Tattoos, masks, telemedicine, Yellowstone: News from around our 50 states
Montgomery: Whole Nêdz Inc. and ACCESS Inc. will give away COVID-19 supplies to caregivers and other essential workers from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at Saracen Landing. ACCESS, Inc. will also be giving away 100 bags to youth in the community, according to a news release. This event will be drive-through only entering Saracen Landing from Pullen Street to adhere to guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Whole Nêdz is a nonprofit designed to educate the community on situations that can lead to grief and loss. ACCESS is a teen pregnancy prevention agency which has served youth since 1978, according to the release. This event is funded by contributions of the Pine Bluff Community Foundation and local churches. For more information, call Angela Roby at Whole Nêdz at (870) 267-5822 or Annie Jasper at ACCESS t (870) 535-1302..
Palm Springs: Riverside County has been placed on the California Department of Public Health’s “targeted engagement list” – effectively a watch list – because the number of new coronavirus cases over the previous two weeks had spiked, the positive-test rate was up in the past week and the increase in hospitalizations over the past three days exceeded acceptable state guidelines. “We continuously pore over the data and go over potential driving factors with the state,” said Brooke Federico, a Riverside County spokeswoman. “However, everyone must continue to do their part by wearing a face covering, keeping six feet of distance from others and frequently washing their hands to slow the spread of the disease.” Local officials knew this could be coming. The county had been struggling to maintain its numbers since early June, reporting a total of 12,778 cumulative cases on Friday, a 25% increase from 10 days prior. Riverside County has two weeks from the day it was placed on the list – June 17 – to show progress in controlling the transmission of the coronavirus or the state will recommend that the county health department reinstate some stricter stay-at-真人百家家乐官网网站home rules and business closures. If there is still no progress after that, the state can step in and take its own actions within the county. Riverside County already narrowly avoided being placed on the list in early June because of a concerning increase in hospitalizations two days in a row. However, the county was not placed on the list because that number fell back to an acceptable level on the third day. A county does not get placed on the watch list unless it misses a metric three days in a row. That same week, Riverside County allowed partial Stage 3 reopening, which gave the green light for gyms and fitness centers to restart operations on June 12. Nail salons and tattoo parlors got the go-ahead on June 19 – two days after the county was placed on the watch list.
Fort Collins: The Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters program has given free smartphones to 100 children, part of a new virtual mentoring model the organization implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. Using a Virtual Mentoring Toolkit, children and their “Bigs” can undertake joint activities and virtual tours, explore science, math and reading, play games and stay in close touch. “For many of them, a smartphone is their only way of really connecting with their mentors,” said Andy Fleischmann, president and CEO of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters. “In this period of uncertainty and disconnection, keeping the vulnerable kids in our program in contact with their Big Brothers and Sisters – as well as other nurturing people in their lives – is tremendously important.” AT&T donated the new devices, along with two months of free service. Officials hope children will also be able to use them for distance learning during the school year. Between Nutmeg’s three programs (Community-Based, Site-Based and Foster Grandparent Program), it serves about 1,300 children. Brian Kelly, of Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters, said that officials have about 600 matches statewide.
Wilmington: Delaware Park opened its 83rd season of racing on June 17, long delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, and the thoroughbreds galloping around the Stanton oval were a welcome sight. Wagering could be done outside at betting windows or computer terminals, or inside the clubhouse. A total of $2,978,879 was wagered on Delaware Park races that day. When Delaware Park opened two years ago, also on a Wednesday, the handle was $2,087,072. “A lot of people have dealt with change the last three months,” said jockey Trevor McCarthy, “and everybody’s just kind of happy to be back and we’ll do whatever it takes to be back.” The pandemic led to the cancellation of the spring high school sports season. College athletics were halted for good in mid-March. Other First State spring staples, such as Wilmington Blue Rocks minor-league baseball and the NASCAR race at Dover International Speedway, have also been absent.Some youth sports were able to kick off last week, including the Delaware Baseball Group college and high school leagues. But the 10-race card on June 17, which featured the $100,000 Obeah Stakes for fillies and mares 3 years old and up, was a sign of sports normalcy.
District of Columbia
Washington: The District officially moves to Phase 2 of reopening on Monday after seeing 13 days of a sustained decline in coronavirus cases, WUSA-TV reported. Starting Tuesday, residents will be able to enter the DMV to conduct driver’s licenses services, vehicle registrations and knowledge tests by appointment only. All documents that expired on or after March 1 are still valid until mid-September, so there is no need to rush to the DMV, Mayor Muriel Bowser said. To set up an appointment, click here. All playgrounds across the District will also reopen effective Monday. According to the latest data, the District has now been on a long-term downward trend since May 21. The District has also expanded its testing in neighborhoods and has begun offering free walk-up testing at firehouses from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. D.C. Fire and EMS Chief Gregory Dean said the testing outside the firehouses has been going smoothly. The city has 200 contact tracers and wants an additional 100 by June 30, Bowser said.
