy at Work” plan, which aims to reopen Kentucky’s economy in stages. Beginning May 11, car and boat dealerships, pet grooming and boarding, manufacturing, and construction businesses will be permitted to reopen. Professional services businesses will be allowed to resume operations at 50 percent capacity, and horse racing can proceed, minus fans.
Retail stores and places of worship may reopen starting May 20; and beginning May 25, 10 person social gatherings will be permitted, and barbers, salons, and other personal services businesses will be allowed to reopen.
Governor Andy Beshear ordered all residents of Kentucky to effectively shelter in place under a “Healthy At Home” order beginning March 23. Recently, he unveiled a “Healthy at Work” plan, which aims to reopen Kentucky’s economy in stages, however, he has yet to set specific dates for business reopenings.
On March 22, Governor John Bel Edwards directed all Louisiana residents to shelter in place and limit their movements. On April 27, Edwards extended the order until May 15 with three key changes: Stores can offer curbside retail services; restaurants will be permitted to have customers eat food outdoors on patios, but cannot provide table service; and all public-facing workers must wear masks.
Republican state lawmakers have introduced legislation that would strip the governor of authority to oversee the state’s emergency responses.
Governor Janet Mills issued a shelter in place order for all Maine residents beginning April 2. On May 1, phase one of her “Plan to Restart Maine’s Economy” went into effect, permitting the limited reopening of certain businesses, religious services, and outdoor activities. Barber shops, hair salons, and pet groomers may reopen provided they adhere to strict physical distancing measures; religious services are permitted so long as they operate on a “drive-in, stay-in-your-vehicle” basis, outdoor recreational activities are allowed, and most state parks opened.
Governor Larry Hogan ordered all nonessential businesses to close March 23. He has since unveiled a roadmap to reopening, but has not yet set specific dates for business reopenings.
Governor Charlie Baker issued a stay at home order for all Massachusetts residents March 24. He recently extended the order closing all non-essential businesses to May 18.
Following lobbying from retailers, who wanted Baker to relax restrictions ahead of Mother’s Day, the state updated its guidance on May 4 to allow some retail businesses to bring workers back to facilitate remote sales and delivery orders. The updated order allows florists, car dealerships, bookstores, jewelers, and other retailers to have three to seven employees in their facilities to help fulfill orders, so long as they do not come in contact with any customers directly and follow social distancing and health guidelines. Unlike other states, the Massachusetts order does not allow for curbside pickup, only no-contact delivery and shipping.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered all Michigan residents to shelter in place March 24, and later extended the order until at least May 15. The extension included new provisions allowing some non-essential businesses to do curbside delivery and pickup; maintenance workers, garden stores, and bicycle repair shops may resume operations so long as they follow strict social distancing measures and adhere to public health guidelines. On May 7, residential and commercial construction crews will also be permitted to go back to work.
Governor Tim Walz relaxed restrictions for some Minnesota businesses beginning April 24. Workers in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and mining industries, as well as those working at an office space who do not directly interact with customers, may return to work under the new order. Most businesses, including bars, restaurants, retailers, and personal services businesses, will remain shuttered until at least May 18.
Governor Tate Reeves issued a shelter in place order for all Mississippi residents beginning April 3. It expired a few weeks later on April 27. Most retailers are now permitted to open, so long as they do not exceed 50 percent capacity. Gyms, barbershops, tattoo parlors, and movie theaters remain closed.
Beginning May 7, restaurants across the state are allowed to resume indoor and outdoor dine-in services at 50 percent capacity, and outdoor gatherings of up to 20 people will be permitted.
Governor Mike Parson ordered all Missouri residents to stay home effective April 6. Parson recently unveiled the “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan, under which all businesses in the state may reopen, provided they follow social distancing guidelines. Beginning May 4, residents may return to churches, restaurant dining rooms, barbershops, gyms, and attend sporting events and social gatherings. Live concerts and other large events or gatherings are also permitted.
