Alabama and much of the Deep South are seeing a spike in coronavirus cases as some have stopped heeding warnings of the virus, alarming public health officials and people who have lost loved ones because of COVID-19. Over the past two weeks, Alabama had the second highest number of new cases per capita in the nation. South Carolina was fourth. Louisiana and Mississippi were also in the top 10.
“We are extremely concerned about these numbers. We know if they continue, we will see more hospitalizations and more deaths,” Alabama State Health Officer Scott Harris said.
As of Saturday, Alabama had more than 29,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than a quarter of the cases reported in the last two weeks.
The combination of preexisting health conditions and limited health care access in the region, along with pockets of public skepticism about health officials’ advice on the illness, complicate attempts to manage the virus.
Alaska’s unemployment rate improved in May from the month before, but it still remained historically high at 12.6%, even as shoppers and diners slowly returned to businesses following the COVID-19 shutdown.
Beginning Friday, June 19, the City of Scottsdale will require people to wear masks or face coverings while in public, including at grocery stores, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, gyms, hotels, and retail stores.
The new rule goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, part of an emergency proclamation signed Thursday by Mayor Jim Lane, the city said in a news release. It will be in effect until July 20, unless extended, revised, or repealed.
Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday he extended the public health emergency for another 45 days, which includes an executive order that says only the Secretary of Health, in consultation with the governor, has the authority to make restrictions related to COVID-19.
“The Secretary of Health may issue orders of isolation or quarantine as necessary and appropriate to control the spread of COVID-19 in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said. “And the Secretary of Health, in consultation with the governor, shall have sole authority over all instances of quarantine, isolation and restrictions on commerce and travel throughout the state. Cities and counties shall not impose any restrictions of commerce or travel upon citizens that is more restrictive than a directive or guideline that is issued by the Secretary of Health in consultation with the governor.”
The governor said if a city rule is more restrictive than the state rule, then it’s preempted by the state rule. Hutchinson said a city rule cannot be more restrictive.
The City of Oakland announced Friday it is streamlining the permitting process for businesses wanting to apply to use public rights-of-way – sidewalks and parking spaces, in particular – to allow outdoor dining and retail activity under the “Flex Streets” program.
The city will also waive all fees for these permits to allow commercial activity made possible by Alameda County’s updated shelter-in-place order.
On Thursday, Alameda County announced the relaxing of the health officer’s orders that reopening outdoor museums, outdoor restaurant dining, religious services, indoor/outdoor retail and outdoor fitness classes. Indoor and outdoor retail and outdoor dining will be allowed at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing and safety plans are in place.
No further budget cuts are immediately necessary as an economic forecast from the Polis administration shows a series of tax changes approved by Colorado lawmakers generated enough revenue to preserve the state’s slim budget cushion.
Gov. Jared Polis’ office says a new economic forecast shows that tax revenue will allow the state to carry a reserve slightly above the $300 million required for next fiscal year’s $30.3 billion state budget, but warned that Colorado’s finances remain tenuous. If tax revenue drops by half, state law forces the governor to slash spending, which historically takes the form of state employee furloughs or pay cuts.
“The minimal reserve requires very careful management,” said Lauren Larson, the governor’s budget director. “A small reduction in our forecast could require midyear (budget cuts). We will be watching that closely.”
The new numbers provided a glimmer of optimism in an otherwise dismal budget year in which lawmakers spent $1.4 billion in discretionary dollars less than the prior year. The true budget cuts for the 2020-21 fiscal year that begins July 1 were closer to $3 billion when factors such as inflation and growth in demand for services were factored into the equation.
As Connecticut entered Phase 2 of its reopening plan on Wednesday, the state’s coronavirus metrics continued on a downward trend.
COVID-related hospitalizations declined by 15 to 186 currently in the hospital, dropping below 200 total hospitalizations for the first time since March. Connecticut saw a peak number of hospitalizations of 1,972 on April 22.
Delaware officials plan to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government to pay benefits on an avalanche of coronavirus-related unemployment claims and replenish the state’s depleted unemployment insurance trust fund.