St. Petersburg: More than 100,000 people in Florida have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, state health officials reported Monday, as public health officials reissued advisories urging social distancing and mask wearing. Some businesses have begun reevaluating their decisions to reopen amid the spike in cases reported by the state health department on its website. More than 3,100 people in Florida have died from COVID-19. Over the weekend, Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered the Health Department to reissue advisories urging Floridians to consider wearing masks to help keep the virus from spreading and to refrain from attending gatherings of more than 50 people. Despite the rise in new infections, the governor has not signaled any intention of retreating from reopening the state. Three months of business closures have left hundreds of thousands of people out of work and disrupted the day-to-day lives of Floridians.
Savannah: Houses of worship should remain closed for services at this time, according to recommendations from the Savannah Faith Task Force. The task force was formed earlier this year by Mayor Van Johnson as part of efforts to include faith leaders in the fight against the spread of COVID-19. Representatives from the task force joined with Johnson last week to release their latest recommendations. Johnson said the task force had three virtual meetings with more thnan 100 local faith leaders attending. “It’s been a difficult time for many of us and a trying time for most of us, but the faith community has come together in ways that I’ve never seen before,” Rabbi Robert Haas of Congregation Mickve Israel said. Following those meetings, which included input from Coastal Health Director Dr. Lawton Davis, the task force is recommending houses of worship remain closed for services until a vaccine is found or there is a “drastic plummet” in the number of cases. If congregations wish to open against the recommendations, the Savannah Faith Task Force said it hopes they recommended protocals by the task force, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayor Johnson Virtual Clergy Discussions. “We talked a good bit about if you open you have to take everyone’s temperature, make sure everyone has masks, the bathrooms are cleaned after every use, make sure there is plenty of hand sanitizer and ensure there is no singing, because if you sing you have to be 30 feet apart,” Haas said. “You have to ensure people are spaced, and if someone starts coughing in the middle of a service, what are you going to do?”
Honolulu: A coalition of Hawaii nonprofit organizations and social service agencies has urged state lawmakers to enact widespread protections for renters in anticipation of a wave of evictions because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The group of more than 50 organizations said it expects evictions to occur after the $600 weekly federal supplement increase to state unemployment payments expires at the end of July, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday. The coalition that includes the Office of Hawaiian Affairs urged the state Legislature to address the predicted rental crisis when lawmakers convene beginning Monday. The organizations called for policies to minimize the threat of mass evictions across the islands – including the extension of a state prohibition on evictions for months after the pandemic ends, a landlord subsidy program, and a tax credit or deduction for landlords based on reductions in rent. The coalition also recommended instituting a mandatory mediation process to settle landlord and tenant disputes and expunging eviction records if the actions were based in part on back rent or late fees accrued during the pandemic. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that close to 20% of Hawaii’s households have been unable to make housing payments or have little or no confidence they can make upcoming rent or mortgage payments.
Boise: Idaho is experiencing a sharp increase in confirmed coronavirus cases, with 544 new cases reported in a five-day span. That brings the state’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to more than 4,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University total. Gov. Brad Little ordered a statewide stay-at-真人百家家乐官网网站home order in late March, and those restrictions have been gradually lifted over the last several weeks. The state is in the fourth and final stage of Little’s reopening plan, with gatherings of more than 50 people allowed. However, the numbers of people becoming infected have climbed as more businesses reopened and more people resumed normal activity levels. One outbreak in the Boise area was tied to young people going to downtown bars as they reopened. Health districts in the Twin Falls region and in eastern Idaho have all seen a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in people under the age of 50, Boise State Public Radio reported. Little has repeatedly said that he would consider renewing some restrictions if cases spike in order to prevent Idaho’s health care system from becoming overwhelmed. But last week he suggested any such decisions could be made on a regional, rather than statewide, basis.
Waukegan: You can’t use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse not to get married anymore – at least not in Lake County. The 19th Judicial Circuit Court suspended marriages and civil unions in March to protect the health of the public but it was scheduled to start officiating weddings and civil unions – virtually – on Monday. The only requirement for the general public is that at least one member of the couple getting married be a Lake County resident. All active-duty members of the military are also eligible. To have a judge officiate at a virtual wedding, couples must call the county clerk’s office to set up an appointment to apply for a marriage license and then visit the clerk of the local circuit court to pay $10 in cash on the day the license is issued. Couples can go to the Remote Court Hearings section of the 19th Judicial Circuit website for wedding instructions. Even though the wedding is virtual, both members of the couple are required to be somewhere in Lake County during the ceremony.
Indianapolis: Indiana doctors have been providing remote care to patients since clinics have closed and government mandated orders have kept people at 真人百家家乐官网网站home during the coronavirus pandemic. The health system is starting to look much different as facilities shift to telemedicine, which allows doctors to meet with patients through video conferencing software, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. Some doctors said it can speed up diagnosis and treatment. IU Health, the state’s largest hospital system, said its doctors have conducted about 80,000 telemedicine visits this year, a 10,000% increase since the pandemic hit the state in March. Other health care facilities have also seen increases in telemedicine. Ascension St. Vincent said it had 109,000 appointments in April and May, up from about 1,000 in March. Community Health Network said it has conducted nearly 90% of its patient visits by video or phone during the shutdown. Dr. William Bennett, who has an office at Riley Hospital for Children, said nearly three-quarters of his patient visits are now conducted by telemedicine.