“All of Missouri’s businesses, employers, and employees are vital to our state’s economy and well-being,” Parson said in a press conference. “Opening these businesses is going to look very different for awhile, but I’m confident Missourians will abide by the guidelines as we move forward.”
Governor Steve Bullock issued a shelter in place order effective March 28. It expired on April 27, at which point the state moved into “phase one” of reopening, Bullock said. Retail businesses may reopen, as can places of worship, as long as they limit capacity and practice social distancing. Beginning May 4, restaurants, bars, and breweries may resume in-establishment services.
Beginning May 7, all schools will be permitted to resume in-classroom teaching, if a local school board wishes. Movie theaters, gyms, and “other places of assembly” will remain closed.
Despite criticism from public health experts and doctors, Governor Pete Ricketts never issued a shelter in place order. On April 3, he issued a “Directed Health Measure” closing theaters, houses of worship, salons, and in-establishment services for restaurants and bars. Office buildings, car dealerships, most stores, day cares, golf courses, and many other businesses were permitted to stay open.
Beginning on May 4, dental offices will be permitted to reopen, and restaurants may resume dine-in services at 50 percent capacity.
Governor Steve Sisolak issued a stay at home order for all Nevada residents, effective April 1. On April 29, he extended the order till mid-May, with exceptions permitting retail businesses to offer curbside pickup.
Sisolak said that “on or before May 15” the state will move into phase one of reopening. Some non-essential businesses, like stand-alone retail stores, will be permitted to reopen with restrictions; however bars, gaming establishments, and large in-person worship services will remain closed. Sisolak said he is considering allowing the “gradual” reopening of dine-in operations at restaurants and personal services businesses in phase one, but has yet to announce a decision.
Governor Chris Sununu ordered all New Hampshire residents to stay at home March 27. Beginning May 11, golf courses, drive-in theaters, retail stores, and salons will be permitted to open, with restrictions. Retail staffers will be required to wear face coverings, and stores must operate at half occupancy. Restaurants will be permitted to resume outdoor dining services starting May 18.
Governor Phil Murphy ordered all 9 million New Jersey residents to shelter in place beginning March 21. The order will remain in place until further notice, however, Murphy has expressed his desire to reopen the state in the coming weeks, if cases decline. “I’ll be the happiest guy in New Jersey if not America if we are [ready to reopen by Memorial Day],” Murphy said on Fox News Sunday, May 3. “I think it’s too early to tell.”
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered all New Mexico residents to shelter in place effective March 24. She recently extended the order until at least May 15, with some restrictions relaxed in certain counties.
Beginning May 1, retailers may operate curbside pickup and delivery services, pet services and veterinarians may reopen, gun stores may reopen by appointment only, and golf courses may resume operations. The order does not apply to Cibola, McKinley, and San Juan counties.
In New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the US, the shelter in place order issued by Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 20 remains in effect. Cuomo recently suggested that some “low-risk” businesses upstate could be permitted to gradually reopen as early as mid-May. Restrictions for New York City are unlikely to be loosened anytime soon.
“There’s no doubt that we’ve gone at this point through the worst, and as long as we act prudently going forward, the worst should be over,” Cuomo said at a press briefing.
Governor Roy Cooper announced that beginning May 8 at 5pm, most non-essential businesses and retailers will be permitted to reopen, provided they do not exceed 50 percent capacity. The order does not apply to personal services businesses, bars, gyms, and entertainment venues. Restaurants will continue to be prohibited from offering dine-in services but may do take-out and delivery. Childcare centers and summer day camps will be permitted to reopen, and churches will be allowed to hold outdoor services with more than 10 people provided they follow social distancing guidelines.
Governor Doug Burgum never issued a shelter in place order. In late March he ordered the closure of many non-essential businesses, including performance venues, theaters, gyms, salons, massage parlors, tattoo shops, and in-establishment service for restaurants and bars.
Beginning May 1, most of the closed establishments will be permitted to reopen, so long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines and outfit employees in protective equipment. Restaurants and bars must operate at half-capacity, space tables 6 feet from one another, and close dance floors and blackjack tables.
