What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/3

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/3

US: Trump calls some governors ‘complainers’

Elevating a feud with some governors, President Donald Trump insisted his team is delivering medical supplies to states nationwide and that certain unnamed "complainers" will never be satisfied. In a series of tweets, Trump said some state leaders have “insatiable appetites.”

MD: Maryland received fraction of gear it requested from feds

Maryland received about a third of the 778,129 face masks it requested, just 110,240 of the 421,532 N95 respirator masks it sought, well fewer than half of the 330,540 requested gloves and none of the 100,000 testing swabs it hoped to acquire. The state also requested 15,000 body bags and didn’t receive any.

NY: New York has six days’ worth of ventilators left

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that at the rate New York state is using ventilators, it would run out in just six days. There are 2,200 ventilators in the state’s stockpile and about 350 new patients a day need them.

CA: Do Californians have to pay their property taxes? Governor tries not to ‘overpromise’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said he’s in talks with local governments about property taxes due April 10, but cautioned that he does not want to “overpromise” relief for taxpayers. Newsom acknowledged that millions of California homeowners are anxious about paying their taxes.

CO: Police impersonators proliferate in Colorado

Some people react to a global pandemic by hoarding toilet paper, while others put on fake uniforms, pretend to be police officers and harass people about Colorado’s stay-at-home order. Authorities have identified at least six different incidents of police impersonators along the Front Range in the last two weeks.

MS: Mississippi not releasing full data on COVID-19

Mississippi's top health officer declined to answer specific questions about ventilators, nursing homes and infected health care workers at a news conference, because of concerns over privacy and that some of the information would cause people to "freak out."

DE: Delaware state police to stop cars with out-of-state tags

Citing Democratic Delaware Gov. Jay Carney's state of emergency that requires out-of-state travelers returning to Delaware to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days before doing anything else, the police say they can stop any vehicle driving in the state simply if it is displaying an out-of-state tag. That rule does not apply to traffic on I-95, I-295 or I-495.


NJ: New Jersey may commandeer medical equipment, supplies

The head of New Jersey’s State Police now has the authority to commandeer much-needed medical supplies and equipment from companies and institutions in the state that have not yet donated it to health care facilities, under an executive order Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed.

PA: Pennsylvania needs another 1K ventilators, governor says

Pennsylvania has received a fraction of the equipment it has requested from a federal stockpile, new data shows, as state officials look to other sources to purchase more supplies, including life-saving ventilators.

IA: Iowa makers are 3D printing parts to make, donate face shields

Iowa makers are answering the call for donated face shields to help health care workers. A team in Cedar Rapids has delivered more than 5,000 homemade face shields to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and other hospitals across the state.

KY: Kentucky to convert fairgrounds into field hospital

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky is converting the fairgrounds in Louisville into a field hospital with 2,000 beds to prepare for a surge of patients.

CO: Colorado plans 2K ‘surge’ beds

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wants Colorado and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prepare 2,000 temporary new “surge” beds by April 18, plus thousands of more beds in hotels and dorms to quarantine asymptomatic patients. The surge beds would be used to care for “Tier 3” patients who have lingering illnesses.

VT: Vermont short on ICU beds, ventilators in 'likely' scenario

Vermont-specific computer modeling unveiled by Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s administration shows that the state might not have enough intensive care beds or ventilators to treat patients during the peak of the pandemic.

MT: Montana expands mental health resources; remote access

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services said it's expanding mental health services after a surge in calls to a state-funded phone line by people in crisis and needing emotional support.

ND: North Dakota recruits health workers for worst-case scenario

North Dakota officials say they are confident the state will have enough hospital beds and equipment. The one thing they’re worried about in a worst-case scenario is having enough health care workers.

MO: Missouri won’t identify nursing homes hit by coronavirus

Missouri health officials will not identify the long-term care facilities that have residents or staff infected by the coronavirus unless those facilities, or local health officials, publicize the information first, according to a state health department spokeswoman who said it would violate state statutes forbidding health officials from identifying patients personally.

OR: Oregon governor will call special session

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, confirmed that she plans to call lawmakers into a special session. But she offered no specifics on how soon such a session might be.

AL: Alabama governor receives flood of questions on Twitter about lack of shelter-in-place order

GOP Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey received more than 200 questions and comments from the public about the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic via her Twitter feed. The Twitter session featured a steady stream of criticism aimed at the governor. The most frequently asked question was why the governor has not issued a statewide shelter-in-place order.

NH: Locals bristle as out-of-towners fleeing virus hunker down in New Hampshire homes

New Hampshire’s summer tourism season is still months away. But many towns with economies built around seasonal visitors are seeing an influx of second homeowners and renters. The new arrivals are causing an unusual sense of tension.