Iowa City: Amid uncertainty of whether college football games will be played this fall, and how many fans would be allowed to attend, the University of Iowa said Monday it will pause ticket sales at the end of the month. Only fans who have renewed their season ticket orders and paid per-seat contributions by June 30 will be included in any potential Kinnick Stadium seating plans, the university said. By halting ticket orders, the university can take some time to figure out how seating will look at Kinnick before the scheduled Sept. 5 season opener against Northern Iowa. As a result, new sales of the digital season pass, mini-plans and single-games ticket sales will be put on hold. Football tickets typically generate about $23 million a year for the university, roughly 20% of its athletic department budget. If the 2020 season is disrupted, the university said it will provide future credit or ticket refunds.
Topeka: Embattled Kansas Labor Secretary Delia Garcia resigned Monday amid escalating problems with the state’s unemployment insurance caseload and a record number of jobless claims. Gov. Laura Kelly announced she had accepted Garcia’s resignation and appointed the governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Ryan Wright to serve in an acting role until a permanent candidate is nominated. The governor said she would take action to address the volume of claims for unemployment insurance, including bringing in specialists to determine how to improve response times for unemployment insurance and implementing new ways to manage the caseload and mitigate backlogs and errors. On June 10, duplicate payments totaling $7 million were made to more than 4,500 claimants of pandemic unemployment assistance and compensation programs. Without consulting the governor, the Labor Department on Thursday began reversing those duplicate payments, a process known as clawback, that caused some bank accounts to be overdrawn. The state Labor Department is working to identify and reimburse people whose accounts were overdrawn. Some Republican lawmakers last month called for Garcia’s ouster, saying she had mismanaged the agency so badly that thousands of people were denied prompt payment of unemployment benefits. But the governor steadfastly defended Garcia, noting the state unexpectedly went from record low to record high unemployment rates when the economy shut down to slow spread of the novel coronavirus. The state’s 40-year-old computer system was unable to keep up with the claims.
Louisville: The city will benefit from an Accelerator for America grant to help people who have taken financial blows during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Greg Fischer’s office said. The $50,000 grant will add to the assistance provided through the One Louisville COVID-19 Response Fund, which provides financial relief to eligible people. “One of the many inspiring actions we’ve witnessed during the pandemic is the support and compassion for neighbors in need,” Fischer said in a statement. “This grant from Accelerator for America will provide an additional boost to get much needed support into the hands of residents seeking rental, utility or food assistance.” Louisville is one of 10 communities to receive the grant. The others are Atlanta; Connecticut; Rhode Island; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Dayton, Ohio; Birmingham, Alabama; Oklahoma City; Salt Lake City; and Austin, Texas. Accelerator for America was founded in 2017, according to its website, and “finds and develops solutions to economic insecurity and shares them with cities to create national change from the ground up.”
Baton Rouge: State health regulators have tied at least 100 cases of the new coronavirus to bars near Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and report a new cluster of the illness in the Orleans Parish area. The state Department of Public Health said Friday that bars in an area near the campus called Tigerland are believed to be a major contributor to the outbreak. Anyone who visited bars in that area recently should consider themselves exposed and should self-quarantine for 14 days. People should monitor for symptoms including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea and diarrhea, the health department said. At least three bars – JL’s Place, Reggie’s and Fred’s – have employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, the businesses’ owners told WAFB-TV. Louisiana Department of Health spokeswoman Mindy Faciane confirmed an outbreak investigation is underway involving JL’s Place and Reggie’s Bar. Meanwhile, the owner of Fred’s confirms two of his employees have tested positive for the virus. He said each is recovering at 真人百家家乐官网网站home. In New Orleans, health officials are investigating a new cluster of COVID-19 that is likely linked to a high school graduation party. Health care professionals said they have seen an increase in positive cases at New Orleans mobile testing sites, indicating a possible increase in community spread. Statewide, numbers are rising too. As of Saturday, the state reported 49,385 cases of the disease with almost 3,000 deaths.
Houlton: Four ambulance crew members and at least two others in the Houlton area tested positive for the novel coronavirus after having contact with a person who exhibited no symptoms, the Maine Center for Disease Control said. Two separate ambulance crews transported the patient first to a hospital in Houlton and then to a hospital in Bangor, the Maine CDC said. The patient tested positive during a routine screening before undergoing surgery at Northern Lights Eastern Maine Medical Center. All four Houlton Ambulance Service crew members tested positive for the virus, as did two others who were close in contact with the crew members or the patient, the Maine CDC said Sunday. In Fort Fairfield, about 50 miles away, the police chief announced Sunday that five members of the town’s fire department and one police officer might have been exposed to the virus during a training exercise It’s unknown if it was related to the Houlton case.
