Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/6

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 4/6

US: Governors plead for consistent strategy

nytimes.com

Several governors said that their states were in urgent need of federal help and complained that they had been left to compete for critical equipment in the absence of a consistent strategy and coordination from the Trump administration.

TX, LA: Texas sets up checkpoints at Louisiana border

houstonchronicle.com

Texas police checkpoints are being set up along the Louisiana border in a move to further cut off travel from a neighboring state that has been among the hardest hit. The checkpoints are being set up on all major roads entering Texas.

WY: Wyoming governor says feds diverted protective gear meant for state

trib.com

Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, said the federal government has canceled shipments of protective medical equipment intended for Wyoming doctors and instead sent them to hot spots elsewhere in the country.

WA: Washington sending ventilators to harder-hit states

seattletimes.com

Washington will return more than 400 of the 500 ventilators it recently received from the federal government so they can go to New York and other states. The move offers a glimmer of hope that the drastic steps taken by the state have helped forestall the bleakest possible outcomes.

MA: Massachusetts hospitals convert facilities, reassign docs

bostonherald.com

Massachusetts hospital networks bracing for a coronavirus surge in the next 10 days are adding critical care beds, moving around patients and supplies, transforming facilities into dedicated COVID-19 centers and reassigning doctors in an “all hands on deck” approach.

MN: Minnesota discloses 32 nursing homes with cases

startribune.com

For weeks, Minnesota residents have been kept in the dark by state health officials about which senior care facilities have reported cases. Responding to mounting criticism, the Minnesota Department of Health released the names of 32 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities with outbreaks.

OR: Oregon doctors seek limited legal immunity

oregonlive.com

Groups representing doctors, hospitals and senior care facilities are asking Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, to give them limited legal immunity. The groups are asking Brown to issue an executive order limiting their legal immunity during the state of emergency, unless there is proof that someone was grossly negligent.

CO: Colorado officials set guidelines for prioritizing care

denverpost.com

Colorado health officials agreed on guidelines to determine how health care resources should be allocated if hospitals see supply and equipment shortages during a surge of patients. The guidelines prohibit health care workers from making decisions about care based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion and other non-health related factors.

NJ: New Jersey allows towns to prohibit hotel, short-term rentals

nj.com

New Jersey is now giving towns and counties the power to prohibit new short-term or seasonal rentals at hotels, motels and private residences until further notice.

VT: Vermont National Guard rushes to build surge medical facility

vtdigger.org

National Guard officials expected 150 beds to be available at a temporary facility designed to alleviate pressure on the University of Vermont Medical Center emergency room.

IL: Illinois to help essential workers with child care

wgntv.com

Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that essential workers in the health care, human services, essential government services and essential infrastructure sectors qualify for the state’s child care assistance program.

MA: Massachusetts governor thinks 'contact tracing' cases may help slow COVID-19

wbur.org

Massachusetts is launching what Republican Gov. Charlie Baker called the only U.S. effort to reach everyone who is at risk and get them tested, quarantined and into isolation, if needed.

GA: Gig workers and self-employed not getting Georgia jobless checks yet

ajc.com

Tens of thousands of self-employed, contractors and gig workers are now eligible for Georgia’s unemployment benefits, but getting those checks is impossible so far. Applying for benefits has failed as increasingly desperate workers slammed into a Labor Department system set up to reject anyone who had not been on a company payroll.

MS: Mississippians express frustration over unemployment system

clarionledger.com

Two weeks ago more than 5,000 people filed claims in Mississippi, about five times the usual number. Last week, the number of applicants surged again to about 31,000.

ND: North Dakota marijuana legalization group changes plans

bismarcktribune.com

Supporters of a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in North Dakota are delaying their effort to the next election cycle.

SD: Coronavirus claims life of South Dakota lawmaker

argusleader.com

Huron state Rep. Bob Glanzer has become the fourth known fatality in South Dakota from coronavirus, dying in Sioux Falls, according to the Republican’s son Thomas Glanzer.

FL: Florida unemployment snafus a nightmare for Republicans

politico.com

With hundreds of thousands of Floridians out of work, the state’s overwhelmed system is making it nearly impossible for many people to even get in line for benefits. That's made Republicans even more anxious about their November chances in the nation's largest swing state.

NE: Nebraska officials resist calls to release some inmates early

omaha.com

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, said he’s not in favor of releasing inmates and that corrections is taking adequate safeguards to ensure that the coronavirus doesn’t invade state prisons.

AK: Thousands of fishery workers head to Alaska’s Bristol Bay despite virus

adn.com

Bristol Bay, Alaska’s regional population of about 6,700 will triple with the arrival of fishermen, crews and seasonal workers, many traveling from out of state. And yet the heart of the health care system in southwestern Alaska, where the Spanish flu once decimated entire communities, is a 16-bed hospital with no intensive care unit.

DE: Delaware agencies plead with residents to flush only toilet paper

delawareonline.com 

When you need to flush, only flush toilet paper, Delaware municipalities and agencies continue to urge. Paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, wet wipes and baby wipes can clog pipes and water treatment systems. 

CT: Connecticut inmates transferred after virus unrest

apnews.com

More than 100 inmates at a Connecticut institution have been transferred after they threatened to organize hunger strikes and work stoppages to protest the facility’s rules aimed at avoiding the spread.

