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US Pregnant Panda, Rim of the Pacific, virtual colleges: News from around our 50 states

09:51  20 august  2020
09:51  20 august  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

Event exceptions, school foggers, virtual state fair: News from around our 50 states

  Event exceptions, school foggers, virtual state fair: News from around our 50 states How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Juneau: The state Department of Transportation has released a draft winter ferry operating plan with long service gaps for some coastal communities, and others won’t have any service during the The number of coronavirus cases in the state since the start of the pandemic surpassed 50 ,000 on Monday.

Pacific Rim College - 560 Johnson Street, Suite 229 for Reception, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 3C6 - Rated 5 based on 19 Reviews We always start to feel a little bit sad when summer is coming to an end, but time moves on and soon we’ll be able to enjoy all of the amazing things we love about fall.⁣ ⁣

Alabama

Montgomery: Gov. Kay Ivey said the state is seeking to provide out-of-work people with an additional $300 per week in unemployment assistance for a short time through a plan announced by President Donald Trump. The Alabama Department of Labor said in a news release that the state is applying for the Lost Wages Assistance Program created by Trump. It is unknown how long the extra payments would last, and it might be only for a short time. The state Labor Department said federal guidance indicated states would get three weeks’ worth of funding. Additional weeks would be granted on a weekly basis if funds are available. To be eligible for the benefit, the Alabama Department of Labor said recipients must receive at least $100 in unemployment and must certify that they remain unemployed or partially unemployed because of the disruptions caused by COVID-19. The Labor Department said unemployed workers will be automatically notified if they are eligible. No additional application is required. Payments would be retroactive to Aug. 1. The state will begin issuing the payments following approval and receipt of funds.

A giant panda at the National Zoo is about to give birth. Watch for these signs of labor on the 'panda cam'

  A giant panda at the National Zoo is about to give birth. Watch for these signs of labor on the 'panda cam' Mei Xiang, the 22-year-old panda at the National Zoo in Washington is pregnant. A "panda cam" is live to track her as the nation awaits good news.How To Vote By Mail And Make Sure Your Ballot Counts In The November Election

Captive animals had previously shown little inclination to mate, and scientists are hopeful it may result in pregnancy .

The United States began its biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise off Hawaii on Monday, although the event was heavily scaled-down because of restrictions pertaining to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The biennial event, which is typically the world’s largest naval exercise, will run

Alaska

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Anchorage: The Municipality of Anchorage has reached a settlement with the owners of a restaurant that remained open for dine-in service in defiance of an emergency coronavirus order. Kriner’s Diner agreed to abide by a temporary injunction issued by Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth last week and to obey the city's emergency order stopping indoor service at all restaurants and breweries, The Anchorage Daily News reported. In return, the municipality agreed to suspend fines incurred when the diner defied the court injunction. Aarseth issued the injunction when Kriner’s Diner continued dine-in service after the city's order went into effect Aug. 3 and the business failed to comply with a stop-work order. Andy Kriner, who owns Kriner’s Diner with his wife, said in a social media video post that the restaurant cannot afford to pay daily fines that could grow in size. Anchorage previously requested a contempt of court hearing after the restaurant defied the judge’s order. Under the agreement the diner will pay $3,300 in fines, but can pay the funds to the Food Bank of Alaska or a similar entity, Kriner’s attorney Blake Quackenbush said. Kriner’s Diner is required to follow the city’s emergency order until Sept. 1 and will be subject to fines of $5,000 per defendant per day if the business provides indoor service.

Dwight Howard bent the rim on a dunk in the Lakers-Trail Blazers game and NBA fans had jokes

  Dwight Howard bent the rim on a dunk in the Lakers-Trail Blazers game and NBA fans had jokes Dodgers reliever Scott Alexander made a great stop behind his back and had an easy throw over to first for the out on Tuesday night.

The Anteverse is the homeworld of the Kaiju and their creators, the Precursors. The Anteverse is almost kaleidoscopic in appearance, sporting multiple colors across a barren wasteland engulfed in storm clouds against the backdrop of a burning yellow planet and red sky.

Surfrider Pacific Rim work with volunteers, for the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves and Cannot recommend one of the latest episodes of the Green Dreamer Podcast enough, with guest Maxine Bedat of the New Standard Institute on setting standards for "sustainability" in the fashion

Arizona

Phoenix: A judge has refused a Phoenix-area health club chain’s request to hold Gov. Doug Ducey in contempt after it challenged his order closing gyms to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Timothy Thomason ruled late Monday there was no indication that Ducey’s reopening plan for gyms violated due process standards. The judge wrote that Mountain Fitness “has not even given the process a chance to work.” Mountainside Fitness said in a court filing Aug. 12 that Ducey’s reopening plan lacked firm deadlines and clear standards. Mountainside also said gyms that assure the state they are operating safely should be allowed to open once they turn in key paperwork. Thomason previously ordered Ducey to create an application process for reopening gyms and the plan unveiled Aug. 10 allows gyms to reopen at a limited capacity and with health precautions once the spread of the virus within their county is downgraded to moderate or minimal.

Burning Man 2020 is online: How to visit the virtual playa, and what to expect

  Burning Man 2020 is online: How to visit the virtual playa, and what to expect Having trouble imagining what the giant desert festival will look like amid the coronavirus pandemic? Here's a breakdown of this year's event, themed The Multiverse.The countercultural arts fest, which draws tens of thousands to the Nevada desert every year, will for the first time happen entirely online. You know, that place where you've probably gotten used to attending every other cultural event you've looked forward to this year.

