Experts from public health officials to pulmonologists agree that Washington's wildfire smoke, especially in the midst of a respiratory disease pandemic, is bad for people’s health. Even before the pandemic, researchers found an increase in hospitalized patients seeking treatment for respiratory-related outcomes on days when there was an increase of smoke or decreased air quality.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, will veto a number of budget adjustments passed by legislators last month, restoring planned cuts to a handful of state agencies while scrapping $100 million lawmakers had earmarked for emergency spending. Brown touted the move as a way to keep more money in state coffers while funding a response to dozens of wildfires burning in the western part of the state.
Hurricane Sally is bringing significant risk of flash flooding and river flooding on the Mississippi Coast. Rainfall of 12 inches is possible across portions of southeastern Mississippi.
Data released by school districts around Central Florida shows that a majority of the COVID-19 cases connected to school campuses are in students versus teachers and other staff. Around the state coronavirus cases in people under 18 years old have increased since the fall semester started.
Two weeks into the school year, more than a dozen public schools across Connecticut have temporarily shut down in-person learning because of COVID-19 cases among students and staff, as administrators ask for consistency in recommendations from the state. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said schools should not shut down because of a single case.
Hurricane Laura caused $1.6 billion in damage to Louisiana agriculture, according to preliminary estimates from the LSU AgCenter. In comparison, agricultural losses — including forestry, crops and fisheries — from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 totaled $1.5 billion.
Louisiana's Legislative Black Caucus has called on Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health to investigate how the state's largest hospital system handled coronavirus surges this spring.
Seven deaths related to COVID-19 have now been linked to an Aug. 7 wedding and reception in the rural area near Millinocket in Northern Maine. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the deaths were all related to secondary spread of the disease. The super-spreading event has now sickened 176 people across the state.
New York nursing homes that have gone 14 days without a coronavirus case can reopen for limited visitation, the state Department of Health announced. The new standard, down from a 28-day threshold that had been in place since July, should clear the way for approximately 500 of the state's 613 nursing homes to resume visitation.
State health officials walked back a plan to cut $15 million in funding from health and safety net programs, including services that offer low-income Texans access to birth control and cancer screenings, and support families of young children with disabilities or developmental delays.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's Democratic administration has told county election offices not to discard a mail-in ballot in the Nov. 3 presidential election based solely on what a signature looks like on the ballot's outer envelope.
Wyoming’s public health orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been extended through Sept. 30, with a restriction lifted to allow for indoor contact sports, GOP Gov. Mark Gordon announced.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said large political rallies held by President Donald Trump in recent weeks violate her executive orders limiting public gatherings. The president held an outdoor rally in Freeland last week and his son held a rally in Harrison Township this week.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had two main messages for Vermonters on Tuesday: great work so far, and don’t let up. Fauci, the country’s foremost infectious disease expert, said Vermont was an example of what he has been preaching for months: The first step in reopening the economy and school is getting the virus under control.
Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said that she was bringing in outside investigators to look into how the state’s top prosecutor struck and killed a man with his car, but did not give a timeline on when information on the crash would be released.
After the Wisconsin Supreme Court allowed absentee ballot mailings to resume, municipal clerks raced to meet Thursday's state-imposed deadline for sending them to voters. Clerks also face a Saturday federal deadline to send absentee ballots to military and overseas voters.
Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is trying to reassure Virginians that voting by mail is safe and that election security is a top priority. The governor made the comments while highlighting steps the state is taking to protect absentee voting during the coronavirus pandemic.
A bill that would expand absentee voting to all registered South Carolina voters in the Nov. 3 general election as a pandemic-related safety measure is headed to the governor’s desk after clearing the House and Senate. The bill allows “no-excuse” absentee voting.
A quiet change to Alaska’s 2020 general election ballot has drawn the ire of the Alaska Democratic Party, which says the move is biased, lacks transparency and was disclosed days before ballots are mailed to overseas voters. Candidates no longer have their party registrations listed on the ballot.
Delaware voters in the typically low-turnout event cast ballots in numbers not seen since at least 2008, the year Joe Biden first sought a job alongside Barack Obama in the White House. The turnout by mid-day Tuesday had already surpassed the total for the contentious 2016 Delaware primary.
Idaho could spend more than $264 million in federal money to backfill its K-12 budget this year. Higher education will receive more than $49 million from the CARES Act, under GOP Gov. Brad Little's plan to push education-related CARES Act spending past the $300 million mark.
As Hawaii looks for ways to rebuild an economy ravaged by the global pandemic, military spending is taking on a more important role as other streams of income run dry. Defense spending in Hawaii has remained steady and could grow as tensions between the Chinese military and American allies and trade partners have prompted a renewed focus on the Pacific at the Pentagon.
Navajo Nation officials said they will participate in the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine trials amid a steady decline in coronavirus cases. The tribe’s territory, spanning Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, once had the highest coronavirus infection rate in the country.
With more than 1,300 of its students infected with the coronavirus, the University of Missouri in Columbia said that two students were expelled and three others suspended for violating rules meant to slow the viral spread.
Massachusetts said that it will take the lead in contact tracing at Boston College amid growing skepticism on campus about the school’s testing regimen, which is less rigorous than at some other local universities, and concern that the school is not equipped to control the spread of COVID-19.
On a barren stretch of Monterey Bay, in a region desperate for fresh water, an oft-overlooked California town has little say in whether a big water company can build a desalination operation right on its shore.
An organization funded with $500,000 from FanDuel and $250,000 from DraftKings — the fantasy sports and betting sites — says it is launching a media campaign urging Maryland voters to support a November ballot question legalizing sports betting. Several neighboring states have launched sports wagering since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a congressional ban in 2018.
An education campaign aimed at persuading North Dakotans to wear masks and practice social distancing still has not begun more than a month after $1.8 million in federal coronavirus aid was approved for the effort.
Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear adjusted the curfew he set on Aug. 11 for bars and restaurants, pushing the 10 p.m. last call for items served to 11 p.m.