Governor Mike DeWine ordered all Ohio residents to shelter in place beginning March 24. A month later, he authorized some Ohioans to return to work. Beginning April 27, offices, distribution centers, manufacturers and construction companies were permitted to reopen. Consumer and service businesses as well as retail stores can open starting May 12. Large gatherings continue to be barred, and restaurants and bars remain take-out only.
Oklahoma did not issue a formal shelter in place order. Governor Kevin Stitt imposed restrictions on some businesses, most of which are being lifted. Beginning April 24, salons, barbers, and pet groomers were permitted to reopen. Restaurants with in-establishment dining, theaters, houses of worship, gyms, and sporting venues are slated to reopen beginning May 1.
Governor Kate Brown issued a shelter in place order for all residents March 23. Brown updated the order to allow non-urgent medical and dental procedures to resume beginning May 1. Brown also announced a plan to permit some rural counties that have had five Covid-19 cases or fewer to reopen certain businesses starting May 15, so long as they meet seven complicated prerequisites set by the state.
Governor Tom Wolf ordered all Pennsylvania residents to stay at home beginning April 1. Beginning May 8, 24 of Pennylvania’s 67 counties will be permitted to enter the “yellow phase” of reopening, loosening some restrictions on social gatherings and work interactions. In-person retail shopping will be permitted, childcare facilities will be allowed to open, and many types of businesses will be permitted to reopen, excluding personal care services, gyms, restaurants, bars, and entertainment establishments such as theaters and casinos.
Governor Gina Raimondo ordered residents to stay at home on March 28. She recently unveiled a multi-stage plan to reopen the state, beginning May 9. Offices will be allowed a limited number of employees on-site, retail locations will be permitted to open with restrictions, as will childcare facilities.
“I am not going to come here on May 9 and say, ‘Everybody go back to work, everything’s back to normal,’” Raimondo said at a press conference. “That is not going to happen. It’s going to be slow, pinpointed, gradual.”
Governor Henry McMaster ordered all South Carolina residents to shelter in place beginning April 7. After initially extending the order until May 12, McMaster lifted it early on May 4. Beginning that day, restaurants were permitted to reopen outdoor dining areas so long as they follow strict social distancing requirements and state health guidelines.
Governor Kristi Noem has left it to individuals to choose whether to “exercise their right to work, to worship and to play, or to even stay at home.” As of late April, South Dakota residents were free to dine in restaurants, visit Mount Rushmore, and gather in large groups. Some cities and counties restricted the number of customers a business can serve at once.
Smithfield Foods’ Sioux Falls processing plant announced it was closing “indefinitely” after it became one of the nation’s largest coronavirus hotspots, with more than 800 workers falling ill.
Governor Bill Lee ordered all non-essential Tennessee residents to stay at home beginning April 1. Beginning April 27, restaurants across the state were permitted to reopen at half capacity, with retail stores permitted to do the same starting April 29. Personal care services, such as barbers and salons can reopen May 6.
The order does not apply to many of Tennessee’s largest counties, including covering Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville. Those areas will reopen on their own timelines, set by local health departments.
Governor Greg Abbott on March 31 issued state guidelines, effective April 2, which he described as “not a stay at home strategy.” The following day, he reversed course, saying in a video that he had ordered “all Texans to stay at home, except to provide essential services or do essential things.”
The order is set to expire April 30, after which Abbott says many businesses, such as retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and malls, will be permitted to reopen, so long as they maintain limited capacities and adhere to state guidelines. Abbott says that a second wave of openings could come as early as May 18 and would affect salons, barbers, bars, and gyms.
Although officials in Summit, Salt Lake, and Davis counties ordered residents to shelter in place and closed all non-essential businesses, no such order was issued statewide. Governor Gary Herbert suspended in-establishment dining, closed schools, prohibited mass gatherings, and urged residents to stay home, however most non-essential businesses were not ordered to close. Herbert will relax those guidelines beginning May 1.Gov. Gary Herbert✔@GovHerbert ·
Starting Friday, May 1, you will be able to:
– Gather with small groups of friends or family outside your immediate household, as long as everyone participating has been following distancing and hygiene guidelines. #utcovid19Gov. Gary Herbert✔@GovHerbert
-Leave home for nonessential reasons. Try to do so infrequently.
