By: - August 18, 2020 12:00 am

US: COVID-19 study finds racial disparity in hospitalizations in a dozen states

African Americans in Minnesota and 11 other states are being hospitalized for COVID-19 at a rate that exceeds their share of the population. A new study based on a University of Minnesota database of COVID-19 hospitalizations also found a disparity for Hispanics in 10 of 11 states.

IA: ‘Horrifying’ data glitch skews key Iowa coronavirus metrics

A state agency says it is working to fix a data error on Iowa’s coronavirus website that lowers the number of new confirmed cases and therefore downplays the severity of the current outbreak, just as schools are deciding whether to reopen.

US: Postal crisis has states looking for alternatives to mail-In ballots

A crisis of confidence in the U.S. Postal Service is pushing Democratic Party and state officials to look for a Plan B: ballot drop-boxes, curbside voting and even expanded in-person polling sites.

CO: Study finds more Coloradoans died at home during stay-at-home order

A study of ambulance calls in Denver by doctors in the city found that, while overall calls for service went down during the Colorado stay-at-home period, the number of people dying from cardiac arrests at home shot up.

UT: Kanye West to be on Utah ballot as unaffiliated presidential candidate

Kanye West will appear on the November ballot in Utah after the rapper officially filed as a candidate for president of the United States in the state with the needed 1,000 signatures.

NC: University of North Carolina moves classes online after outbreak

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill will move all undergraduate classes online after 130 more students tested positive for the coronavirus. The announcement follows reports of four COVID-19 clusters over three days in dorms, apartments and a fraternity house.

ID: Federal judge stops Idaho from implementing ban on transgender athletes

A federal judge in Idaho has issued a temporary injunction to keep the state from implementing a law banning transgender girls and women from participating in women’s sports while a legal challenge moves forward.

AK: The feds will hold an oil lease sale in Alaska wildlife refuge

The Trump administration set the stage for a lease sale in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the coming months, but industry observers and Alaska leaders say oil won’t flow for years.

CA: California governor wants probe of blackouts

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, demanded an investigation into the weekend’s blackouts, declared a state of emergency and signed a proclamation that suspends air-pollution regulations that could inhibit the use of generators.

VA: Virginia state senator facing felony charges in toppling of statue

Virginia state Sen. Louise Lucas, a Democrat, is facing two felony charges over her role in the toppling of a Confederate statue in Portsmouth in June, the city’s police department announced. The June 10 incident left a man critically injured after the statue fell on him.

LA: Louisiana mail-in voting would be rolled back in November under new proposal

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, a Republican, has proposed a plan for the Nov. 3 presidential election that would roll back mail-in voting significantly from the recently held summer elections, allowing only one category of people to vote by mail if they don’t meet the normal requirements: those who have tested positive for COVID-19.

PA: Pennsylvania aims to move election fight to state high court

Pennsylvania is asking the state’s highest court to use its extraordinary authority to take over another election-related lawsuit with critical questions that it says must be settled as soon as possible in a partisan fight between Democrats and Republicans in the presidential battleground state.

WI: Challenge would drop Green Party from Wisconsin presidential ballot

The Wisconsin Elections Commission will consider a petition this week that would reject thousands of nominating signatures for Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins and vice presidential candidate Angela Walker because they list Walker’s incorrect home address.

MI: Michigan Supreme Court asked to reconsider absentee voting deadline

The League of Women Voters asked the Michigan Supreme Court to reconsider an appeal to allow local clerks more time to count ballots. Primary election results showed 6,400 absentee ballots were rejected because they were delivered after Election Day.

OH: Ohio’s rural counties face election challenges

Between mitigating White House rhetoric that undermines mail-in voting, recruiting poll workers and instilling COVID-19 guidelines, counties across Ohio face an uphill battle to prepare for the election as safely and securely as possible. And in rural areas, local election boards are working around the clock to adapt.

AZ: Arizona uses incomplete data to calculate positive COVID-19 tests

When the Arizona Department of Health Services receives written or faxed COVID-19 test results rather than electronic ones, it includes the positive results in the state’s overall case count. But it doesn’t count up the negative results needed to accurately determine percent positivity.

KY: Kentucky businesses, restaurants can now be fined over masks

Restaurants, bars and any other business not following Kentucky’s mask mandate now face fines. And that goes for their customers as well.

KS: Kansas will again limit evictions, foreclosures

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, plans a short-term reinstatement of limits on evictions and foreclosures to pressure Congress to approve additional pandemic relief funding.

DC: District of Columbia to hire more contact tracers as numbers plateau

The District of Columbia will hire an additional 175 contact tracers, which will allow workers to go to the homes of the 30% of sick people who are not answering the city’s questions by phone.

NY: New York City has tamed the virus. Can it hold off a second wave?

The current levels of infection in New York City are so remarkable that they have surprised state and city officials: Around 1% of the roughly 30,000 tests each day in the city are positive for the virus. In Los Angeles, it’s 7%, while it’s 13% in Miami-Dade County and around 15% in Houston.

MS: 71 Mississippi counties report cases in schools

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said 71 of Mississippi’s 82 counties have reported positive coronavirus cases within schools — an increase from roughly half of the state’s counties that reported positives late last week. Dobbs said 245 teachers and 199 students have tested positive.

GA: Maskless student gatherings mar return as more Georgia colleges open

Several Georgia universities reopened for the fall semester amid renewed calls for schools to conduct all classes online as videos showing large groups of mostly maskless students partying in close spaces surfaced on social media.

CT: Connecticut’s largest teachers union calls for delay in reopening schools

The Connecticut Education Association is calling for a two-week delay in the start of the school year to improve and expand remote learning. The union also is asking for a state policy change that would allow all-remote learning for some districts.

HI: Hawaii knew COVID-19 would hit Pacific Islanders hard and still fell short

About 30% of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hawaii affect non-Hawaiian Pacific Islanders, even though they make up just 4% of the state’s population. Other states like Oregon have done more to include Pacific Islander community leaders in the emergency response and provide them with resources.

LA: Louisiana governor’s bar closure is constitutional, federal judge rules

A federal judge has sided with Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, in a lawsuit over his coronavirus closure of bars, rejecting a request from several bar owners in the New Orleans and Houma areas to declare the order unconstitutional.

NM: New Mexico prepares for nursing home visitors

Officials within New Mexico’s congregate care industry are beginning to address what has been a pent-up demand — families’ desire to see loved ones who live in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities. The state has relaxed some restrictions on visitations.

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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.