IN: Indiana governor extends virus stay-home order 2 weeks

apnews.com

Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has extended the state's stay-at-home order for another two weeks. Officials are seeing a surge in cases in the southeastern and southwestern parts of the state and in the Indiana suburbs of Louisville, Kentucky.

AL: Alabama governor issues stay-at-home order 

al.com

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, issued an order for Alabama residents to stay at home except for essential activities. She said it became obvious that more had to be done.

VA: Unemployment claims swamp Virginia application process

richmond.com

A huge spike in the number of jobless claims has flooded Virginia’s unemployment system, frustrating laid-off workers trying to file for benefits. 

NC: North Carolina cases climb through the weekend

newsobserver.com

North Carolina’s number of reported cases continued to increase through the weekend as the state identified 183 new cases in 89 counties. On a day when Christians celebrated Palm Sunday, churches were empty and preachers preached to an online audience.

SC: South Carolina businesses sneak customers through the back door

thestate.com

Two South Carolina businesses have been cited for staying open during the coronavirus pandemic and ignoring stay-at-home mandates as well as an order from Gov. Henry McMaster, a Republican, the Charleston Police Department said. A nail salon pretended to be closed but snuck customers through the back door, according to the department.

AZ: Arizona governor orders hair salons closed amid criticism

kold.com

After mounting criticism, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey ordered Arizona hair and nail salons, barbers and other businesses that provide personal services to close. Also on the new closure list are massage parlors, tattoo parlors, barber shops and tanning salons.

UT: Utah county adjusts senior services

sltrib.com

While Salt Lake County Aging Services is implementing social distancing measures to promote physical health — like keeping a 6-foot distance while providing lunches at its Utah senior centers — staffers are also concerned about mental health and loneliness amid mass social distancing and stay-at-home efforts across the state to curb the spread of the virus.

ID: Idaho sees decline in new cases

idahostatesman.com

For the third consecutive day, Idaho health officials have reported declining numbers of new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection across the state. The 21 new cases represent the lowest number of cases reported in a single day since March 24.

HI: Hawaii officials struggle to help overburdened agencies

civilbeat.org

At least five Hawaii agencies need more staff. But state officials said they don’t know when they can get extra workers, in large part because there seems to be confusion over how the collective bargaining law applies.

WI: Wisconsin governor denies GOP request to allow in-person Easter and Passover services 

jsonline.com

The request came one day before Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate stalled Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' move to push back Tuesday's election due to the pandemic. On Saturday, they quickly adjourned a special legislative session about the matter.

MN: Minnesota Supreme Court goes virtual for first time

startribune.com

The Minnesota Supreme Court made history of sorts while providing the latest window into the virus and how it is dramatically reshaping daily life. 

MT: Montana governor ramps up food security; ports of entry cut hours

billingsgazette.com

Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock reiterated the need to follow a stay-at-home order that has shut down all but the most essential businesses and operations in the state and announced enhanced food security measures.

PA: EMS crisis in Pennsylvania’s rural areas will be exacerbated, experts say

pennlive.com

Nearly a quarter of Pennsylvania’s EMS agencies shut down between 2012 and 2018 due to budget and staffing shortfalls. Now, the coronavirus represents the ultimate test of a fragile system.

MO: Some Democrats say Missouri’s stay-at-home order is too weak

kansascity.com

Missouri GOP Gov. Mike Parson's new order takes effect Monday. But some Democrats say it's too weak, including House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, who said the directive is “so riddled with exemptions that it differs little” from the state’s previous order.

OK: Oklahoma faces $416M revenue failure

oklahoman.com

An Oklahoma revenue failure of roughly $416 million is expected for the rest of fiscal 2020, GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt announced. The state will start the process of allowing the legislature to tap into the Rainy Day Fund.

NY: Most New York state victims were over 70

timesunion.com

New York state announced that 64% of the people who have died from COVID-19 were over 70, but there were two youths between 10 and 19 and another 24 people in their 20s.

MD: Maryland governor increases protective measures for nursing homes

baltimoresun.com

With coronavirus cases in more than 80 Maryland nursing homes, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan issued an order that “symptomatic” nursing home residents now qualify for expedited tests, administered either by the state or other public laboratories. 

ME: Fear of outsiders creates tension in Maine’s tourist spots, summer communities

pressherald.com

Parts of Maine with histories and economies tied to hosting out-of-state visitors are now fearing their arrival.

IA: Iowa governor pushes back against concerns over lack of shelter-in-place

desmoinesregister.com

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation's key figures in its coronavirus response, “maybe doesn't have all the information” about Iowa’s mitigation efforts, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said. Asked about state-ordered shelter-in-place orders, Fauci responded, “I don’t understand why that's not happening” nationwide.

KY: Kentucky's test capacity could increase by at least 2,000 per day, governor says

courier-journal.com

Kentucky has entered an agreement with Covington-based Gravity Diagnostics to provide up to 2,000 tests per day and yield next-day results, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear announced.

OH: Ohio’s Uber, Lyft drivers hit hard

dispatch.com

Although Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine declared Uber, Lyft and other driving services “essential,” passengers are encouraged — both by the Uber app and state governments — to only call a ride if absolutely necessary.

Coronavirus and the States: Several States Increase Testing; Wisconsin Governor Delays Primary Homeless Shelters
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