Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, announced he would return to the federal government the field hospital assembled by soldiers roughly a week ago in Seattle’s CenturyLink Field Event Center. Inslee in recent days has cited more favorable projections for what’s to come next in the outbreak.
The decision to forge ahead with Wisconsin’s election amid a pandemic has stirred fears about a possible spike in the state’s coronavirus cases in the face of stay-at-home orders and efforts to limit contact with others.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed an order that allows the state to “commandeer” personal protective equipment and ventilators from health care providers and manufacturers, and transfer the supplies to another facility in need as Pennsylvania prepares for an “imminent surge” in cases.
Kansas Republican leaders revoked Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s order limiting religious gatherings to 10 people, paving the way for churches to meet on Easter Sunday — a scenario health officials fear will further spread the deadly coronavirus across the state.
The Oregon Health Authority tweeted out some guidance for people wondering how to have sex in the time of COVID-19. The graphic encouraged practices that limit person-to-person contact, like masturbation and sexting, while restricting kissing to a "small circle of close contacts."
The Idaho Department of Correction has asked for donations of materials so inmates can make cloth masks for themselves and staff members. The department needs to make about 30,000 masks, three for every inmate and staff member, and inmates have volunteered at every facility to help sew.
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, called on Department of Health leaders Bruce Anderson and Sarah Park to resign and for Lt. Gov. Josh Green to be placed in charge of the crisis. The health officials, Gabbard said, have been “negligent” in their response, and Gov. David Ige — who has been at odds with Green, a fellow Democrat, during the crisis — should step down and be replaced by Green if he refuses to fire them.
Oklahoma's unofficial estimates place the current state unemployment rate at a record 11.5%. The sudden rise has left the state scrambling to handle a surge in phone calls and temporary crashes of the website where claims can be filed.
Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy announced he is now requiring all employees and shoppers at the businesses still open in New Jersey to wear face coverings until further notice and has limited the number of customers allowed inside stores to a max of 50% of their capacity.
Meeting under unprecedented circumstances, Missouri lawmakers approved a $6.2 billion emergency aid package. Approval came despite concerns from some members of the governor’s own party that Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, will have outsize power to dole out massive amounts of federal money.
There are now 44 outbreaks of COVID-19 in residential and non-hospital facilities in Colorado, according to the state Health Department. At least five nursing homes where residents have died from the virus were cited within the past three years by federal authorities for inspection-control violations.
The first two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed among the 42,000 inmates in Arizona’s prisons, but authorities declined to say whether any of the thousands of corrections employees who cycle in and out of prisons each day has contracted the virus.
The only place to file for unemployment online in Nevada is through http://ui.nv.gov, but state officials say websites are cropping up that “appear to look like legitimate government websites.”
Although state and local officials are preparing to conduct the June 9 primary election almost entirely through mail ballots, election officials say they plan to have some form of limited early voting available. Voters at early voting sites will be given an absentee ballot and asked to fill it out rather than using traditional voting machines.
The state of Utah announced it had awarded a total of $6.1 million in bridge loans for small businesses to help them pay bills as they apply for coronavirus-related aid through the U.S. government. 500 of the over 1,000 business owners that applied were notified that they’d receive cash.
Secretary of State Steve Simon, a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, unveiled legislation to expand mail-in voting and reduce in-person polling places during the pandemic, which could stretch into the summer and fall elections.
Seeking to further curb Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ power, Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are developing legislation that would give a handful of them the ability to cut school aid and slash state spending.
The Milwaukee Election Commission, in Wisconsin, will seek a formal U.S. Postal Service investigation into what happened to absentee ballots that did not reach Milwaukee voters, commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht said.
Over a decade ago, Alabama used federal grant funds to purchase 80 ventilators as part of its preparations for a potential influenza pandemic. But the ventilators went bad over the ensuing years and no money was ever allocated to replace them.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp extended Georgia’s shelter in place order through the end of April and imposed new restrictions on senior care facilities as he faced criticism from local officials who urged him to take more drastic steps to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
New data on Louisiana’s coronavirus cases has confirmed what many public health experts have long expected: The virus was widespread in the state much earlier than initially limited testing was able to show.