Department of Labor officials said Thursday that the trust fund, which had a balance of $165 million before Gov. John Carney shut down businesses in March in an effort to stem the spread of the virus, will be depleted by mid-July.
Officials have submitted an initial request for $196 million to cover payments through August, and are expecting to borrow another $150 million in the fourth quarter.
“As soon as we get that money it goes out the door,” said state Labor Secretary Cerron Cade.
District of Columbia (6.18.2020)
Washington, D.C., is on track to start phase two of reopening on Monday if trends hold, which would relax restrictions affecting many public places and private businesses alike, Mayor Muriel Bowser says.
Restrictions on indoor dining, services at houses of worship, nail salons, playgrounds and more will be loosened under phase two, Bowser said Wednesday. Gatherings of up to 50 people will be permitted.
Florida’s Department of Health on Sunday confirmed 3,494 additional cases of COVID-19, the highest Sunday total since the coronavirus pandemic began. It brings the state’s total case count up to 97,291 cases. There were also 17 new deaths announced, raising the statewide toll to 3,161.
Georgians got a good look this past week at where the dents are in the state budget now that the coronavirus has driven the economy into a ditch.
K-12 schools would account for a big part of the damage — $1 billion worth — under the plan the Senate Appropriations Committee approved to cut $2.6 billion in spending.
State workers would also feel the pain through layoffs and furloughs, while cuts are also penciled in for dozens of programs such as road construction, and treatment for substance abuse and mental illness.
It’s all a long fall since mid-March, when the House approved a $28 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That spending plan, now reduced to scrap paper, sought raises for more than 200,000 teachers and state workers while also mitigating the 6% spending reductions that Gov. Brian Kemp had ordered back then — before the virus blew a hole in state tax collections and set the new goal for cuts at 11%.
Greater testing capacity, thermal screening machines, digital records on tourists.
Those are among the requests state Department of Health leaders want ahead of Hawaii welcoming out-of-state visitors without a mandatory quarantine.
Pre-travel testing has been discussed a lot as a requirement for tourists, but state Epidemiologist Sarah Park said it won’t be enough.
“I’m just trying to make sure that these travelers are somehow able to be tracked by us,” Park told the Senate Special Committee on COVID-19.
The pre-travel testing could be done by a national drug store chain like CVS.
Food trucks at Idaho rest stops will no longer be allowed, according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
The department announced Thursday that it will discontinue the temporary permit needed for food trucks to sell hot meals to travelers at rest stops in Idaho. The final day for the food trucks will be Friday.
The trucks have been set up at rest stops since April, serving hot meals to essential travelers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
All four of Illinois’ health regions are currently on track to move to phase four as early as next week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday.
“All regions seem to be meeting metrics to move to phase four,” the governor said during a press conference.
The state has been in phase three of the “Restore Illinois” plan since late May, and according to current metrics, the earliest phase four of the plan could begin is June 26.
389 new cases reported Friday in Indiana, bringing the total positive case count to 41,746.
Death toll rises to 2,327.
10.6 positive percent rate in Indiana’s COVID testing as of Friday 6/19.
As of 10 a.m. Friday, the Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed 392 additional COVID-19 cases.
25,127 positive cases have been confirmed statewide.
Death toll of 660.
473 of Iowa’s COVID deaths were in patients with other illnesses.
Kansas is under a stay at home order. Governor Kelly banned evictions and foreclosures. KDHE orders travelers, close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases, and those currently being tested to self-quarantine. K-12 school are online for the remainder of the school year.
Governor Andy Beshear said Kentucky is not under a shelter in place order but a healthy at home order. Bars and restaurants are restricted to serving customers via take-out, delivery, and drive through. All daycares, gyms, salons, theaters and other nonessential public spaces are closed. All gatherings are banned. Nursing home visitations are limited. All elective medical procedures are postponed.
Governor Hogan issued a state-wide stay at home order. LDH created an emotional support hotline (1-866-310-7977) help their citizens cope with COVID-19. Healthcare facilities have restricted visitors. All K-12 school are closed, so several parishes are offering breakfast and lunch to students on weekdays. Restaurants and bars are limited to takeout and delivery.