Many Pacific Rim universities that were best prepared for campus closures at very short notice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic already had The article raises the questions around the considerations around technology, privacy, protection and transparency in slowing the spread of the

Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) is a biennial exercise designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships, critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security in support of a free and open Indo- Pacific region. The exercise, which takes place in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands

Arkansas

Little Rock: A Republican congressman in central Arkansas whom Democrats hope to unseat this fall launched a campaign ad Tuesday in which he touts the federal coronavirus relief the state has received, as negotiations over further assistance remain deadlocked in Washington. U.S. Rep. French Hill, who has represented Arkansas’ 2nd Congressional District since 2015, launched the ad a week after Democratic rival Joyce Elliott began airing a spot. Hill’s campaign wouldn’t say how much it’s spending to air the spot, but reports filed with the Federal Communications Commission show it has spent at least $32,000 to run on Little Rock television stations through the end of August. Efforts for new emergency relief have stalled in Washington, and hopes for a swift compromise have dwindled. Elliott said Hill’s vote for the virus aid shouldn’t be viewed in isolation and said more work needs to be done.

California

Sacramento: Health officials in California are concerned about the confluence of the coronavirus and flu in the upcoming months, noting a substantial decline in child vaccination rates since the pandemic. Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s health and human services secretary, said the number of children vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella as they prepare to enter elementary school plummeted when schools and businesses closed in the spring, and childhood vaccinations have generally fallen from a year ago. The flu usually stresses hospitals, which are also now grappling with coronavirus cases, especially in children, he said. “This year together flu and COVID make us particularly worried and have caused us to jump start some of that flu planning,” Ghaly told reporters during a briefing. Dr. Nael Mhaissen, medical director of pediatric infectious diseases at Valley Children’s in Madera, in the Central Valley, said he has similar concerns about how hospitals will handle the confluence of these illnesses in children. The Central Valley has seen some of the largest spikes in coronavirus infection rates in recent weeks. “That could potentially be disastrous as to how things would be for children in general, and for pediatric health care centers, because that will exhaust our resources significantly,” he said. California is dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases but has recently seen signs the spread could be slowing. The state reported 4,636 new cases and 100 deaths on Tuesday and saw an uptick in hospitalizations following two weeks of declines, Ghaly said. More than 11,300 people have died in California.

National Zoo’s panda gives birth, is oldest giant panda to have baby in U.S.

  National Zoo’s panda gives birth, is oldest giant panda to have baby in U.S. The female giant panda at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., gave birth Friday evening, capping days of excitement and becoming the oldest giant panda ever to successfully carry out a pregnancy on U.S. soil. © KAREN BLEIER Giant panda Mei Xiang rests in her enclosure August 24, 2016 at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. Mei Xiang, all of 22 years old, gave birth at 6:35 p.m., and she immediately began to cradle her cub and showered the baby with attention, according to the zoo.???? A precious giant panda cub has arrived! We’re overjoyed to share that Mei Xiang gave birth at 6:35 p.m.

The rivers and hills of the Ardennes in the southeast contrast sharply with the rolling plains which make up much of the northern and western countryside. The most notable features are the great forest near the frontier with Germany and Luxembourg and the wide, sandy beaches of the northern coast.

Reddit gives you the best of the internet in one place. Get a constantly updating feed of breaking news , fun stories, pics, memes, and videos just for you. Passionate about something niche? Reddit has thousands of vibrant communities with people that share your interests. Alternatively, find out what’s

Colorado

Colorado Springs: More than 150 students at Colorado College were quarantined after a student tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend, officials said. Positive cases were also reported at the Air Force Academy. The colleges near Colorado Springs have recently reopened in-person classes for fall instruction. Students at Colorado College were tested as they arrived to campus on Friday. A student living in Loomis Hall received positive test results Saturday. The student did not follow the school’s social distancing protocols between when he was tested and received his results, Colorado College spokeswoman Leslie Weddell said. Several people in the hall were exposed to the student, The Gazette reported. As a result, 155 people will be quarantined for 14 days to prevent further spread of the virus on campus. Students will only be permitted to leave their rooms to use the restroom. Any movement in or out of the dorm will be prohibited. The Air Force Academy had a number of cadets test positive for the coronavirus as well, but officials said they were not able to provide details, citing Department of Defense guidance. “Currently positive COVID-19 cases remain considerably less than 1% of our Air Force Academy Cadets and Preparatory School Cadet Candidates,” Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in an email to the Gazette. Nearly 750 students are tested per week, Andrews said.

Pandemic Panda-mania, USS Missouri, virtual book fair: News from around our 50 states

  Pandemic Panda-mania, USS Missouri, virtual book fair: News from around our 50 states How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Connecticut

Hartford: Cases of COVID-19 and associated deaths were more prevalent in Connecticut’s for-profit nursing homes, as well in larger facilities and homes that are part of chains and located in communities with high infection rates, according to a preliminary, third-party review released Tuesday. The report from the Princeton, New Jersey, research firm Mathematica, and ordered by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, reviewed how the state, nursing homes and assisted living centers prepared for and responded to the coronavirus pandemic. It found that early responses to the coronavirus outbreak were “undermined” by gaps in scientific knowledge about the how the virus spreads, the factors that put people at risk and the range and severity of symptoms – especially among older people. More than 3,000 residents of nursing homes and assisting living have died of COVID-associated causes during the pandemic in Connecticut. That represents about 74% of state’s total deaths from COVID-19. Adults over age 85 were the most severely impacted. Some state legislators criticized the report for not offering much new information. The state spent about $450,000 in federal coronavirus funding on the review.