Annapolis: More than 200 Maryland companies and nonprofits have supported their communities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Larry Hogan said Monday. Companies have helped in ways from sewing face masks, manufacturing personal protective equipment and delivering meals to front-line workers. The businesses include technology firms, local boutiques, restaurants, hotels and biotechnology companies. At least 35 breweries, distilleries, wineries and vineyards have produced hand sanitizer or donated to COVID-19 relief funds, the governor’s office said. More than 20 biotechnology and health care companies are contributing to the global effort to develop tests, vaccines, and treatments.
Boston: Restaurants were allowed to start offering indoor dining again, and close-contact businesses including nail salons, tattoo parlors and personal trainers could reopen Monday under the latest phase of Massachusetts’s coronavirus pandemic economic recovery plan. In addition, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation ity was cranking up service again, allowing more people to return to their offices, which are limited to 50% capacity under Gov. Charlie Baker’s reopening plan. Restaurants opening their indoor dining areas must space tables at least 6 feet apart, but bars, unattended buffets and self-serve drink stations will remain closed for now. Parties are limited to a maximum of six people. Workers are required to wear face coverings and must wash or sanitize their hands between table visits. Employees of close-contact businesses as well as their customers are also required to wear masks, and frequently touched surfaces must be cleaned regularly. Personal trainers can see clients by appointment only, and only one person at a time, or two if they are from the same household. After boosting subway and bus service Sunday, the MBTA also increased commuter rail and ferry service Monday. Face coverings will be required on buses, trains and ferries.
Ann Arbor: The fall term at the University of Michigan will open Aug. 31 with a mix of remote learning and in-person classes at the Ann Arbor campus, the school said Monday in its latest response to the coronavirus pandemic. Residence halls will be open, but there will be an emphasis on boxed meals and fewer people in dining rooms. The pandemic has been “substantially contained” in Michigan and other parts of the U.S., although the potential for new infections will continue until a vaccine or drug regimen is developed, said university President Mark Schlissel, who is also a medical doctor. Large classes will be held online, small classes will meet in-person and other classes will be a mix of both. “Some students will choose or need to take all their classes remotely, and we’ll provide a robust set of fully remote classes that will enable most students to make that choice,” Schlissel said. There will be no in-person classes after Thanksgiving. Instruction and final exams from Nov. 30 to Dec. 18 will be conducted remotely. The winter term will start on Jan. 19.
St. Cloud: Four more Minnesotans died of COVID-19, according to the Monday report from the Department of Health. That is the lowest daily total since April 13, when the daily count was zero and the total death count was 70.The state reported 308 new cases Monday, including three in Stearns County, one in Sherburne and one in Benton County. That makes 2,137 cases in Stearns, 276 in Sherburne and 202 in Benton. There re no new deaths from COVID-19 reported in those three counties. The number of people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus reached 33,227 in the state on Monday, and 1,384 people have died, according to the MDH. And 29,065 coronavirus patients no longer need isolation. As of Monday 156 COVID-19 patients in the state were in intensive care and 176 others were hospitalized.
Jackson: Ashlee Smith, chief executive officer of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, said the conservation organization will not hold its traditional Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza because of COVID-19 response guidelines requiring events at convention centers to be limited to 25% of capacity with seating requirements. The event was scheduled for July 24-26. “These guidelines, coupled with the events of the 2019 boycott, have led us to the difficult decision that we need to take a ‘timeout’ from our traditional extravaganza format,” Smith said. “We do plan to host some historic components of the extravaganza live in an outside setting, if the CDC guidelines on COVID allow.” The cause of the boycott was the organization’s one-time position against the Yazoo Backwater Pumps, which were a part of a federal plan to alleviate flooding in the south Delta. But it drew severe backlash from the public following months of flooding in the Delta that displaced families, killed wildlife, destroyed 真人百家家乐官网网站homes and prevented farming in 2019. Attendance at the 2019 event dropped significantly. The federation has since stated it will support the pumps if new data shows wetlands won’t be harmed by them.
O’Fallon: A rural area of Missouri’s far southwestern corner is seeing a big spike in coronavirus cases, driving a record increase in cases in the state. Missouri reported 389 new cases on Saturday, but that was topped by the 413 new cases reported Sunday – the highest one-day total since the pandemic began. More than half of those new cases came from one county. The McDonald County Health Department announced 235 new cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, bringing its total to 473. Although the county has just 23,000 residents, only six counties and the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City have confirmed more cases in Missouri. McDonald County Health Department Director Paige Behm said the big increase is the result, in part, of testing at two poultry plants, one operated by Tyson Foods in Noel and the other operated by Simmons Foods in Southwest City. But Behm said the cases extend beyond workers at the plants. “It’s people from all over the community,” she said. “I wouldn’t say it’s all Tyson or all Simmons.” Behm said the big increase is “very concerning, but I think it’s important that we’ve done a lot of testing to identify, isolate and contact trace so we can kind of see what’s going on in the community. But it’s more widespread than we realized.” Missouri’s health director, Randall Williams, said last week that all 1,400 workers at the Tyson plant were being testing. The state has not released the results of those tests. An email message left with a Simmons spokesman was not immediately returned. McDonald County sits at the border of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Although the number of positive tests has risen dramatically, few people are requiring hospitalization. Mercy Hospital Joplin, the largest hospital in the region, has just seven patients with COVID-19, spokesman Jordan Larimore said.