Maine is under a stay at home order. Bars and restaurants are reduced to take-out, drive-through, or delivery. Maine closed all nonessential businesses. Governor Janet Mills stopped all non-essential, out-of-state, work-related travel for State employees, and declared an insurance emergency, requiring private insurance to cover COVID-19 testing costs.
Maryland is under a stay at home order. Governor Hogan closed all nonessential businesses. Schools are closed through the end of April. Only airline passengers may enter Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
More than 50,000 students will return to campus in the fall when Massachusetts State Universities open the system’s nine campuses in September.
“With Phase III of the Governor’s plan for re-opening the Commonwealth expected by mid-August, the universities are working hard to develop plans to offer a blended model of instruction with face-to-face and remote coursework for the fall semester,” the university system said in a statement.
State universities will offer on-campus classes and open residence halls for the fall semester.
“Because the state universities have very few large lecture-style classes and maintain low student-to-faculty ratios, we are confident our campuses will be able to provide students some level of in-classroom instruction,” said Vincent Pedone, executive director of the State Universities Council of Presidents. “We are hearing from our students a demand for the return to in-classroom instruction and a return to their on-campus housing.”
Michigan issued a stay-at-home order. All nonessential businesses are closed. Restaurants and bars have been restricted to delivery and take-out. During the school closure the MDE is providing meals for families. The state’s tax foreclosure deadline was extended.
Minnesota is under a stay at home order. Due to limited testing material, MDH must adjust the testing criteria, prioritizing heath care workers and those in crowed living situations. Governor Tim Walz asked Vice President Mike Pence to increase the amount of COVID-19 tests available to Minnesota. Schools have been closed. Restaurants and bars are take-out or delivery only.
Mississippi is under a shelter in place order. Senior Centers are advised to restrict visitation and postpone group activities. Mississippi closed all schools. All elective medical procedures are postponed.
Governor Parson issued a stay at home order. Only critical visits to nursing homes and assisted living centers are allowed. Local elections have been postponed. All schools are closed.
Montana is under a stay at home order. All K-12 schools are closed. Governor Bullock closed all non-essential public spaces such as gyms, theaters, and casinos. Restaurants and bars and solely take-out or delivery.
Governor Ricketts, limited gatherings to 10 people or less. Restaurants and bars are required to serve through either take-out or delivery. All schools have closed.
Nevada is under a stay at home order. Governor Sisolak ordered closure of all Nevada’s K-12 schools. They will be providing meals to students who rely on school lunch programs. The paid administrative leave for state employees was expanded. Nevada ordered all nonessential businesses, including casinos, to close. Restaurants and bars are limited to serve through takeout or delivery.
New Hampshire (4.14.2020)
New Hampshire is under a stay at home order. New Hampshire bans evictions and foreclosures. All schools have been closed. New Hampshire is currently developing a $50M fund as no-interest, short-term loans, for health care providers and hospitals.
New Jersey (4.14.2020)
Governor Murphy issued a stay at home order. All nonessential businesses are closed. New Jersey set a recommended statewide curfew from 8pm to 5am. Restaurants and bars can only provide service via take-out and delivery. All schools are closed. No elective medical procedures are allowed.
New Mexico (4.14.2020)
Governor Grisham issued a stay at home order. All public spaces will be ordered to close on Thursday. Lodging facilities such as hotels and motels will operate at 50% capacity. $3.25M has been authorized to address COVID-19. Free testing and treatment for COVID-19 has been guaranteed by insurance superintendent. Food establishments will be limited to delivery and take-out.
New York (4.14.2020)
New York issued a stay at home order. All nonessential business must shut down all in-person work by 8pm Sunday (3/22); this excludes transportation, healthcare, financial companies, pharmacies, and media. Everyone must stay at least 6 feet away from each other outside of their homes. All nonessential gatherings are banned. Bars and restaurants can only serve via takeout.
North Carolina (6.21.2020)
Ten percent of coronavirus tests reported by the state on Sunday have came back positive. Also on Sunday, the state reported 1,412 new cases of the virus and did over 14,000 new tests.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations were on a record-high streak for this week — five days in a row the state saw hospitalizations break records — but that streak ended with Sunday’s numbers.
