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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/1

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/1

CA: California governor says 25K people sign up for ‘California Health Corps’ in one day

sacbee.com

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said at a news conference that more than 25,000 people have already signed up for the “California Health Corps,” just one day after he signed an order establishing the group a day earlier. He asked nursing students, medical students and retirees to register for the new group.

US: Kids under threat at juvenile detention centers

apnews.com

Delaware, Minnesota, Louisiana, New York, Texas and Connecticut are among the states that have reported positive tests among youth or staff.

MD: Maryland police respond to more than 400 calls for stay-at-home violations

baltimoresun.com

Maryland state police did not say how many, if any, individuals were charged, just that law enforcement received 402 calls related to the order. State police have conducted nearly 6,600 business and crowd compliance checks since March 24.

WY: Wyoming economists say social distancing is worth it

wyomingnews.com

Extended closures of public spaces in Wyoming are creating sudden and large-scale job and revenue losses. But local economists say social distancing is necessary to avoid prolonged financial hardship.

GA: Georgia announces surge in testing

ajc.com

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s office and the state’s public colleges and universities announced plans to dramatically increase testing capacity in Georgia by some 3,000 tests a day. The state has obtained equipment and testing supplies to expand capabilities.

NY: Governor asks New Yorkers to dig in for a long battle

timesunion.com

The state of New York inched higher toward the apex of coronavirus cases with the number of people testing positive for the infectious disease topping 75,000, including 1,550 fatalities. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo cautioned New Yorkers and others to brace for a long battle.

CA: California cities want transparency rules waived in pandemic

apnews.com

City officials across California are asking Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to suspend or delay numerous state laws, saying they can’t comply with everything from environmental regulations to public records laws that give people a window into how the government is spending public money.

MA: Massachusetts transportation agency to begin taking temperature of employees

bostonglobe.com

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority will begin taking the temperatures of employees before the start of each shift, in the first phase of a strategy that will expand to other departments in the coming days.

CO: Colorado governor urges automatic DACA extension

denverpost.com

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, sent a letter urging the federal government to automatically extend work authorizations set to expire this year for all Deferred Action Childhood Arrival recipients. The request comes amid concerns about immigrants getting access to services and information they need during a nationwide pandemic.

MI: Michigan now ranks 3rd in cases

npr.org

Michigan now ranks third in the country for coronavirus-related deaths, trailing only New York and New Jersey, after the Midwest state reported a new surge of cases. Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked for out-of-state medical volunteers to help the state combat the crisis.

LA: Louisiana waits on ventilator shipment

apnews.com

Louisiana saw its deadliest day of the coronavirus epidemic, as the state awaited a promised shipment of ventilators from the national stockpile to help care for its most fragile COVID-19 patients and braced for a looming weekend deadline when New Orleans hospitals are expected to run out of the breathing machines.

WA: Washington could get just a fraction of the ventilators it requested from feds

seattletimes.com

Washington may get only a fraction of the ventilators it requested from the federal government’s national stockpile of medical supplies. The state asked for 500 ventilators from the national stockpile, but was told it would only get 100, with some uncertainty over even that equipment.

OK: Oklahoma stockpiles protective equipment as 'tough two weeks' looms

oklahoman.com

Oklahoma has received more than 60% of its protective equipment order from the federal government. State officials reported they expect the rest of Oklahoma’s order of gloves, gowns, face and eye protection, N95 masks and surgical masks to arrive from the federal stockpile in the next few days.

TN: Tennessee manufacturers shift to making medical supplies

tennessean.com

The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry has launched an initiative to help manufacturers create medical equipment and fill an urgent need for additional medical supplies.

OH: Federal shipment of personal protective equipment doesn’t meet Ohio need

dispatch.com

Ohio recently received a shipment of personal protective equipment from the federal Strategic National Stockpile, but state Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said it’s not nearly enough.

PA: Laid off Pennsylvanians battle outages, jammed unemployment lines

spotlightpa.org

Some of the dysfunction stems from a 2016 political spat that led to major layoffs in the division that handles Pennsylvanians unemployment claims, and staffing levels have never fully recovered.

WI: Court bars Wisconsin clerk from telling voters they don't need ID

jsonline.com

The Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked a county clerk from telling large groups of voters they could request absentee ballots without showing a photo ID because of the coronavirus pandemic.

