Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/30

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 3/30

FL: Florida will stop New York drivers at border

tampabay.com

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the creation of an Interstate 95 checkpoint on Florida’s northern border to screen motorists traveling from the New York City area. A similar checkpoint was already ordered in northwest Florida to monitor travelers from Louisiana.

TX: Texas adds Louisiana road travelers to quarantine

statesman.com 

Significantly expanding a mandatory quarantine order for travelers from coronavirus hot spots, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott required those leaving Louisiana by road to enter quarantine for 14 days while in Texas. Abbott also expanded air travel quarantines to include travelers from Miami, Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, California and Washington state. 

OK: Oklahoma governor orders travelers from 6 states to self-quarantine

tulsaworld.com

Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered travelers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Louisiana or Washington to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. He also required delivery personnel to submit to screenings upon request before entering hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and day cares.

DE: Delaware governor orders quarantine for travelers from out-of-state 

wdel.com

The order from Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, also applies to anyone who has entered the state (including in-state residents) in the past 14 days, unless their out-of-state travel included essential work or taking care of family members and other limited purposes. The order does not apply to public health, public safety or healthcare workers. 

US: Navajo Nation sets curfew

azcentral.com

Navajo Nation officials set a curfew for residents as the number of identified positive COVID-19 cases in the Navajo Nation, which spans several states, rose to 115 with two confirmed deaths.

AZ: Arizona governor signs bill giving schools added flexibility

apnews.com

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed legislation that will give the state’s K-12 schools added flexibility to deal with shutdowns caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The measure relaxes rules requiring a minimum number of school days and mandatory testing, as well as waiving other requirements. 

WA: Coronavirus slowdown in Seattle suggests restrictions are working

nytimes.com 

Officials in Washington state worry that their gains are precarious, but they see evidence that containment strategies have lowered the rate of virus transmission. 

PA: Governor's administration lays off 2K Pennsylvania employees

spotlightpa.org

The affected workers, which include temporary clerical staff and employees who help out in departments across Pennsylvania state government during busy periods, were placed on “leave without pay.” There is currently no timeline to recall them back to work, according to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s Office of Administration.

LA: Louisiana has only 1.6% of ventilators requested for coronavirus patients. What's next? Sharing vents.

theadvocate.com

As Louisiana faces an acute shortage of ventilators to treat coronavirus patients, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards took to the morning news shows to warn the state could resort to retrofitting breathing devices into makeshift ventilators and even putting two patients to one machine to try to stretch the state’s supply.

MO: Missouri hospitals ration protective gear for health care workers

stltoday.com

Nurses and other frontline medical workers at several Missouri medical centers say leaders are asking some staff to reuse masks, are putting limits on sanitation materials and are setting new policies on how protective gear can be used.

LA: Louisiana nurses face stark choices between personal protection, patient care

nola.com

For Louisiana nurses on the front lines of a coronavirus outbreak that ranks among the biggest in the nation, the most perilous moment of a shift can come when a patient “codes,” or starts to lose a heartbeat. 

NY: New York governor offers grim assessment

nytimes.com

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported that 237 people had died in 24 hours, the largest one-day increase since the outbreak began. The number of confirmed cases jumped by 7,200 in one day to 59,513, more than half of them in New York City.

MD: Maryland governor warns state will be ‘looking more like New York’ around Easter

baltimoresun.com

Maryland likely will continue to see a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases through Easter, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said, indicating that residents can expect social distancing measures to remain in place through next month.

ME: How the pandemic has changed homesteaders in Maine

bangordailynews.com

Maine homesteaders have built their lives around self-sufficiency, with stockpiles of food and a habit of inadvertently practicing social distancing by dint of their lifestyle. They felt mostly prepared for the pandemic. Still, even homesteaders are not immune to the changing world.

HI: Hawaii reports most COVID-19 cases in single day

civilbeat.org

In the largest increase of cases in a single day, Hawaii health officials reported 29 new cases of the coronavirus. That brings the state’s total number of cases to 151. 

KY: Swapping bourbon for hand sanitizer, more Kentucky distilleries join fight

kentucky.com 

More Kentucky distillers are jumping in on the effort to produce hand sanitizer, which has been in short supply. The government aid package waived the excise tax on alcohol being used for sanitizer, which may have spurred some new distilleries to join the endeavor.