In total, the state is reporting that 52,801 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the state.
On Saturday, 883 people were reported to be hospitalized. On Sunday, that number went down to 845 people, but the number of hospitals reporting on Sunday decreased.
North Dakota (6.19.2020)
The North Dakota Department of Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases and one new death on Friday.
3,226 positive cases, 26 current hospitalizations, 2,840 people recovered, and 76 deaths.
As of Friday, a total of 43,731 (+609) cases were reported in Ohio.
Ohio’s COVID death toll rises to 2,667.
Southwestern Ohio reporting rise in new cases.
6500+ confirmed COVID recoveries in Oklahoma.
OKC sees a case spike during the week’s reporting.
Death toll rises to 188, and there have been 206 new cases, the Oregon Health Authority reported Friday.
6,572 total confirmed cases in Oregon during the pandemic.
Multnomah County begins Phase 1 reopening on Friday 6/19.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health now lists 80,762 people with the coronavirus infection in the state on Friday, June 19.
526 new cases reported in Pennsylvania on Friday.
Death toll nears 6.400 confirmed.
Puerto Rico (4.14.2020)
Puerto Rico closed all nonessential businesses until March 30th. Citizens are allowed out of their homes between 5am to 9pm to purchase basic necessities, medical reasons, or work.
Rhode Island (6.19.2020)
The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced 49 new cases of COVID-19 today. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 16,213.
Death toll rises to 876 in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island is now in Phase 2 of the reopening process.
South Carolina (6.19.2020)
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has announced 1,081 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and 18 more deaths.
This brings the total number of people confirmed to have had COVID-19 since the outbreak began to 22,608. So far, 639 have died.
Health officials report 137 more cases in Horry County on Friday afternoon.
South Dakota (6.19.2020)
There were 49 new positive cases announced on Friday, bringing the state total to 6,158.
5276 confirmed COVID recoveries in South Dakota.
95 patients currently hospitalized with COVID in South Dakota.
Nashville will enter phase 3 of reopening Monday, Mayor John Cooper and health officials announced Thursday as they also confirmed 67 new cases of COVID-19.
Under phase three, bars and other “socially-driven” businesses such as clubs, karaoke bars, transportainment, and live event venues may reopen at half capacity.
Restaurants, salons, and retail stores may operate at full capacity while gyms and attraction sites such as museums, may open to 3/4 capacity.
Large entertainment and sports venues will remain closed.
More than 99,850 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 2,100 people in Texas have died.
More than 63,800 recoveries have also been reported in Texas as of Friday 6/19.
H-E-B will require all customers to wear face masks starting on Monday, June 22.
Utah’s number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 586 from Thursday, with three new reported deaths.
16,425 total confirmed cases, death toll rises to 155.
287,358 tests conducted in Utah so far, 5.7% were positive for COVID-19.
The Vermont Department of Health on Friday reported nine new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases identified to date in the state to 1,144.
Vermont’s COVID death toll rises to 56 on Friday 6/19.
Health Department reports it has tested 55,887 people for the new coronavirus in Vermont.
918 confirmed recoveries in Vermont.
56,793 cases of the coronavirus in Virginia as of June 19.
Virginia death toll rises to 1602.
Virginia on track to enter Phase 3 reopening next Friday.
Decreases in traffic and fewer commuters have likely led to lower air pollution in Washington.
The Washington State Department of Health reported 367 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths Thursday.
Statewide totals have reached 27,192 cases and 1,245 deaths in Thursday’s reporting.
West Virginia (6.19.2020)
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports there have been 146,545 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 2,468 total cases and 88 deaths.
More West Virginia COVID cases linked to Myrtle Beach travel.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases across Wisconsin reached 24,215 on Friday, June 19
Death toll rises to 730 in Wisconsin on Friday.
The confirmed recovery rate in Wisconsin approximated at 77 percent.
124 new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the last week.
927 total confirmed cases in Wyoming.
Death toll rises to 20.