Delaware

Dover: Attorneys for Democratic Gov. John Carney are resisting attempts to have him questioned under oath in a federal lawsuit over limitations on worship services he imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to attorneys for a Delaware cleric challenging Carney’s actions. Attorneys for the Rev. Dr. Christopher Allan Bullock said in a letter to the court Tuesday that they have been trying for several weeks to accommodate and cooperatively schedule Carney’s deposition, but Carney refuses to be deposed. “Given that he is the sole defendant and key fact witness, he denies everything in his answer, and this is the only deposition plaintiff intends to take, his refusal presents a problem,” wrote Tom Neuberger, whose firm is representing Bullock. Bullock’s attorneys said they have been told by Deputy Attorney General Allison McCowan that Delaware Department of Justice officials “do not see or understand the necessity” of scheduling Carney’s deposition. “Frankly, they’re just being obstructive,” Neuberger said. A spokesman for Carney did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. The judge plans to discuss a schedule for the case with attorneys Thursday. Bullock, a well-known New Castle County pastor and community activist, filed a lawsuit in May claiming Carney’s restrictions on worship services were unconstitutional and discriminatory. Carney then rescinded many of the restrictions, and his attorneys argued Bullock’s claims were now moot. But Bullock’s attorneys are asking for an injunction to prohibit the governor from imposing similar limitations on religious practices in the future.

Coronavirus live updates: Iowa reports first child death; CDC drops travel quarantine recommendation; Florida has more than 600K infections

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District of Columbia

Washington: Zookeepers at Washington’s National Zoo are on furry black-and-white baby watch after concluding that venerable giant panda matriarch Mei Xiang is pregnant and could give birth this week. It’s a welcome bit of good news amid a coronavirus pandemic that kept the zoo shuttered for months. “We need this! We totally need this joy,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson. “We are all in desperate need of these feel-goods.” Although “phantom pregnancies” are common with pandas and other large bears, Baker-Masson said an ultrasound scan revealed a “really strong-looking, fantastic fetus” that could be delivered this week. The announcement of the pregnancy has already touched off a fresh round of panda-mania for one of the zoo’s feature attractions. Viewership on the zoo’s panda-cam has increased 800%. The zoo reopened on a limited basis July 24, with restrictions in place to keep the crowds down. However, all indoor exhibits, including the extremely popular panda house, have remained closed. Visitors can still view the outdoor panda enclosure, but Mei has mostly been staying indoors, creating a nest out of branches. She can still be viewed on the panda cam. Panda births are inherently tricky, with stillbirths and miscarriages happening frequently. There is also a phenomenon called “resorption” whereby the fetus is unexpectedly absorbed back into the mother’s body. Baker-Masson said that is rare with a fetus this well-developed. Another potential complication is the age of the mother. Mei, at 22, would be the oldest giant panda to successfully give birth in the United States. The oldest in the world gave birth in China at age 23. Mei Xiang has successfully given birth to three cubs: Tai Shan, Bao Bao and Bei Bei. All were transported to China at age 4, under terms of the zoo’s agreement with the Chinese government. Mei was impregnated via artificial insemination, a process which was heavily affected by precautions over the COVID-19 pandemic. The procedure was conducted shortly after the entire zoo shut down on March 14.

Party crackdowns, desk shields, broken glass: News from around our 50 states

  Party crackdowns, desk shields, broken glass: News from around our 50 states How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Florida

Jacksonville: Students at two Jacksonville private schools were asked to quarantine following a gathering that resulted in multiple COVID-19 exposures, school officials said. On Monday, an email to parents from Episcopal School of Jacksonville Associate Head of School Keesy Goebertus said "a social gathering" with a "large group of Episcopal and Bolles students" took place last week, days before the first day of school on Aug. 13. The email said "several" students who attended the gathering tested positive for COVID-19. No social distancing was observed and no masks were worn, according to Goebertus' note – in direct conflict with federal and county recommendations. Jacksonville is in Phase 2 of its reopening plan along with most of Florida, which includes limiting social gatherings. According to Episcopal School of Jacksonville spokeswoman Meg Sacks, contact tracing led to "a number of students" being sent home to quarantine, including the students who were at the gathering and their siblings, who in some cases also attend the school and are in different classes.

Georgia

Atlanta: Gov. Brian Kemp announced new spending plans for federal COVID-19 aid to schools Tuesday as the state’s newly confirmed infection numbers continue to fall but remain the highest per capita in the nation. Kemp, a Republican, said he would allocate more than $65 million of the remaining $105 million in discretionary money he has to aid schools, pending expected approval by the U.S. Department of Education. Of that money, at least $17 million will go to the state’s Department of Early Care and Learning to subsidize programs to help private child care centers provide daytime supervision for students whose school systems are providing all-virtual instruction. “One of the biggest problems that we’re having right now is schools that are going virtual,” Kemp said. “The parents can’t go back to work because they’re stuck home with the kids. So we’re trying to get some more child care.” Families with incomes of 85% or below of the statewide median would be eligible for subsidized slots if parents are working, or attending college or job training. Students whose school systems are offering any in-person classes would not eligible for the program, which could start as early as next month.