-Interact with groups of 20 or fewer people.
-Dine-in at restaurants that exercise necessary and extreme precautions
-Visit personal care facilities, like gyms and salons, when they exercise extreme precautions.402Twitter Ads info and privacy114 people are talking about this
Governor Phil Scott ordered all Vermont residents to stay home beginning March 25. The restrictions will be somewhat loosened starting May 1, when construction, manufacturing, and distribution services may resume. Outdoor businesses, interior construction of uninhabited structures, and maintenance work may also resume, so long as no more than five workers are present at one location. Farmers’ markets and other outdoor retail spaces can allow in-person shopping with a 10 person capacity.
Governor Ralph Northam ordered all Virginians to shelter in place beginning March 30. The first stage of reopening will begin May 15, provided the state does not see another spike in cases. At that time, restaurants will be permitted to offer limited dine-in services, and barbershops and salons will be allowed to reopen with restrictions.
Governor Jay Inslee ordered all residents of Washington state, site of some of the earliest coronavirus outbreaks in the US, to shelter in place effective March 23. On April 29 Inslee extended the shelter in place order through May 31.
Governor Jim Justice ordered all West Virginia residents to shelter in place beginning March 24. The state was the last in the country to report its first coronavirus case. State officials recently announced a multi-stage reopening plan. Beginning April 30, hospitals may resume elective procedures and other outpatient healthcare facilities, such as dentists’ offices, mental health practices, and physical therapy centers, may resume operations. Beginning May 4, all small businesses with fewer than 10 employees may reopen, as can hair salons, nail salons, pet groomers and other professional services, with restrictions. Restaurants will be permitted to offer outdoor dining.
On March 23, Governor Tony Evers ordered all Wisconsin residents to shelter in place. The order is still in effect, but beginning April 29, nonessential businesses were permitted to do curbside drop-off and pickup of goods and animals, allowing businesses like repair shops, dog groomers, upholstery businesses, among others, to reopen.
Though Governor Mark Gordon did not issue a shelter in place order, he did ask residents to stay at home and closed bars, restaurants, public places, coffee shops, and some personal-service businesses. Effective May 1, gyms, barbershops, hair salons, and other personal services businesses may reopen as long as they follow state guidelines. Gordon also gave county officials permission to apply for additional restrictions to be lifted. Three counties will allow restaurants to resume dine-in services; two others will allow churches to hold services.
Computer Model That Locked Down The World Turns Out To Be Sh*tcode
Submitted by Mark E. Jeftovic, of Axis of Easy
It was an Imperial College computer model that forecasted 500K deaths in the UK (and 2.5 million in the US) should policymakers pursue a “herd immunity” approach (a la Sweden), that influenced them to reverse course and go full lockdown instead. The model was produced by a team headed by Neil Ferguson, (who recently resigned his post advising the UK government when it surfaced that he was himself violating lockdown directives by breaking self-isolation for dalliances with a married woman).
The source code behind the model was to be made available to the public, and after numerous delays and excuses in doing so, has finally been posted to GitHub
A code review has been undertaken by an anonymous ex-Google software engineer here, who tells us the GitHub repository code has been heavily massaged by Microsoft engineers, and others, in an effort to whip the code into shape to safely expose it to the pubic. Alas, they seem to have failed and numerous flaws and bugs from the original software persist in the released version. Requests for the unedited version of the original code behind the model have gone unanswered.
The most worrisome outcome of the review is that the code produces “non-deterministic outputs”
Non-deterministic outputs. Due to bugs, the code can produce very different results given identical inputs. They routinely act as if this is unimportant.