Bozeman: Tourist spending in and around Yellowstone National Park supported about 7,000 jobs in 2019, according to a National Park Service report released last week. The roughly 4 million people who visited the world’s first national park in 2019 spent $507 million dollars in towns within 60 miles of the park. That doesn’t include Bozeman, which is about 80 miles from Yellowstone’s border, but does include gateway cities West Yellowstone and Gardiner. “The positive economic impacts of Yellowstone are essential to the economies of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho,” said Cam Sholly, Yellowstone superintendent, in the release. “It is important that we continue working with our state and local partners to balance the many benefits of tourism with our continued efforts to protect the world-class resources within the park.” Yellowstone was closed on March 24 for seven weeks this spring to curb the spread of COVID-19. Its Wyoming entrances opened in mid-May and Montana entrances opened June 1. The closure at the beginning of the summer season hurt gateway businesses, but traffic at the park has been steady since its reopening.
Omaha: Nebraska confirmed another 103 coronavirus cases Sunday but no new deaths, according to state health officials. The new cases brings the total known number to 17,810 in the state since the pandemic began. Officials have confirmed 244 virus-related deaths.
Reno: The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles said it temporarily suspended driving tests because of concerns over spreading the novel coronavirus. The announcement that all noncommercial skills tests are suspended came after an examiner at the West Flamingo office in Las Vegas tested positive for the virus. The examiner did not report for work on Wednesday after feeling ill and subsequently tested positive for the virus, the DMV said. On June 15 and June 16, the DMV said, the examiner conducted tests while wearing personal protective equipment that included a face shield, mask, gloves and gown. “We’re taking this brief pause to reevaluate our protocols. Even though our examiners have been wearing personal protective equipment, the driver and the examiner sit in close proximity during a test. We must continue to put the safety of the public and our employees first,” DMV Director Julie Butler said. Driving tests were expected to resume Monday with the added precaution that drivers will also be required to wear a mask. Before the suspension, masks were recommended for drivers but not required, the DMV said. Appointment services were also expected to resume Monday at DMV offices in Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City and Henderson.
Concord: The state capital is seeing more use of fireworks by private residents than typical, as the coronavirus pandemic has canceled dozens of planned celebrations. New Hampshire had more than 100 fireworks shows last year and about a third that many are scheduled this year, the Concord Monitor reported. Most of those have happened already. The city of Concord is seeing more complaints about fireworks use this year, Police Chief Brad Osgood said. Purchasing fireworks is relatively easy in New Hampshire. Osgood said exercising safety is important.
Trenton: Salons, barber shops, and massage and tattoo parlors in New Jersey reopened Monday from their COVID-19 pause. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy also announced on Monday that Atlantic City’s casinos would be cleared to reopen on July 2 at 25% capacity. The governor also said that indoor dining would resume the same day, also at 25% capacity. Those are the latest businesses ized to reopen since the outbreak hit the state in early March. Murphy’s executive order requires that masks be worn inside these businesses and for service to be by appointment only. Murphy has moved the state into Stage 2 of three. He has not said when the third stage would begin.
Albuquerque: New Mexico’s largest airport has enlisted a robot to help with cleaning in the age of the coronavirus pandemic. KOAT-TV reported that Albuquerque International Sunport is employing an autonomous robot to sanitize spaces in the airport. Airport officials said the robot, dubbed Breezy One, will be employed every night. The device came from Build with Robotics and Fetch Robotics. Fetch Robotics officials said it decontaminates spaces of mover than 100,000 square feet in under two hours. The robot uses a disinfectant developed at Sandia National Labs.
Albany: New York could team with New Jersey and Connecticut to require travelers from states with high COVID-19 transmission rates to isolate upon their arrival, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Cuomo last week threatened to impose a mandatory quarantine order on travelers from Florida, which is seeing thousands of newly confirmed coronavirus cases each day as New York continues to see declines in hospitalizations and deaths. The Democratic governor offered more detail Monday, saying he has been in discussion with his neighboring states about issuing travel guidance that would mandate a quarantine when someone arrives from any state with a high COVID-19 transmission rate – not just Florida. "I would consider states with the highest transmission rate, that if somebody comes from that state to New York, then there’s a period of quarantine where they quarantine themselves to make sure they’re not spreading," Cuomo said Monday on CNN. Cuomo's comments come three months after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis imposed a similar order on travelers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, mandating they quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in Florida.