Hawaii

Honolulu: The world’s largest maritime military exercise is scheduled to be held this week in Hawaii, but the event has been scaled back significantly, mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 27th Rim of the Pacific international military exercise will be considerably smaller than usual primarily, Hawaii Public Radio reported. The exercise will be limited to sea training activity with minimal personnel on land to prevent potential spread of the coronavirus. The exercise is held every two years on land, in the air and on the seas around the Hawaiian Islands. The shift is a significant change from past exercises – which included large, land-based training events, shore leave for sailors and numerous social gatherings. This year’s event will feature 10 participating countries including Australia, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. There were 26 participating nations involved in 2018. The U.S. Navy declined to provide reasons former partners declined to participate this year, although the pandemic is a likely cause because some some governments have suspend overseas military training. Thailand announced in July it would indefinitely suspend overseas exercises after a dozen Thai soldiers tested positive for COVID-19 following exercises with the U.S. Army in Hawaii. The U.S. Navy delayed and reconfigured the exercise following a request by Democratic Hawaii Gov. David Ige, but resisted pressure to cancel it. Navy Capt. Jay Steingold, exercise director for the event that goes by its acronym RIMPAC, said the U.S. and partners enacted health precautions including placing 14-day movement restrictions on participants, who will be monitored for symptoms.

Idaho

Boise: An Idaho hospital on Tuesday reported the state’s first case of a pediatric inflammatory illness associated with the new coronavirus. A 7-year-old with no known previous health conditions was diagnosed with Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, a potentially serious disease sometimes called MIS-C, said St. Luke’s Regional Health System spokeswoman Anita Kissée. The child was treated in the pediatric intensive care unit but released on Sunday, Kissée said. The illness is newly recognized and is believed to be a delayed complication of coronavirus infection, often causing a fever, evidence of inflammation and severe illness involving more than two organs. Symptoms can vary, but sometimes resemble toxic shock syndrome or Kawasaki disease, another rare illness that can cause fever, inflammation of the blood vessels, lymph nodes and mucous membranes in children. Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children can cause coronary arteries and other blood vessels to enlarge or form aneurysms, Kissée said in a social media post, emphasizing that it is a very rare complication of COVID-19. Dr. Kenny Bramwell, the system medical director for St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, said the girl was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit from another hospital last week. She was well enough to go home on Sunday. Bramwell said he didn’t want to alarm families, but said parents should be aware of the illness. He said more cases are likely coming to Idaho – nationally, there has been about one MIS-C case for every 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Illinois

Chicago: Chicago Public Schools on Tuesday released a “final reopening framework” that gives specifics on how much time each grade will spend daily learning remotely as the coronavirus pandemic continues. The Chicago Teachers Union immediately criticized school officials, saying they created a plan without imagination and without consulting union officials. “As we prepare for an unprecedented start to the upcoming school year, we’ve set clear expectations for students and staff to improve remote instruction and ensure that our students are supported and their unique needs are met,” schools CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson said in a statement. The district’s plan establishes expectations for remote learning, instruction time by grade, emotional and social supports for its approximately 350,000 students, plans to assist non-English-speaking students and the distribution of devices to students who need them. Teachers union President Jesse Sharkey said the union has filed a grievance about the district’s remote learning guidance. He contended it fails to provide teachers with the instructional tools necessary to deliver proper instruction in a remote context as required by the labor contract. Officials said schools will be fully remote through early November, when they will decide if the district will move to a hybrid model.

Indiana

South Bend: The University of Notre Dame on Tuesday canceled in-person undergraduate classes for two weeks after a spike of coronavirus cases that occurred since the semester began Aug. 10. University President the Rev. John Jenkins said there have been 147 confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus since the start of classes for the university’s approximately 12,000 students. Jenkins said he decided against sending students home after consulting with the St. Joseph County Health Department. Instead, university officials decided steps could be taken short of closing the campus while still protecting students’ health and safety. The university is advising off-campus students not to visit the campus and on-campus students not to venture off-campus and is restricting student gatherings to 10 people or less. The university is allowing graduate student access to research laboratories and libraries. Athletic teams subject to surveillance testing can continue to gather for sanctioned activities, but will be closely monitored. According to Jenkins, the university has traced the spike in COVID-19 cases to off-campus gatherings where neither masks were worn nor physical distancing observed. He said students infected at those gatherings passed it on to others, who in turn passed the virus on to others, resulting in the positive cases, with all but one student.

Iowa

Iowa City: Webster County said Tuesday that a clinic failed to report up to 3,000 negative coronavirus test results, as concerns about inaccuracies in the state’s official pandemic data continued to mount even as schools use it to determine their fall plans. County Public Health department spokeswoman Kelli Bloomquist said her agency uncovered the clinic’s failure to report negative tests last week, and the clinic belatedly submitted the 3,000 results. The county didn’t say why the clinic was not reporting the negative results. The state system rejected the submissions, but a subsequent review confirmed that many tests had not been entered, Bloomquist said. The new information dramatically reduced the county’s 14-day positivity rate, which the state is using to determine whether school districts must return for at least 50% in-person instruction. The Fort Dodge Community School District announced late Monday that the lower positivity rate would allow school to start on Tuesday as initially envisioned. Last week, the district announced a plan to delay the start date given the seemingly high level of community spread following a major outbreak at a prison. Separately, Humboldt Community School District Superintendent Jim Murray said he learned Tuesday that the county positivity rate of 22.6% – highest in the state – will be lower once unspecified data errors are corrected. He said the district would not seek a waiver to start online.