GA: One month after warnings, governor puts Georgia on lockdown

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp ordered Georgians to stay at home, with few exceptions, until at least April 13. Kemp abandoned his earlier declarations that the coronavirus pandemic did not require the extreme measures in Georgia that more than three dozen other states had already dictated.

AR: Governor defends lack of order for Arkansans to stay home

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson defended his decision not to issue a stay-at-home order. "People are making their own decision to stay home, and that's exactly what they should be doing," Hutchinson said.

NE: Governor orders Nebraska schools to remain closed to kids

Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts has ordered Nebraska schools to remain closed to students through May 31 as officials reported that the state’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to five.

CT: Connecticut governor orders grocery stores to cut back on customers

Democratic Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont has issued an executive order, requiring all stores to follow specific rules including limiting the number of people allowed inside.

IN: Indiana schools closed for the year

Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction directed all schools to remain closed through the end of the current year, which means more than 1 million K-12 students will finish the school year from home. Schools will have to continue providing instruction remotely.

RI: Rhode Island inmates slated for release

Seventy-six prisoners are slated to be released under an agreement reached between state prosecutors, the Rhode Island Public Defender’s office and corrections officials.

KS: Advocates call for release of Kansas inmates

Kansas advocates are urging Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and the Department of Corrections to release inmates, especially those at high risk.

NY: Virus strikes New York budget

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced an agreement with the Legislature on a $177 billion budget that was laden with uncertainties. The state is expecting at least $10 billion less in tax revenue, a steep gap that officials are already hoping to bridge with federal aid, short-term loans and cuts. Reserves may also be tapped.

VA: Virginia has logged more jobless claims than in all of 2019

Virginia has logged more jobless claims in the past two weeks than it did for all of 2019, resulting from efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus. The state reported a record 112,487 in weekly jobless benefit claims, soaring 14 times more for the period ending March 28 compared with the record-setting levels from the previous week.

WA: Washington's jobless claims jump more than 180K

More than 180,000 Washington state residents filed for unemployment insurance last week. That represents a 41% jump over the previous week’s already record-breaking number of roughly 130,000 claims, and is seven times higher than the peak number of claims received by the state during the Great Recession.

WI: Wisconsin dairy industry calls for help as farmers forced to dump milk

Wisconsin’s dairy industry is calling for federal help as farmers have begun dumping milk because of falling demand amid the pandemic. Despite empty grocery store shelves in recent weeks, widespread closures of schools and restaurants and falling exports have led to a sharp drop in demand.

MN: COVID-19 shrinks health care work for Minnesota clinics and hospitals

A shutdown in elective procedures has dried up work at Minnesota health systems and private medical groups.

NV: Nevada jobless claims pile up, governor concedes problems

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak conceded there are problems in Nevada’s jobless office, telling reporters it was adding people, expanding hours and “working around the clock non-stop” to handle the flood of unemployment applications. He said most snags stem from people forgetting system passwords and because the state has done a poor job in the past.

GA: Report says Georgia’s economy is the least exposed to coronavirus. Why that may be changing

This week, a new report said that Georgia’s economy is the least exposed to coronavirus among states nationwide. The study looked at which states were the most vulnerable economically amid the coronavirus outbreak. And while it seemed to tell a hopeful tale for Georgia, new numbers show that it may not reflect the entire picture.

DC: Delays in overhauling District of Columbia unemployment site fueled turmoil

District of Columbia workers facing record layoffs because of the coronavirus shutdown must rely on a Department of Employment Services website built in the early 2000s that does not work on mobile phones and was ill-equipped to handle the huge surge in cases.

LA: The reality of Louisiana's coronavirus testing: How delays complicate tracking

Known coronavirus cases in Louisiana continue to spike, but uneven and unpredictable delays in reporting test results and a lack of granular data on when Louisianans are first coming down with symptoms are clouding the state’s view of just how widespread the epidemic truly is — and how quickly it’s growing.

NV: Some Nevada schools ban Zoom app over security concerns

Nevada’s Clark County School District announced that popular videoconferencing app Zoom is no longer an approved form of communication. Zoom, which gained popularity in recent weeks as stay-at-home orders in dozens of states forced people to work remotely, has been scrutinized by security experts over privacy protections.

IL: Illinois marijuana sales remain high at $35M in March

More than $109 million of marijuana products were purchased in Illinois in the first three months of legalization, and the third month of sales was on par with the first two despite a stay-at-home order being in place for 11 days in March. Preliminary numbers from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation show statewide adult-use cannabis sales in March totaled $35.9 million.

NJ: New Jersey aid-in-dying law upheld, judge dismisses legal challenge

A state judge has dismissed a lawsuit over New Jersey's aid-in-dying law, while taking an extra step that could prevent future legal challenges that would delay terminally ill patients' decisions to end their lives.

Coronavirus and the States: Lawmakers OK Paid Leave; Online Senate Meeting Hacked Addiction Treatment
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