MA: Air pollution declines in Massachusetts

bostonglobe.com 

Pollution — in a remarkably short time — has abated in Massachusetts. In the past few weeks, satellite measurements have found that emissions from cars, trucks, and airplanes have declined in metropolitan Boston by about 30 percent, while overall carbon emissions have fallen by an estimated 15 percent. 

CO: Colorado Republicans denounce governor’s stay-at-home order

denverpost.com

A majority of Colorado Senate Republicans sent Democratic Gov. Jared Polis a letter denouncing his decision to enact a stay-at-home order. The lawmakers said they were disappointed that Polis did not engage them in the decision and asserted that the governor did not present facts to back his decision. 

GA: Georgia governor's advisers warn of ‘overreach’ from local officials

ajc.com

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, has publicly given his blessing to mayors and county officials to go beyond the restrictions he’s instituted. Several of his top advisers, however, warn that some local governments have gone too far with measures to combat the disease. 

NH: New Hampshire retail shops permitted to keep selling goods by curbside or delivery

unionleader.com

Stores across New Hampshire can continue to do business curbside or by delivery under Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s stay-at-home order.

TN: Tennessee inmates make protective masks, gowns for health care workers

tennessean.com

As Tennesseans self-isolate, a subset of residents, those already socially distanced from the rest of the world, are involved in the efforts to help health care workers stay safe.

NY: New York to release 1K parole violators

timesunion.com

The parolees, including 600 in New York City jails, will be returned to supervised release, according to people briefed about New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision's order.

MS: Sidelined by pandemic, prisoners forced to work off debts get offer of help from state public defender

mississippitoday.org

The Mississippi state public defender’s office has offered to coordinate a release effort for restitution center inmates who can no longer work to pay off court-ordered debts.

WI: Wisconsin governor moves forward with equipment purchases, calls on GOP lawmakers for $700M in funding

madison.com

After a lack of legislative action from the GOP-led Wisconsin legislature, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said his administration plans to purchase 10,000 ventilators and 1 million protective face masks.

MN: ‘It’s a start’: Minnesota bill aims to help child care providers

minnpost.com

Under the aid package passed by the Minnesota legislature, child care providers can apply for a $4,500 monthly grant, with larger centers eligible for an additional monthly grant of up to $15,500, based on capacity.

NJ: New Jersey governor sets aside $146M for hospitals to prepare for expected surge

northjersey.com

New Jersey hospitals will be able to receive millions of dollars from the state under new funding plans to help treat the surge of coronavirus patients already flooding medical facilities especially in North Jersey, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said.

DC: District of Columbia to encourage absentee voting by mail for June primary

wamu.org

District of Columbia officials say they plan on encouraging more residents to use absentee ballots to vote by mail and will limit the number of physical voting sites for the June 2 primary. The changes are part of a plan to let the primary proceed as planned, while also addressing safety concerns.

IL: COVID-19 has mostly spared small-town Illinois. That could change soon.

chicagotribune.com

More than 90% of confirmed cases and deaths in Illinois have come from Chicago and collar counties, though doctors note that access to testing downstate is still increasing after a slow start.

AR: Arkansas places limits on campgrounds

5newsonline.com

Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, announced the department is limiting the use of campgrounds to RVs with self-contained bathrooms.

CA: California chief justice says court proceedings should be done remotely.

sacbee.com

California’s chief justice told state judges to conduct court proceedings remotely using digital technology and loosen legal requirements of speediness to avoid turning jails into petri dishes. “I’ve received no assurances that jails in California are practicing social distancing,” Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said.

VA: Virginia hospitals prepare for overflow but state officials won’t disclose plans

richmond.com

Virginia officials say they are planning and encouraging social distancing to prevent the worst-case scenario, they have kept hospital plans mostly under wraps as some projections anticipate a shortage of intensive care beds, tens of thousands of sickened Virginians needing hospitalization and a climbing death toll in the coming months.

NC: North Carolina stay-at-home order starts

newsobserver.com

A day before a statewide stay at home order is enacted in North Carolina, more than 1,100 cases of coronavirus were reported in the state. Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria said: “There really isn’t a family out there that’s not affected some way.”

OR: Gun sales spike in Oregon

oregonlive.com

Oregonians are buying guns and ammunition in staggering numbers. The state police department has seen a sudden surge of requests to perform background checks required to purchase firearms.

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