Three months ago, Floridians were unaware that the novel coronavirus posed any real threat to their lives. But top state officials were scrambling to come up with a plan for a crisis they knew was upon them, according to internal state data and communications.
Dallas, Houston, Southeast Florida’s Gold Coast, the entire state of Alabama and several other places in the South that have been rapidly reopening their economies are in danger of a second wave of coronavirus infections over the next four weeks, according to a research team that uses cellphone data to track social mobility and forecast the trajectory of the pandemic.
Minnesota has purchased a cold storage facility in St. Paul for an emergency morgue, bracing for a peak in COVID-19 deaths that could strain morgues and funeral homes.
Life now has gotten much harder for an estimated 10,000 Michigan residents who have homes that were destroyed in a record flood amid a pandemic. Moreover, the costs to recover for cities like Midland, which were underwater, will be staggering — and long-lasting.
More than 1,200 California pastors have vowed to hold in-person services May 31, Pentecost Sunday, defying a state moratorium on religious gatherings that Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Facing the biggest public health crisis in more than a century, New Jersey failed to react fast enough or take forceful, aggressive actions to slow the rampage in nursing homes as the virus preyed on the state’s most vulnerable patients, according to more than a dozen public health experts, industry officials, family members and advocates.
An Iowa agency’s order of nearly 100,000 high-quality masks to aid in its coronavirus response was canceled last month after President Donald Trump invoked his authority to give the federal government priority for obtaining and distributing those supplies.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, says the state stands ready to supply protective equipment to nursing homes and clinics that need it, but only after they have “exhausted” private supply chains.
Antibody testing shows that the highest rate of COVID-19 infections are occurring in minority neighborhoods and public housing complexes in New York City, prompting Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ask local governments across New York state to intensify testing and anti-spread efforts in minority communities.
Following calls from prisoner advocates and employee unions, Maryland will undertake universal testing at state prisons and juvenile centers, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan announced. Six prison inmates have died from the virus and hundreds of inmates and employees have tested positive.
The Nevada Department of Corrections has announced a plan to test prisoners for the new coronavirus, shortly after the first case of a Nevada prisoner testing positive for the virus was reported. Eighteen Department of Corrections employees have tested positive for the virus so far.
New Mexico health insurance regulators say statewide enrollment in Medicaid is increasing as businesses shed workers in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The state expects more people to shift from employer-based health insurance to the federally subsidized plan for those in poverty.
Lawmakers are poised to stash more than $1.6 billion in state and federal funding in the state’s rainy-day fund at a time when Hawaii residents are hurting from the highest unemployment rate in generations.
Some of the four COVID-19 recovery centers Connecticut opened are so empty that the provider hired to run them has asked the state to either close them or expand the patients they can accept. On many days there have been as few as four patients in one of the centers.
In an effort to monitor potential outbreaks of the coronavirus, Wyoming health officials have announced a plan to test a portion of staff members and residents in every nursing home and assisted-living facility across the state.
As businesses across Pennsylvania have been shut for weeks under orders from the governor, members of at least one profession say they’re busier than ever: lobbyists. And many of their new clients are trying to amend the shutdown order.
Stage 3 of the Indiana’s reopening will begin later this week for most of the state, which is earlier than previously planned, announced Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb. Under the next stage, social gatherings can go up from 25 to 100 people.
Religious gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed to resume Thursday in New York state, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. All participants at these small gatherings should follow social distancing guidelines and wear masks, and Cuomo is encouraging drive-in and parking lot services.
School districts across Rhode Island are struggling with how to stage this year’s high school graduations: stuck between a strict reading of restrictions issued by the state and Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo’s urging superintendents to “get creative” and use common sense.
Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is signing an executive order that youth sports such as baseball, softball and soccer can begin practice May 30 with games returning no sooner than June 15, all with health restrictions and social distancing guidelines in place.
Some small-group indoor fitness activities like weight training, yoga and martial arts can resume under the second phase of Washington's reopening plan. Currently, 10 small counties have been approved by the state to move to the second phase, with two more small counties eligible to apply.
People will be able to gather in groups of up to 50 and capacity will increase to 75% at restaurants, bars, breweries and other businesses June 1 as Montana moves into the next phase of a gradual reopening. That same day the state will also lift a 14-day travel quarantine requirement on out-of-state visitors.
New Hampshire high school career and technical schools are slowly reopening to students studying for jobs deemed essential during the pandemic.
The Phoenix, Arizona, City Council has approved $3 million in federal relief funds for area refugees caught up in the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Over 400 refugees were resettled in Arizona this year, the bulk of them in Phoenix and surrounding communities.
The North Dakota legislature’s research agency cautioned lawmakers that it may be impossible to safely convene the legislative session in January at the state Capitol in Bismarck because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Georgia Senate will begin holding live Capitol meetings next week for the first time since the General Assembly shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March.
Oklahoma municipalities can begin applying for federal aid to cover COVID-19 expenses. The state has launched an online portal where city and county leaders can request reimbursements for expenses related to the pandemic.
Oregon’s economy is heading into its steepest downturn since the Great Depression, state economists predicted. Economists estimate the state will lose $10.5 billion in revenue over the next five years, a massive budget hit that will trigger sharp cuts in Oregon’s spending on schools, health care, law enforcement and other social services.
Certain state agencies and higher education institutions face a June 15 deadline to submit 5% spending cut plans to Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the Legislative Budget Board. Some agencies, including health, employment and police, were exempted.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican, is asking much of state government to cut spending by 8% in the first quarter of the next fiscal year as tax revenue plummets during the pandemic.
Colorado’s Joint Budget Committee slashed $493 million from next year’s higher education budget, a 58% cut from this year’s funding levels. The impact will be softened by Democratic Gov. Jared Polis’ decision to give $450 million in federal CARES Act money to the state’s public colleges and universities.
More emergency benefits have started going to California’s gig workers, self-employed people and others who lost their jobs or had their hours cut because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past two weeks, Maryland has expanded child care to 125 sites with capacity for 21,500 additional children than are presently being served. State officials said child care for school-aged children would continue through the end of the school year for essential workers.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers announced $75 million in funding for programs aimed at Wisconsin renters, farmers and those in need of food assistance, all part of the state’s use of federal pandemic funding.
Most temporary workers from outside the country arrive in mid-July to harvest produce in Delaware. Farmers don’t know whether the workers can come or if they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days as other newcomers to the state must do.
Illinois’ plan to enable 1.8 million SNAP recipients to purchase food from participating grocery retailers online has been approved by the federal government. This new purchasing option will begin June 2.
GOP Gov. Mike Dunleavy said Alaska will pay Permanent Fund Dividends, the interest residents earn on minerals royalties, July 1, three months ahead of schedule. The announcement came just hours after the Alaska legislature approved the spending of more than $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief aid.