By: - August 4, 2020 12:00 am

CA: California sets record number of cases; fatalities

After a record-breaking month of fatalities linked to the coronavirus pandemic, California set a grim new milestone: 500,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the most of any state. Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said the number of people hospitalized statewide has fallen about 10% over two weeks, and admissions to intensive-care units have fallen by 5%.

VA: Virginia hospitals, doctors sue state over Medicaid cuts

A coalition of Virginia hospitals and physicians is suing the state’s Medicaid program over emergency budget cuts that they say will cost them million in reduced payments for emergency room visits this year during a public health emergency when they can least afford it.

NJ: Governor reverses indoor gathering rules in New Jersey after coronavirus spike

The limit for indoor gatherings in New Jersey had increased to 25% of a building’s capacity or a maximum of 100 people in June. But Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy scaled back indoor limits to 25 people, with exceptions for weddings, funerals and religious and political events.

NY: New York rolls back legal immunity for hospitals, nursing homes

Nursing homes and hospitals in New York can once again be held liable in lawsuits and criminal prosecutions for care provided to patients not being treated for COVID-19 under a law signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

MA: Experts urge rollback of reopening as COVID-19 cases rise in Massachusetts

Massachusetts must revert to stricter shutdown rules to ward off a resurgence of COVID-19 in the state, according to some epidemiologists and doctors who have watched the small but unmistakable increase in cases with growing alarm in recent days.

MO: ‘Door monitors’ to hand out masks at Missouri county polling places

Voters who show up at St. Louis County polling places on Tuesday will be greeted by newly hired “door monitors” handing out masks, the latest coronavirus-related tweak to Missouri’s primary election.

LA: Lawsuit: Louisiana doing too little to protect voting rights

Voting rights advocates filed a federal lawsuit against Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards and Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, saying the state is doing too little to protect ballot access in November and should widen mail-in voting options amid the coronavirus outbreak.

NV: Trump: Nevada governor trying to ‘steal the state’ in November

Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is using the coronavirus pandemic to “steal the state” in the November election, President Donald Trump posted today on Twitter without evidence. Trump was referring to a Nevada bill that requires all Nevada voters to receive mail-in ballots.

WI: Wisconsin voters not required to wear masks at the polls, but strongly encouraged to do so

In light of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide order requiring individuals wear face coverings, Wisconsin elections officials are advising local clerks that donning a mask isn’t a prerequisite for voters looking to cast a ballot.

PA: Pennsylvania state election officials urge swift action on voting laws

Changes to Pennsylvania state law need to be effective by early September if counties are to implement them in time for the general election.

ID: Idaho is the only state skipping COVID-19 relief for school-lunch families

Idaho is the only state not to join the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pandemic food stamp program that provides families with extra money for food. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said the state is still reviewing the program and has not made a final decision.

MD: Maryland governor says county officials can’t stop schools from reopening

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan stripped local governments of their authority to prohibit schools from opening amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Republican’s order overturned a decision by officials in Montgomery County, just outside Washington, D.C., to shutter private as well as public schools for the start of the school year.

MS: ‘We are going to pay the price’ if Mississippi kids go back to school this week, state health official says

With Mississippi near the top of the list nationwide for COVID-19 spread, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs is leery of sending children back to classrooms. Dobbs said he believes COVID-19 cases will level off, then soar once schools are in session.

AZ: Arizona schools open virtually this week

Arizona schools open this week, some of the first in the nation. An executive order forbids reopening in-person classes until at least Aug. 17. After that, it’s up to individual districts and charter schools to decide when it’s time to reopen.

UT: Inconsistent closures at Utah child care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks

Fifty-seven child care facilities in Utah have reported coronavirus cases so far, but state data shows responses to the disease have varied greatly. Some of the care centers reopened after a day or two. Others shut down for weeks. And nearly a dozen didn’t close at all.

NE: Nebraska governor says it’s really important to get kids back into classrooms across the state

Nebraska Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts said that it’s important to get kids back into classrooms at schools across the state, noting that students face other challenges besides COVID-19.

AL: Alabama college students must report symptoms online after testing negative

Alabama college students will face a new normal when they return to campus that will include mandatory testing for coronavirus, as well as required and encouraged use of technology to slow the outbreak.

NC: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill students move into dorms amid protests

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill students and their parents unloaded packed cars and carried boxes into residence halls in the rain, on the first of seven move-in days for the fall semester. But just outside the dorms, a small group of campus workers and union members set up an event protesting the reopening of campus, which they say puts the lives of housekeepers and other employees at risk.

WV, SC: West Virginia governor blames South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach for virus spread

Facing new coronavirus outbreaks in his state, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, warned residents against traveling south, particularly to South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach, naming the tourist destination at least three times during a press conference.

MN: Minnesota has lost a greater share of revenue than most

Minnesota’s budget whiplash spun the conversation nearly overnight from which school investments to make and taxes to cut, to whose paycheck to shave and programs to eliminate.

GA: Governor signs bill allowing stores to deliver beer, wine, liquor to Georgians’ homes

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way many Georgians shop, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation allowing stores and at least some restaurants to deliver beer, wine and booze to homes.

AK: Alaska law enforcement has killed 43 people in five and a half years

No Alaska statewide data exists on the killings, but a review by the Anchorage Daily News found that at least 30% were Alaska Native. Alaska Native people make up about 15% of Alaska’s population.

WY: Federal commission recommends Wyoming pass hate-crime law

The result of a months-long investigation into bias crimes in Wyoming, the final version of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ long-awaited hate crimes report includes a number of steps for policy makers to take in an effort to better track hate crimes in Wyoming, which is one of just five states without a hate crime law.

RI: Feds scale back plans to allow hunting at Rhode Island wildlife refuges 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has modified some of its plans to expand hunting and fishing on five federal refuges in Rhode Island after considering more than 1,600 comments and two petitions. 

IA: Iowa governor has stopped attorney general from joining anti-Trump suits

Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has rejected two-thirds of Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller’s requests to join multistate lawsuits, under an unusual compromise that has allowed her to repeatedly block the state’s involvement in challenges to Trump administration policies.

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Stateline staff
Stateline staff

Stateline’s team of veteran journalists combines original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.