Marshall: The Madison County Health Department has scheduled another free drive-thru testing event open to all, regardless of their 真人百家家乐官网网站home county or whether they show symptoms, for Wednesday on Blannahassett Island in Marshall from 3 p.m. 5 p.m. Although County Health Director Tammy Cody anticipated the Marshall event would be the county’s busiest yet, she said health department staff would be ready. “We’ve streamlined consent forms and figured out little things after each testing event to have things move smoothly,” she said.
Bismarck: Field hospitals set up in North Dakota in preparation for a spike in coronavirus cases have been disassembled. Hundreds of cots and medical supplies were put in place at the University of Mary Fieldhouse in Bismarck and at the Fargodome early this spring in case regular hospitals weren’t able to handle all the coronavirus cases. About two dozen people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in North Dakota, well below the state’s hospital bed capacity. The Bismarck Tribune reported state officials said the cots are in storage and could be reassembled in as little as 48 hours, if needed. State health officials on Monday confirmed 25 new cases of the coronavirus, including seven in Sioux County and five in Cass County. A total of 284 cases are active, down 17 from the previous day. No new deaths were reported.
Columbus: The state continued Monday to defend its right to impose normal signature requirements on ballot issue campaigns amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s attorneys argued that a lower court judge who had temporarily relaxed the rules effectively “rewrote Ohio’s Constitution and Revised Code.” The state also argued that changing signature-gathering rules now would lead to “last-minute confusion” and the possible wrongful passage of issues this fall. U.S. District Court Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. set up the more flexible rules in a May 19 decision. They would have allowed campaigns promoting minimum wage, voting rights and marijuana issues to collect signatures electronically. Sargus had also extended the deadline for submitting signatures by about a month, to July 31. The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked those less restrictive rules from kicking in. Justices have been asked to decide whether failing to accommodate ballot campaigns during the time of COVID-19 violates their constitutional right to access Ohio’s ballot. A decision by the justices will no longer help what was the most high-profile of Ohio’s fall ballot campaigns. Ohioans for Safe and Secure Elections, which advanced election-law changes aiming to make voting easier, suspended its campaign last week as its protracted fight to proceed with the effort neared the June 30 filing deadline. Other parties to the case are Ohioans for Raising the Wage, which seeks a statewide vote to raise the state minimum wage from $8.70 to $13 over five years, and backers of placing marijuana decriminalization measures on more than a dozen town and village ballots across the state.
Oklahoma City: A day after President Donald Trump held a campaign rally at an indoor arena in the city of Tulsa, the Oklahoma State Department of Health urged anyone who has recently attended a large-scale event to be tested for the novel coronavirus. The department did not specify any event in its news release sent late Sunday. Nearly 6,200 people attended Trump’s rally at Tulsa’s BOK Center on Saturday night. The campaign did not require attendees to wear face masks to guard against the spread of the virus. And just hours before the rally began, the campaign announced that six staffers had tested positive. The state health department recommends that people take a test before and after attending such events and encourages participants to wear face masks and practice social distancing. The Trump campaign handed out masks to attendees as they arrived, but the majority did not wear one, including the president.
Salem: Marion County moved into Phase 2 of reopening on Friday; but on Monday, it had its highest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic hit in March. The county reported 51 new cases on Monday, setting a record for highest number of new cases and topping the previous high of 37 on May 9. According to Marion County data, the 51 cases came from the 540 tests results returned Sunday, a positive test rate of 9%. The county has had 1,352 total cases and 35 deaths, including one new death announced Monday. A 90-year-old woman in Marion County tested positive on June 18 and died later. Her exact date of death has not yet been made available. The state continued to report high numbers of new cases in the past few days as more counties across the state reopened, with 206 on Friday, 178 on Saturday and 190 on Sunday. Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron said a message he received indicated that many of the positive tests were linked to a long-term care facility and the former NORPAC facility on Madrona Ave. in Salem. That facility, which is now owned by Lineage Logistics, was the source of an outbreak between June 5 and June 8 when 11 people tested positive for the virus, according to the Oregon Health ity. And the message he received indicated more positive test results are anticipated in the coming days.
Chester: Delaware County residents 18 years old or over can get a free coronavirus test outside of City Hall from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Those who have health insurance are asked to bring their insurance card. People seeking a test are asked to wear a mask and can drive through or walk up to the testing site.
Providence: State Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson, D-Warwick, has introduced legislation that would make Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings essential and allow them to be held in person during the coronavirus pandemic and other declared emergencies. “The services provided by Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are not only essential, they are necessary for the public health,” Vella-Wilkinson said in a statement Monday. “During the pandemic, AA meetings were designated as a social gathering rather than an essential service, while liquor stores were considered essential and permitted to remain open.” Vella-Wilkinson noted that many people are court-ordered to attend AA meetings. “To consider this service as nonessential when the results can be devastating is not only absurd, it’s reckless,” she said. The bill would also mandate that adequate measures be made to provide the services safely.