Kansas

Topeka: Fans can attend Kansas State University football games this fall, but no tailgating will be allowed. The Riley County Commission approved on Monday the university’s plan to open the Bill Snyder Family Stadium at about 25% capacity, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. The university has developed new ticket options that will be unveiled to season ticket holders later this week. Face coverings will be required upon entering the stadium and while inside when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Kansas State Athletic Director Gene Taylor said in a statement they are implementing several new policies that will be strictly enforced. Fans will not be permitted to re-enter the stadium to help eliminate congestion at gates and they will be encouraged to enter the stadium immediately after parking. For the first time, fans will be allowed to buy beer and wine in general seating sections. Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the stadium and signs will encourage social distancing. Stadium employees will wear protective gear and face coverings. Also on Tuesday, local health officials said in a news release that a Kansas State University fraternity has been associated with a coronavirus outbreak. The Riley County Health Department said 13 fraternity members tested positive for COVID-19.

Kentucky

Frankfort: A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by seven medically vulnerable state inmates who sought release from the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women because of the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove said in his ruling Monday that the inmates showed evidence of being incarcerated under conditions that pose a risk of serious harm, but failed to show that Kentucky officials are ignoring risks posed by COVID-19, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. “Based on the evidence presented, it is evident that respondents are aware of and understand the potential risk of serious harm to petitioners through exposure to the COVID-19 virus. It is also evident that respondents have taken numerous precautions to address the particular risks faced by individuals detained at KCIW,” he wrote. As of Monday, 243 inmates and 32 employees have been infected with the coronavirus at the prison in Shelby County, the newspaper reported. The ACLU of Kentucky filed the suit in June on behalf of inmates who had preexisting health conditions that would make them more vulnerable to COVID-19. ACLU staff attorney Heather Gatnarek said she was “deeply disappointed” by the ruling. The Department of Corrections said the ruling recognized the agency’s continuing efforts to minimize health risks for inmates.

Louisiana

Baton Rouge: Gov. John Bel Edwards said Tuesday he will reject an emergency plan for the fall elections because it doesn’t expand mail-in balloting options for people quarantined because of the coronavirus pandemic or those at greater risk of serious harm from COVID-19. The decision by the Democratic governor will block the plan offered by Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin for the Nov. 3 presidential election and a Dec. 5 state election. The proposal needs backing from the majority-GOP Legislature and Edwards to take effect. “I do not support his plan. I don’t believe that it accommodates all the voters that should be accommodated in this public health emergency,” Edwards said. He added: “That plan will not be carried out for these elections.” Unless Ardoin revises the plan and can win approval from lawmakers and Edwards, it appears a federal lawsuit filed by voting rights advocates that seeks to widen mail-in voting options will decide what elections in Louisiana look like this fall. Ardoin said he won’t alter the plan he submitted, which was scheduled for its first legislative hearing Wednesday. Louisiana’s absentee balloting procedure is limited to people 65 or older, members of the military, overseas voters, people who are hospitalized and people who won’t be in their parish for the election.

Maine

Augusta: Tests for the coronavirus in wastewater from the Greater Augusta Utility District confirmed a small presence of the virus that coincided with two people testing positive in Kennebec County, officials said. Two tests of wastewater samples showed no detectable levels of the virus but a third test yielded a small concentration of the virus, officials said. “We want to be mindful that COVID-19 is a part of our daily lives. Wastewater testing and monitoring of the results will continue to guide our efforts to return to the new normal,” said Augusta City Manager William Bridgeo. The tests were conducted by Massachusetts-based Biobot, which tests sewage for genetic fragments of the virus in human waste. The water district serves thousands of home and businesses in Augusta, Hallowell, Manchester, Monmouth and Winthrop.

Maryland

a large brick building with grass in front of a house: Salisbury University has tested more than 1,000 students and employees for COVID-19 – with 0.4% of them positive – as it prepares for the start of the fall semester. © Staff Photo by Megan Raymond Salisbury University has tested more than 1,000 students and employees for COVID-19 – with 0.4% of them positive – as it prepares for the start of the fall semester.

Salisbury: Salisbury University has tested more than 1,000 students and employees for COVID-19 – with 0.4% of them positive – as it prepares for the start of the fall semester. To meet the University System of Maryland's requirement that students, faculty and staff test negative for COVID-19 before moving into campus housing or entering campus buildings, SU has been making testing free for the campus community this month. A news release showed that as of Friday, results for four of the more than 1,000 people tested have come back positive. This free testing opportunity is expected to provide a baseline for SU. Approximately 15% of the university community will be able to access free testing each week throughout the semester as a way to keep SU and local health officials updated on COVID-19 trends on campus. Anyone who tests positive will be asked to remain home for at least two weeks, according to the release, or test negative before returning to campus. The Dogwood Village student housing complex will serve as isolation space for students who test positive, but are unable to leave because of special circumstances. SU has also expanded its one-day move-in to a full week starting Monday so that physical distancing policies can be followed. Classes begin Aug. 31.

Massachusetts

Boston: About 70% of Massachusetts public school districts plan to bring children back to the classroom at least part-time this fall, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday. Those districts plan either a hybrid model or full in-person instruction, he said at a news conference to discuss the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. More than 370 districts have reported their fall plans to state education officials, he said. “We’re encouraged that nearly three quarters of the school districts are planning for at least a partial in-person learning experience for kids,” the Republican said. “Students have been away from their classrooms and their teachers and peers since March. Since then we have learned a tremendous amount about COVID and have put together guidelines to allow for a productive and safe learning environment that adapts to the challenges that come with COVID-19.” The governor has long made clear his desire for in-person learning, despite pushback from the state’s largest teachers’ unions that are encouraging remote-only learning for at least the start of the school year until school buildings can be made safe. The administration’s guidelines include a statewide map that groups communities into four coronavirus risk categories. The two lowest risk categories have been encouraged to bring students back to the classroom.