Numbers show the stark disparity in how the new coronavirus is affecting black and white Mississippians. The state Health Department said 72% of Mississippi residents who have died of COVID-19 were African American and 28% were white.
Iowa’s small-business owners have filed 14,000 applications for grants totaling $148 million for relief amid the coronavirus pandemic, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced.
Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency has not been able to obtain the rapid-response testing kits it expected from a Scarborough manufacturer and was going “back to the drawing board.”
Connecticut’s insurance commissioner has urged insurers to reduce motorists’ auto insurance premiums as drivers avoid the roads and stay home. Several have agreed and cut premiums by 15% for a limited time.
Indiana's health commissioner said the state now has the capacity to test all the people who are showing symptoms, after struggling with resources to be able to do enough tests.
The Rhode Island state judiciary shut down its courts to non-emergency matters through May 17, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo announced. All jury trials and grand jury matters shall be postponed until then.
California officials expect months more of some social distancing policies and warn that lifting the strict rules too early could worsen the health crisis. The public should realize that coronavirus cases are likely to rise when stay-at-home orders are eased, officials also said.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, said local elections set for next month will be pushed to November, pending action from the General Assembly. He is also pushing the June Congressional primaries back two weeks, from June 9 to June 23.
North Carolina had 3,326 reported coronavirus cases and 55 deaths as of Wednesday morning, according to state and county health officials. People ages 25 to 49 account for the highest portion (42%) of reported cases in the state, data show. But the numbers flip when it comes to recorded deaths — 80% were over the age of 65.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will be using a reservation system to see some customers who need road tests or other DMV services as the coronavirus continues to spread, according to a statement from the department.
North Dakota officials unveiled a free mobile app that will help state residents voluntarily track where they've been, information that could be useful to health officials working to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock extended the state’s stay-at-home, school closures and business restrictions through April 24 in a continuing effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while the Department of Justice confirmed what is believed to be the first positive COVID-19 case in a jail inmate.
A key Nebraska lawmaker said that economic damage caused by the coronavirus wiped out the chances for major property tax relief this year.
Alaska state officials put out a list that clarifies which procedures are classified as “elective” and guidance on how long they could be delayed — ranging from weeks to months. Abortion is on the list. According to the state’s guidance, surgical abortions needed to protect the life or physical health of the mother can still be performed.
Wyoming has received a batch of the rapid-response coronavirus tests that have been touted as game-changers by national leaders, but officials here say the shipments have been so small they’ll have a minimal impact on tracking the disease’s spread in the Equality State.
When the prime harvest season arrives, growers need an infusion of workers to come with it. “There aren’t any issues at this point, but in a couple months there will be a significant need for workers,” Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Michael Scuse said.
Louisiana has received its share of the federal dollars earmarked for coronavirus-induced unemployment claims and will begin paying out the $600-a-week benefits, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said. Louisiana has one of the lowest unemployment benefits in the country.
State officials say they have seen a troubling surge in traffic fatalities even though Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home order last month has sharply reduced travel by motorists across Minnesota.
Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton are the ones with the authority to lift the state’s stay-at-home order, but state lawmakers can support them by moving funds, relaxing rules and creating aid programs that target specific areas of the economy such as child care providers or physicians in rural areas.
The Massachusetts Department of Health issued an executive order requiring grocery stores to limit occupancy to no more than 40%. The occupant count includes customers and employees. Stores with a maximum capacity of 25 are exempt from the limit.
Tens of thousands of people have called a tip line Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear set up March 23 to let people turn in employers and neighbors who are violating the state’s orders to close “non-essential” businesses and cancel gatherings of all sizes to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The coronavirus outbreak could cost Pennsylvania $2.7 billion in lost tax revenue over the next 15 months, according to a state report. And that’s assuming that businesses can reopen by April 27. If the shutdown remains in place for another six weeks, the financial hit could be $3.7 billion.