MD: Maryland leaders call for in-person voting option

baltimoresun.com

The president of the Maryland Senate and the speaker of the state House called on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan to explore offering in-person voting as an option during the June primary, arguing that voting is an essential activity, akin to the work of essential businesses that have remained open.

WI: Wisconsin polling places are closing

jsonline.com

Some election clerks are so short of workers because of the coronavirus pandemic that they are planning to shutter polling places around Wisconsin — including many of them in Milwaukee.

ID: Idaho to hold primary by mail

apnews.com

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney said that the state primary will be held on May 19 as planned, but it will be conducted by mail with no in-person voting. Little is urging all Idahoans eligible to vote to request an absentee ballot.

WV: West Virginia governor limits elective surgeries, out-of-state visitors

wvgazettemail.com

Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice suspended all elective surgical procedures to conserve medical supplies and directed private campground operators to refuse admittance to new out-of-state visitors.

HI: Hawaii public defenders want hundreds more inmates released

civilbeat.org

Hawaii’s highest court is considering the public defender’s request to release hundreds of inmates as the threat of COVID-19 continues to loom over the state’s crowded and outdated correctional facilities. Though some prosecutors warn a release en masse would be too risky, the state public defender’s office provided the Supreme Court a list of 426 inmates.

AK: Alaska judge suspends cash bail for most misdemeanors

adn.com

Alaskans arrested for misdemeanor crimes will temporarily be released from jail without posting monetary bail in most cases, according to a new statewide order by judges. The order is meant to reduce overcrowding.

GA: Georgia to release some inmates

ajc.com

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has started reviewing some inmates for early release, officials announced. The process, which the board said was to help state prisons deal with the virus, could lead in the next 30 days to the release of up to 200 inmates who are serving time for non-violent offenses.

SC: South Carolina inmates sew medical masks

thestate.com

South Carolina state prison inmates have begun sewing thousands of medical masks and mask covers to help medical professionals across the state deal with an ongoing supply shortage, according to a tweet from the S.C. Department of Corrections.

LA: Louisiana governor to double beds at convention center

nola.com

After seeing "sobering" increases in cases and deaths of the new coronavirus in Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said he is doubling the number of beds in a temporary hospital being built in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans to 2,000 beds.

WI: Wisconsin governor requests disaster declaration

madison.com

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, announced the opening of two state-run voluntary isolation centers in Madison and Milwaukee and requested a federal major disaster declaration for the entire state.

MT: Montana orders post-travel quarantine

billingsgazette.com

Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, asked people to not visit Montana, and ordered anyone who travels here from another state or country to self-quarantine for two weeks.

NE: Governor defends 'tailored' Nebraska approach

omaha.com

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts defended Nebraska’s “regional” approach to ordering strict social gathering guidelines, saying the state’s plan does not include imposing such directed health measures statewide at the same time.

TX: Governor orders Texans to ‘minimize’ activity

texastribune.org

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott told Texans to stay at home for the next month unless they are taking part in essential services and activities, announcing a heightened statewide standard. He also announced that schools would remain closed until at least May 4.

NV: Nevada governor issues travel advisory

thenevadaindependent.com

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a travel advisory urging travelers to Nevada to self-quarantine for 14 days. The governor’s office is asking all visitors to postpone their trips if possible and all Nevadans to avoid nonessential travel, especially to places where the Centers for Disease Control has issued travel advisories.

RI: Rhode Island governor closes beaches, parks

providencejournal.com

Democratic Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said effective Friday, she was closing all state parks and beaches in the Ocean State. She said people could still walk the beach but could not use the parking lots or congregate in groups.

NC: North Carolina governor bans utility shutoffs

newsobserver.com

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, signed an executive order prohibiting utility companies from shutting off service to people who are unable to pay for the next 60 days. Cooper also urged telecom companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are “to follow these same rules.”

CT: Connecticut banks, credit unions offer mortgage grace period

courant.com

Connecticut has reached an agreement with more than 60 banks and credit unions to offer a three-month grace period on mortgage payments for homeowners impacted by the pandemic.

AZ: Arizona to defer liquor license fees

azcentral.com

The Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control will defer required payments of all liquor licensing fees for all types of liquor licenses, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey announced in an effort to help businesses with fees.

Coronavirus and the States: Unaccompanied Minors Can Now Be Sent Home; Feds Relax Health Care Rules Essential Work
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