Michigan

a sign on the side of a road: Michigan State University's move to online learning is just for undergraduate students at the moment. The colleges of Law, Human Medicine, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and all graduate programs will receive details at a later time, according to the university. © Nick King/Lansing State Journal Michigan State University's move to online learning is just for undergraduate students at the moment. The colleges of Law, Human Medicine, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and all graduate programs will receive details at a later time, according to the university.

East Lansing: Michigan State University is going online for the fall and is encouraging students to stay home, the school’s president announced Tuesday, as schools across the nation struggled to control coronavirus outbreaks. Remote learning for undergraduates is scheduled to begin Sept. 2. The move to online learning is just for undergraduate students at the moment. The colleges of Law, Human Medicine, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and all graduate programs will receive details at a later time, according to the university. Last September, Michigan State’s total enrollment was 49,809 students, with 39,176 undergraduates. Over the next two weeks, in-person and hybrid classes will be transitioned to remote formats, Michigan State said. Refunds or credits will be issued to students who paid for the fall semester. The University of Michigan said it plans to offer a mixture of in-person and remote classes. Not all courses will be available in every format, the school said on its website. Most students will be able to choose whether to return to Ann Arbor for a hybrid learning experience or study from home in a fully remote mode. As of Tuesday, about 70% of undergraduate classes at the University of Michigan were being taken online, according to a school spokesman. The university’s Ann Arbor campus will open its residence halls for housing and dining.

Minnesota

Sartell: Sartell-St. Stephen students from early childhood to fifth grade will return to school in-person, almost six months after schools closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a school board decision. Students in grades 6-12 will attend school in-person and online to limit the number of people in facilities to 50% capacity, according to the district's safe learning plan. That decision was made based on state rules to determine who can return to school, using COVID-19 cases in Stearns County per 10,000 residents over a period of 14 days. In the two-week period from mid-July to Aug. 1, Stearns County had just over 11 cases per 10,000 people, according to health department numbers, which requires the district to use a hybrid plan for its 6-12 grade students. On Aug. 27, updated 14-day case rates will be given to schools, Superintendent Jeff Schweibert said at the board meeting. With Stearns County case rates declining, he said, it's possible the district could start entirely in-person. When the COVID-19 situation in the region changes, districts will have to adjust their models throughout the year. Unless there's a drastic increase in cases, Schweibert said, the district will try to remain in the same model for two weeks, and communicate any changes with families a week before.

Mississippi

Tutwiler: An outbreak of the coronavirus at a private prison in Mississippi has infected 80% of the Vermont inmates housed there and more test results are pending, the head of the Vermont Corrections Department said. A total of 176 Vermont inmates at the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler tested positive for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, and 33 have tested negative, Interim Vermont Corrections Commissioner Jim Baker said. One inmate is hospitalized. More test results are pending, he said. Vermont houses 219 inmates in Mississippi because of a lack of capacity in its prisons. In late July, six inmates who were returned to Vermont from Mississippi prison tested positive when they arrived at the Marble Valley Correctional Facility in Rutland. That prompted Vermont’s Corrections Department on July 30 to order that the remaining Vermont inmates in Mississippi be tested. Most of the Vermont inmates who have tested positive are asymptomatic and 119 are in medical recovery, he said. About 20 are considered to be vulnerable based on their health conditions, he said. The Corrections Department is watching four inmates very closely, Baker said. CoreCivic, the operator of the prison, is now in the process of testing the remaining inmates from other states, Baker said.

Missouri

Columbia: Dr. Deborah Birx, President Donald Trump’s top coronavirus adviser, called on everyone in Missouri to wear masks and refrain from attending parties. Birx met with Republican Gov. Mike Parson in his Capitol office. Afterward, she said political affiliations are irrelevant in the ongoing fight to slow the spread of COVID-19. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” Birx said. “You need to wear a mask and socially distance. You need to not have parties in your backyard and your living room.” Birx also talked to Parson about enacting a statewide mask mandate similar to one in Texas, where Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in July required masks in counties with 20 or more positive coronavirus cases. Parson called that a “great model” but didn’t directly answer a reporter’s question on whether he would enact such a policy. He said local officials already require masks in Missouri’s hot spots. “I support those local leaders in that decision and have since Day One,” Parson said. “I also want to add that just because masks aren’t mandated everywhere does not mean you shouldn’t wear one, especially if you can’t social distance.”

Montana

Missoula: An assisted living facility has been ordered to comply with state and local requirements for employees to wear masks while at work to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Missoula City-County Health Department issued the order Friday to Ty Harding, owner of the Beehive Homes franchise in Missoula. Harding told the Missoulian newspaper that Beehive was not aware that the county’s mask rules were more strict than the statewide mask mandate. The governor’s mandate allows an exception for face coverings when speaking to hearing-impaired persons. The county’s mandate does not include that exception. Six complaints were made against the facility from July 16 to Aug. 11, the order stated. Staff were notified that the stricter mask mandate applied in Missoula County on July 16. However, other complaints followed about staff and contractors. Beehive has ordered transparent face masks so staff can communicate with residents who are hearing impaired, Harding said. Facility manager Erin Heitzmann said she disagrees with the county’s order. “We’re taking away the last little shred of humanity,” she said, arguing the residents might fare better with traditional person-to-person contact. “We love them. They know us, and they are important to us.” Montana has had two large outbreaks of COVID-19 at assisted living facilities. One in Toole County resulted in six deaths and one in Billings led to 16 deaths.

