By: - August 13, 2021 12:00 am

VA: Virginia governor mandates masks in schools after some local leaders reject CDC guidance

The administration of Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam mandated that all K-12 schools in the state require masks for students and teachers, less than a week after saying a state law already rendered them compulsory.

TX: Texas abortion clinics brace for near shutdown as new law goes into effect

With only days left until the country’s first six-week abortion ban rolls out in Texas, abortion clinics and their supporters are bracing for a virtual shutdown of legal access to the procedure. Some clinics in the state are preparing not only to abide by the new guidelines, but shuttering their abortion offerings entirely.

CA: California panel backs solar mandate for new buildings

California regulators voted to require builders to include solar power and battery storage in many new commercial structures as well as high-rise residential projects. It is the latest initiative in the state’s vigorous efforts to hasten a transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources. 

FL: Florida governor creates mobile units to provide antibody treatments for COVID

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis revealed the creation of mobile rapid response units to deliver the COVID-19 antibody treatment Regeneron to Floridians at higher risk for the virus. Regeneron, a monoclonal antibody cocktail, is an FDA-approved treatment for those who have already gotten sick.

GA: Georgia elections chief seeks constitutional ban on voting that’s already illegal

Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger called for amending the Georgia Constitution to ban noncitizens from voting, a prohibition already enshrined in a state law.

MD: Maryland becomes majority-minority

Non-Hispanic White residents made up 47% of Maryland’s population in 2020, down from 55% in the 2010 count. The share of Marylanders identifying as Asian, Hispanic or Latino increased over the past decade.

DE: Delaware announces vaccine mandate for state employees and health care workers

Delaware state employees and health care workers will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested regularly under a new mandate that goes into effect Sept. 30.

CO: Colorado’s top election official orders county to scrap voting equipment after passwords leak

Colorado’s Democratic secretary of state said an investigation indicates that a Republican county clerk allowed an unauthorized person to attend a software update for equipment made by Dominion Voting Systems. That person allegedly took images of the passwords and posted them on a far-right blog and on the social media page of a far-right conspiracy theorist.

PA: Pennsylvania will require 80% vaccination rates for nursing home staff

If Pennsylvania nursing homes don’t have at least 80% of their staff vaccinated by Oct. 1, the Department of Health announced, all employees will have to undergo regular coronavirus testing — but the administration stopped short of issuing a vaccination or testing requirement.

OK: Oklahoma lawsuit seeks to overturn ban on school mask mandates

A state medical group and several Oklahoma parents allege that a state law that largely prohibits public schools from implementing mask mandates is unconstitutional. 

NM: New Mexico taps US pandemic relief to help harvest chile

New Mexico will use federal relief funds to boost wages among chile pickers and processors to .50 an hour in an effort to ensure adequate labor. 

NH: Dozens of New Hampshire towns have not filed paperwork to receive COVID relief funds

With an Aug. 18 deadline approaching and significant money at stake, 50 New Hampshire towns had not filed the paperwork required to collect their American Rescue Plan payments as of this week. 

ME: Maine will require health care workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID by October

Maine will be one of the first states to require COVID-19 vaccines for health care workers after Democratic Gov. Janet Mills announced an aggressive policy shift that sets an Oct. 1 deadline for them to be fully inoculated. 

UT: Utah capital’s city council votes to overturn school mask mandate

The Salt Lake County Council in Utah voted on party lines to overturn a mask mandate for K-6 students issued by county health director Dr. Angela Dunn. Republicans hold a veto-proof majority on the council.

AR: Arkansas COVID hospitalizations fall for 1st time in 6 days

After setting records for the previous three days, the number of COVID-19 patients in Arkansas hospitals fell by 50 on Thursday while the state’s count of cases rose by 2,318.

MA: Massachusetts governor stops short of statewide school mask mandate

Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said he will not issue a universal mask mandate for public schools, opting for a town-by-town approach instead.

AL: Alabama will reach all-time COVID hospitalization high in days, may need federal aid

Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said the state’s hospital capacity is stretched and they are discussing the possibility of federal aid to help.

MS: Mississippi governor extends COVID state of emergency as hospitals face breaking point

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, announced he would no longer rescind the state of emergency order set to expire Aug. 15. “It is a very different situation than two months ago,” Reeves said.

LA: Louisiana House Republicans want school mask mandate rescinded

Nineteen Louisiana House Republicans sent a letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, asking him to remove his mask mandates for school districts and allow schools to decide. 

NV: Nevada schools ramp up suicide prevention efforts

In response to student stresses from pandemic-affected learning, several schools in Nevada are putting more effort into their mental health programs.

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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.