Top State Stories 12/4

By: - December 4, 2020 12:00 am

CA: Governor orders new limits on California businesses and activities as COVID-19 infections soar

Californians will see sharp new limits on community outings and in-person shopping under a new statewide order issued by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, a set of far-reaching restrictions tied to regional strains on critical care services as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

NH: Newly elected New Hampshire state lawmakers convene for first time, outside

Newly elected New Hampshire lawmakers sat in white folding chairs on green AstroTurf, an open December sky above them. Many huddled under blankets, with gloves and hats pulled tight, as New Hampshire’s legislature kicked off its latest session in a new way.

MD: Failure rates skyrocket in Maryland’s largest school district amid pandemic

Failure rates in math and English jumped as much as sixfold for some of the most vulnerable students in Montgomery County, home to Maryland’s largest school system. The most severely affected groups were Black and Hispanic students from families at or near the poverty line and English language learners.

DE: Delaware governor issues stay-at-home advisory, mask mandate

Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, announced a stay-at-home advisory and universal indoor mask mandate starting later this month as the state sets records for new coronavirus cases. The state recommends schools pause in-person learning around the holidays, starting Dec. 14, and return to hybrid learning on Jan. 11.

ME: Maine governor says state’s allocation of vaccine falls short

Maine Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, said federal projections for Maine’s share of initial shipments of the first COVD-19 vaccine expected to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, have been slashed by nearly two-thirds. Mills said it was alarming to see the reduction in shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, which could begin arriving mid-December.

VT: Vermont city detects increase in COVID-19 in sewers post-Thanksgiving

Burlington, Vermont, has documented a major increase of COVID-19 RNA in its wastewater systems, prompting Democratic Mayor Miro Weinberger to call on residents to “cease social gatherings” to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.

NC: North Carolina shatters COVID-19 daily case records

North Carolina reported 5,637 additional COVID-19 cases, shattering the state’s previous daily record by over 1,000 cases. The state set its previous record on Nov. 22, when the Department of Health and Human Services reported 4,514 cases in one day.

AZ: Arizona governor announces new enforcement measures for COVID-19

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, announced expanded health and safety requirements for public events approved by cities and counties. He relaxed regulations on restaurants to encourage a shift from indoor to outdoor dining, and declared that businesses that repeatedly disregard safety guidelines would face closure.

WI: Governor asks federal officials to prioritize Wisconsin for COVID-19 vaccine

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers asked federal officials to prioritize Wisconsin for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, citing concerns about high case numbers, strained hospitals and a lack of statewide mitigation efforts. He also told President Donald Trump and the state’s congressional delegation that Wisconsin needs an additional $466 million for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, hospitals, vaccine distribution and public messaging for the first quarter of 2021.

NV: Online travel sites shortchanged Nevada on room taxes by M

Nevada may have been cheated out of more than $100 million in hotel room tax revenue in recent years by a host of online travel companies, according to a lawsuit.

CO: Colorado county will require COVID-19 affidavit for visitors

Officials in Pitkin County, Colorado—home to Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort—are preparing to distribute an affidavit that requires visitors to acknowledge they have come to the area with a negative COVID-19 test and understand the local public health orders.

OK: Oklahoma nurses ask governor’s administration for recruiting help amid shortage

Facing a nursing shortage even before the pandemic, Oklahoma nurses and educators said they met with officials from GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration officials about recruiting more nurses and imposing a mask mandate.

WA:  New jobless claims fell sharply in Washington

Washington state saw a sharp decline in new unemployment claims last week, but the total number of people without a job is still roughly 50% higher compared to pre-pandemic levels.

OR:  Oregon wants to buy motels to house the homeless, but applications slow to arrive

Oregon lawmakers allocated $30 million this fall to turn hotels and motels in eight wildfire-impacted counties into unconventional apartment complexes for people whose homes were destroyed. But only 10 nonprofits or government agencies applied for the money by the late November deadline.

HI:  Hawaii dogs are learning to sniff out COVID-19 infections

Four dogs in Hawaii are joining an international effort to figure out whether canines can detect a distinct scent found in the sweat of people infected with COVID-19.

MS:  23,000 fewer students enrolled in Mississippi public schools this year

More than 23,000 fewer students are enrolled in Mississippi public schools this year compared to last year, and a spokesperson for the state Department of Education did not answer when asked where the students went.

MI: Michigan governor may extend shutdown

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the “sheer volume” of coronavirus cases in Michigan could lead her to extend portions of a three-week partial shutdown of schools and businesses.

OH: Ohio governor vetoes limit on quarantine power proposed by state lawmakers

Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed an attempt from fellow Republicans to curb his ability to issue health orders quarantining Ohioans during a pandemic.

MA: Massachusetts lawmakers reach B budget deal that would expand abortion access

Massachusetts legislative leaders filed a $46.2 billion budget accord they said would drain the state’s emergency savings beyond what lawmakers had initially approved and expand abortion access, including allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to get an abortion without a parent’s consent.

ND: North Dakota legislature votes to require masks at Capitol

North Dakota lawmakers decided to require masks at the state Capitol, despite opposition by ultraconservative members of the Republican-controlled legislature.

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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.