Columbia: An organizer of protests against racial injustice in South Carolina is urging people who participated in recent events to get tested for the new coronavirus. The call from Lawrence Nathaniel of the group I Can’t Breathe SC comes after several group leaders and attendees tested positive, South Carolina news outlets reported. Nathaniel posted a Facebook video Saturday about the danger of COVID-19 to those protesting in the state. Nathaniel said four of his group’s leaders, three photographers and six protesters recently tested positive for the virus. He said testing is vital in light of the state’s recent surge in coronavirus cases. Nathaniel said his group will cancel protests until they’re able to work out a safe way of assembling. Other protesters should be careful about joining protests until they’re sure they’re not spreading the virus, he said. Events canceled include a Sunday art project on Main Street in Columbia called Chalk the Streets, The State reported. Nathaniel said 12 of the artists scheduled to work on specific portions of the project backed out last Sunday morning, including two who contacted him at 2 a.m. to inform him they tested positive for COVID-19. Nathaniel told The Post and Courier Gov. Henry McMaster should “do everything in order to keep the citizens here safe.” For him, the Post and Courier reported, that means a return to a statewide lockdown.
Sioux Falls: Gov. Kristi Noem said she will be sending $200 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to city and county governments, but warned the economic impact of the pandemic could last for years. The Republican governor visited the state’s largest city, Sioux Falls, to explain that cities and counties will be able to access the funds based on their population. That means Sioux Falls city leaders can get up to $41.5 million reimbursed for what they spend on addressing the coronavirus. The state has received $1.25 billion from the federal government as part of a relief package for the pandemic, part of which the governor is still hoping can be used to make up losses in tax revenue from the economic downturn. Noem said she was concerned businesses and tax revenue could be hurt in the long-term by the pandemic, especially after federal relief sent to businesses and individuals dries up. “We’re going to start to see the real impact of this virus in the coming days, and we could feel it for up to one to two years,” Noem said. She has said that the state budget that will end on June 30 looks to be in good shape, but that a special legislative session might be called in August to reshape the state’s budget for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. The governor will be touring the state this week, visiting some of the larger cities to dole out the funds. Her visits come amid what Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken called an “appetite, at least in Sioux Falls, for us to get the cash registers ringing again.”
Nashville: The city entered another phase of reopening Monday amid a rise in the trend of new COVID-19 cases, but officials said the city will stay in the phase for at least a month. The move comes as Tennessee collectively has seen its new cases of COVID-19 trend upward. The state on Friday reported its biggest single-day increase in positive cases since the pandemic began in March. Nashville’s third phase notably allows event spaces and small music venues to operate at half-capacity, or up to 250 attendees, while bars can open at half-capacity. The remaining closed metro parks and facilities, including playgrounds and basketball courts, can reopen, and camps can operate at full capacity with social distancing. Schools can also open with restrictions. In moving forward, Mayor John Cooper cited Nashville’s testing capacity, contract tracing levels and adequate hospital beds. The phases originally were meant to last two weeks each, though the second phase lasted a month.
Austin: Although calling the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations “unacceptable,” Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday said he has no plans to shut down the state again. “We must find ways to return to our daily routines as well as finding ways to coexist with COVID-19,” Abbott said in a news conference. “Closing down Texas again will always be the last option.” His remarks come a day after Texas set its 10th consecutive record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, with state health officials reporting 3,409 patients in Texas hospitals Sunday. The percentage of tests that come back positive has also continued to increase. The state’s seven-day rolling average rate of positive cases reached 8.8% over the weekend. The rolling rate is calculated by taking a week’s worth of new COVID-19 cases and dividing it by the total tests performed in those seven days. Public health experts said that ideally that number should stay below 6%. “To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas,” Abbott said, adding the state can do a number of things to slow down increases in certain parts of the state. “It must be corralled.” It was a change in tone for Abbott, who up until his Monday news conference, had insisted that much of the state’s COVID-19 case increases came from batches of additional reporting in certain areas. Although noting that hospitalizations have more than doubled since Memorial Day, Abbott still insisted that Texas hospitals can continue to manage the current rise in cases. “If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers over the next month, that would mean we are in an urgent situation,” which would require new restrictions for the state, Abbott said.
St. George: A letter from Washington County School District Superintendent Larry Bergeson is causing some local parents to consider whether they would rather send their children to school in the fall wearing masks or keep them 真人百家家乐官网网站home for online instruction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends wearing face cloth coverings in public settings to help slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Additionally, state epidemiologist Angela Dunn said at a recent media event that in situations like buses, masks are beneficial. Dunn said it will be up to local education agencies whether wearing a mask will be mandated. "Wearing masks is a simple safety measure than can protect our neighbors," said parent Brandon Bonewell, who's planning on sending his children to school if masks are required. "We all know that kids aren't great at covering their coughs or keeping their fingers out of their noses. A mask will automatically cover that cough and block that finger. ... It's a small inconvenience that may save a few lives." St. George resident Rebecca Bushnell said she "absolutely (does) not support children going back to school wearing masks. ... Watching people wear masks has been a bit of a joke with them either wearing them inappropriately or (constantly) adjusting, which causes cross contamination." If masks are required to return to school, her children will be learning online, she said.