Nebraska

Omaha: A busy coronavirus testing site in Omaha is closing this week, so local health care providers are seeking another way to provide more testing in the area, which is home to several meatpacking plants and a large Hispanic community. More than 1,900 of Douglas County’s more than 12,000 coronavirus cases have come from just one ZIP code in the area near the southeastern Omaha testing site, officials said. The state’s main testing service, TestNebraska, operates three drive-through testing locations elsewhere in Omaha, but none of them are close to southeastern Omaha. “We do need another option in our community,” said Andrea Skolkin, the CEO of OneWorld, a health center based in that part of the city. “Particularly east Omaha, it doesn’t seem like anyone is paying attention. … South Omaha is the hot zone. I don’t understand it.” Matt Miltenberger, Gov. Pete Ricketts’ chief of staff, said the state is looking for locations to set up a TestNebraska site in southeastern Omaha. “We want to be up ASAP,” he said. The current drive-through testing site in southeastern Omaha that can test up to 300 people a day has been a joint effort of OneWorld, the Douglas County Health Department and other groups. The site has been staffed primarily by Nebraska Medicine employees for the past eight weeks. But a hospital spokesman said those employees are needed back at their regular jobs now that Nebraska Medicine has resumed most of its normal operations, including elective surgeries that were put on hold during the spring. Skolkin said her health center is testing about 50 people per day at its locations and that it might be able to increase that to 100, but the private lab it uses has longer waiting times for test results.

Nevada

Las Vegas: Labor unions in Las Vegas began a campaign Tuesday to get area lawmakers to require employers to return furloughed casino, tourism, hospitality, airport, entertainment and hospital employees to their jobs when the coronavirus pandemic ebbs and business resumes. Several hundred idled workers demonstrated at the Clark County Government Center before representatives asked the all-Democratic county commission to consider a law Sept. 1 giving workers a “Right to Return” to former positions. “I’m here because they should respect my seniority,” said Moises Cuellar, an out-of-work casino employee with nearly 10 years’ experience at the New York-New York resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Like many in the crowd, he wore a red Culinary Union T-shirt. The 52-year-old married father of two said he has a home and a mortgage, and he was worried that co-workers with less time on the job have already been called back to work. The Nevada State AFL-CIO said the fledgling “Save Our Jobs” drive represents some 87,000 Nevada nurses, bartenders, operating engineers, service employees, teamsters, auto industry and stage and theatrical workers. “We want people to have peace of mind, to get through the pandemic and still have jobs,” said Geoconda Argüello-Kline, a top official with the powerful local Culinary Workers Union.

New Hampshire

Concord: Billboards and banners are part of the plan to ensure the annual Motorcycle Week gathering in Laconia stays safe, Gov. Chris Sununu said Tuesday. The event is scheduled to begin Saturday and run through Aug. 30. for Aug. 22-30. Liquor enforcement officials have been reaching out to restaurants and bars to remind them of rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and city and state officials also are working with campground owners and lodging properties to spread the word, Sununu said. The state also plans to put up billboards and fly planes carrying banners reminding attendees that masks are required for large events with more than 100 people. “We’ve made it clear that any intentional disregard of safety guidance is unacceptable,” Sununu said.

New Jersey

Bellmawr: A judge has imposed nearly $130,000 in fines against the owners of a gym that has repeatedly defied Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order to remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Atilis gym in Bellmawr opened its doors in May, starting a legal battle over whether Murphy’s order for nonessential businesses to remain closed was constitutional. The owners, Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, have said they have taken steps to ensure social distancing and taken other safety precautions. In issuing his order Tuesday, state Superior Court Judge Robert Lougy said the gym could not “ignore orders with which it does not agree.” The decision requires the gym and its owners to pay almost $125,000 overall for violating a court order on eight days between Aug. 1-14. and about $10,500 to the state for the legal costs of its contempt of court action. The gym owners and their attorney could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

New Mexico

Belen: A central New Mexico family that has three medical practices has closed its offices because of coronavirus exposure, and two members of the family are recovering from symptoms of the virus. The Albuquerque Journal reported Dr. Roland Sanchez, who has a family practice in Belen, and his wife, Elia, have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. A statement from the family didn’t provide details of their conditions. Family spokesman Tom Garrity said with two exceptions, the family members who have tested positive are asymptomatic. Along with Sanchez’s medical practice, those of his sons, Dr. Roland Sanchez II, who owns Conquistador Dental, and Dr. Florian Sanchez, owner of Yucca Veterinary Medical Center, closed their offices on Aug. 10. According to voice recordings at each office, all three planned on reopening this week.

New York

Poughkeepsie: The Poughkeepsie City School District will only offer remote learning when school resumes Sept. 10. Superintendent Eric Rosser confirmed the decision in a letter to district parents Wednesday morning. “After careful and deliberate consideration and planning it has been determined that the most appropriate instructional delivery model to begin our school year will be distance learning (remote instruction),” the letter read. “This was not an easy decision to make, but please know that it was made with the best interest of all of our students, teachers, staff and parents in mind.” Poughkeepsie joins several Dutchess County school districts that have committed to remote learning for the start of the academic year. Arlington Central School District, Wappingers Central School District and Red Hook School District made similar decisions in response to the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rosser attributed the decision to the parent response in the district’s reopening survey, as well as the need for additional time to meet health and safety requirements to bring students back to school. Of the parents to respond to the survey, 57.8% said they preferred a remote learning model. In preparation for the shift to remote learning, the district will be distributing Chromebooks, musical instruments and other supplies to students and families, as well as instructions and guidance on how the plan will be implemented. The district will also establish 13 locations for students to pick up free breakfast and lunch that would be offered under normal circumstances.