This problem makes the code unusable for scientific purposes, given that a key part of the scientific method is the ability to replicate results. Without replication, the findings might not be real at all – as the field of psychology has been finding out to its cost. Even if their original code was released, it’s apparent that the same numbers as in Report 9 might not come out of it.
The documentation proffers the rationalization that iterations of the model should be run and then differing results averaged together to produce a resultant model. However, any decent piece of software, especially one that is creating a model, should produce the same result if it is fed the same initial data, or “seed”. This code doesn’t.
“The documentation says:
The model is stochastic. Multiple runs with different seeds should be undertaken to see average behaviour.
“Stochastic” is just a scientific-sounding word for “random”. That’s not a problem if the randomness is intentional pseudo-randomness, i.e. the randomness is derived from a starting “seed” which is iterated to produce the random numbers. Such randomness is often used in Monte Carlo techniques. It’s safe because the seed can be recorded and the same (pseudo-)random numbers produced from it in future. Any kid who’s played Minecraft is familiar with pseudo-randomness because Minecraft gives you the seeds it uses to generate the random worlds, so by sharing seeds you can share worlds.
Clearly, the documentation wants us to think that, given a starting seed, the model will always produce the same results.
Investigation reveals the truth: the code produces critically different results, even for identical starting seeds and parameters.
In one instance, a team at the Edinburgh University attempted to modify the code so that they could store the data in tables that would make it more efficient to load and run. Performance issues aside, simply moving or optimizing where the input data comes from should have no effect on the output of processing, given the same input data. What the Edinburgh team found however, was this optimization produced a variation in the output, “the resulting predictions varied by around 80,000 deaths after 80 days” which is nearly 3X the total number of UK deaths to date.
Edinburgh reported the bug to Imperial, who dismissed it as “a small non-determinism” and told them the problem goes away if you run the code on a single CPU (which the reviewer notes “is as far away from supercomputing as one can get”).
Alas, the Edinburgh team found that software still produced different results if it was run on a single CPU. It shouldn’t, provided it is coded properly. Whether the software is run on a single CPU or multi-threaded, the only difference should be the speed at which the output is produced. Given the same input conditions, the outputs should be the same. It isn’t, and Imperial knew this.
Nonetheless, that’s how Imperial use the code: they know it breaks when they try to run it faster. It’s clear from reading the code that in 2014 Imperial tried to make the code use multiple CPUs to speed it up, but never made it work reliably. This sort of programming is known to be difficult and usually requires senior, experienced engineers to get good results. Results that randomly change from run to run are a common consequence of thread-safety bugs. More colloquially, these are known as “Heisenbugs“.
Another team even found that the output varied depending on what type of computer it was run on.
In issue #30, someone reports that the model produces different outputs depending on what kind of computer it’s run on (regardless of the number of CPUs). Again, the explanation is that although this new problem “will just add to the issues” … “This isn’t a problem running the model in full as it is stochastic anyway”.
Because their code is so deeply riddled with similar bugs and they struggled so much to fix them that they got into the habit of simply averaging the results of multiple runs to cover it up… and eventually this behaviour became normalised within the team.
Most of us are familiar with the computing adage, “Garbage In/Garbage Out” and the untrained reader may think that’s what being asserted in this code review. It isn’t. What’s being asserted is that output is garbage, regardless of the input.
In this case, the output we’re experiencing as a result is a worldwide lockdown and shutdown of the global economy, and we don’t really know if this was necessary or not because we have no actual data (aside from Sweden) and severely flawed models.
Read the entire code review here.
Hunted by the Mob, Found by Christ
The gripping memoirs of the founder of HNewsWire. A binge-worthy afternoon read.
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to Determine What the Best Messaging Would Be to Persuade Americans to Take the COVID-19 Vaccine When It Is Ready, Of Course You’ll Have To…Read More
Save Them From the Pestilent… God makes an interesting statement as He is reproving His people through the prophet Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 6:15 God says that although…Read More
It Will Reverse Course and Wreak Havoc Upon the Perpetrators, You Know Who You Are, Take Cover… To Those Politicians and their cohorts, MSM and big…Read More