Montpelier: The Legislature hopes to give final approval this week to a state budget for the first quarter of the fiscal year that begins July 1. Lawmakers are also wrapping up legislation to allocate about $1 billion in federal money designed to help the state respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said Monday. The plan is for lawmakers to return in August when they will have more information about state revenue and potential federal assistance to pass a budget for the rest of the fiscal year that runs through June 30, 2021, she said Monday. “There is no way we could pass a straight-faced budget right now,” said Johnson, a Democrat. “We just don’t have enough information.” The pandemic prompted the federal government to delay this year’s tax deadline until next month, which means Vermont won’t have a clear revenue picture until after taxes are filed. Johnson said they hoped that by August there will be more information about about what, if any, additional federal assistance might be available to help states make up losses caused by the pandemic. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are wrapping up legislation to allocate almost $1 billion of the $1.25 billion Vermont has received from the federal CARES Act, which is helping states respond to the pandemic. Under the terms of the CARES Act, states must spend the money by the end of the year on coronavirus-related projects that will have immediate benefit. It is separate from the regular state budget. Republican Gov. Phil Scott has criticized the Legislature for not moving faster to disperse the CARES Act funds.
Manassas: Federal workers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be going door to door in two northern Virginia cities to conduct a survey of needs related to the coronavirus pandemic. Manassas and Manassas Park have large Hispanic populations and on a per-capita basis have been some of the hardest-hit jurisdictions in the country with COVID-19 cases. CDC workers were expected to start going door-to-door Monday in the area with a 30-question survey conducted in Spanish. The city of Manassas said the survey will collect information designed to help local health officials understand what resources are needed in the community. The survey is voluntary and will not collect information that can be used to identify individuals.
Seattle: A Seattle hospital said four staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 work in or near the facility’s operating rooms. A spokesperson for Virginia Mason Medical Center confirmed the positive tests occurred within the last week, The Seattle Times reported Sunday. After three employees tested positive for the virus, surveillance testing of more than 650 other staff members discovered one additional employee had developed COVID-19. Media-relations Manager Gale Robinette said in a statement that each staff member who tested positive has been treated and will remain at 真人百家家乐官网网站home for at least two weeks in accordance with guidelines issued by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. “We have not identified any risk of exposure to patients, as these team members were always wearing appropriate personal protective equipment while in their presence,” Robinette said. Robinette did not respond to questions concerning the number of patients those staff members came in contact with or whether the patients would be notified and tested.
Charleston: A coronavirus outbreak linked to a church in southern West Virginia has grown to at least 41 cases, officials said Monday. The caseload connected to the Graystone Baptist Church in Lewisburg increased after several tests came back positive over the weekend, Greenbrier County health officials said in a statement. The state has seen multiple outbreaks this month connected to church services and tourism travel to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Health officials are urging residents to wear face masks and follow safety precautions. Preston County has reported at least 26 cases stemming from trips to Myrtle Beach. Cabell and Kanawha counties have also reported spikes after residents traveled to the popular beach getaway. Republican Gov. Jim Justice has framed reopening as a process of managing risk and said the state can react to virus flare-ups as they emerge. He has lifted most virus restrictions. Sporting events with spectators resumed Monday and fairs can begin again on July 1, under the governor’s reopening plan.
Madison: Reopening guidelines for Wisconsin schools released Monday make clear that big changes are in store if and when in-person classes resume. That includes teachers, staff and students wearing masks, classes with no more than 10 students at a time and schedules where buildings are open as few as two days a week, with the bulk of instruction continuing online only. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s 87-page guidance document, dubbed “Education Forward,” is not a mandate for Wisconsin’s 421 public school districts, 26 independent charter schools and 792 private schools. But it does provide a framework for schools to use as they plan for what instruction, both in the classroom and online, will look like in the fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The next school year will be likely be different from the learning environment students and teachers have grown accustomed to,” state Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said in a statement. Flexibility will be key given that a vaccine for COVID-19 likely won’t be in broad circulation for 12 to 18 months, the recommendations said. The education department stressed that the guidance, the first comprehensive set of recommendations for reopening in the fall, will be ever-evolving as more is known. When schools reopen, it is likely that students and staff will be screened for symptoms; social distancing will be in effect in all settings; and there will be isolation and the timely removal of students and staff who are displaying symptoms, the guidelines said.
Casper: Two people in Uinta County are in intensive care after contracting COVID-19 amid a coronavirus outbreak that continues to grow, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. The southwest Wyoming county recorded 17 new cases over the weekend, all but one of which came from the Evanston area, according to an announcement from Uinta County Public Health. That brings the county's total to 118. Three people have been hospitalized, two of which are still being treated. Both of those patients – one is over 60, the other is younger – are in intensive care.