North Carolina

Raleigh: The state’s public schools returned to class on Monday, with most students still learning from home through computers to start the year because of continued worries about COVID-19. The first day was marked by technical challenges beyond those that video conferencing and virtual learning bring. Districts reported trouble for children and instructors logging on to the North Carolina Education Cloud. The portal provides access to several digital applications, including tools for grading and attendance, instructional materials and lesson plans. “The product experienced a degradation in service this morning,” the Department of Public Instruction said in a news release. The service was working as of midday Monday, the agency said, and the vendor that provides the service will explain what went wrong. In a Facebook post, the Craven County Public Schools said the system experienced an “overload due to so many students across the state trying to log in at the same time.” Under Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan, school boards could start the year by offering full remote learning, in-person instruction with strict social distancing or a mix. School buildings were shuttered in March amid the pandemic and never reopened this past year. School districts are expanding their online instruction. More than half of Wake County’s school enrollment signed up for the district’s “virtual academy.” However, the State Board of Education declined last week to increase enrollment for two virtual charter schools.

North Dakota

Bismarck: State health officials said Wednesday the number of COVID-19 deaths in the state has hit 130. The North Dakota Department of Health reported two new deaths, including a woman in her 70s from McLean County and a woman in her 90s from Grand Forks County. Health officials said both women had underlying health conditions. North Dakota confirmed 188 new coronavirus infections, raising the state’s total to 8,968 since the pandemic began. Of the new cases, 42 are in Burleigh County and 11 are in neighboring Morton County. The counties that include the Bismarck metropolitan area have taken over as the state’s hot spot for the virus in recent weeks. Cass County, which includes Fargo, reported 36 new cases, a total that includes two from out of state. The number of active cases in North Dakota on Wednesday was 1,209, an increase of 40 from Tuesday. On Wednesday, 49 patients were hospitalized, up two from the previous day.

Ohio

Columbus: All Ohio high school sports can go forward this fall, with an option for sports like football or soccer to be delayed until the spring if schools wish, Gov. Mike DeWine said in one of his most anticipated coronavirus-related announcements that came just days before the start of the school year. The governor’s order – which takes effect Friday – prohibits spectators at events other than family members or individuals close to athletes, with final decisions on those people left up to schools. Similar limits are in place for family members of marching bands and drill teams. “Our order provides the best guidance to play sports as safely as can be played in the era of COVID-19,” DeWine said. DeWine said a decision on performing arts events, such as school plays, was coming this week, and hinted they would be allowed with precautions such as moving audiences farther back. It will be up to schools to police the limits on attendance at sporting events, but the Ohio High School Athletic Association will send site monitors to games, and schools found in violation of the governor’s orders could forfeit games and face disqualification from further competition, said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma City: Oklahoma’s application for $300 per week federal unemployment benefits to people left jobless because of the coronavirus has been approved, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Oklahoma becomes the ninth state to be approved for the program announced earlier this month by President Donald Trump, according to a Tuesday night statement from FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor. Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Monday that he had applied for inclusion into the program for the unemployed who are receiving at least $100 in state unemployment benefits. “As we are months ahead of other states in our recovery and Oklahoma is open for business, many Oklahomans have returned to work or are in training to take on a new career,” Stitt said Monday. “However, we also want to continue to help those who are still working to secure employment.” The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission reported a 6.6% statewide unemployment rate for June, the most recent report. July’s jobless numbers are to be released Friday. Unemployed Oklahomans have faced numerous challenges in receiving unemployment benefits, often lining up for blocks outside the commission.

Oregon

Salem: Oregonians still waiting for their unemployment benefits can apply for a one-time payment of $500 beginning Wednesday. The $35 million relief check program, that was approved by lawmakers in mid-July, could help up to 70,000 Oregon residents facing financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus, which has infecting thousands of Oregonians and killed nearly 400, has also caused a surge in unemployment. More than 500,000 people have filed unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic, causing major delays in people receiving funds. The purpose of the new relief program, which would use funds from the CARES Act, is to provide support to Oregonians while the agency continues to work through its backlog. “After months of hearing from increasingly desperate Oregonians who were doing everything right and still not getting the unemployment they were owed, we hope this effort offers a streamlined way for some financial relief,” House Speaker Tina Kotek said Wednesday. “The state is stepping up, and I hope Congress will act soon to provide more support that is desperately needed.” People eligible for a relief check must have made less than $4,000 before taxes per month before losing a job, be an Oregon resident, be 18 or older and the employer must have closed or the person’s income “decreased significantly because of executive actions by Gov. Kate Brown to slow the spread of COVID-19.” People are not eligible for the program if their unemployment benefits are up to date. For more information on how to apply for the one-time payment visit emergencychecks.oregon.gov.

Pennsylvania

Harrisburg: The annual Pennsylvania Farm Show was canceled as an in-person event on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, ending the prospect of hundreds of thousands of people converging on the Harrisburg complex in January. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said the Jan. 9-15 event will be conducted virtually instead, with a theme of “cultivating tomorrow.” “While this field may lie fallow in January, we are cultivating tomorrow,” Redding said. Farm Show organizers expect to release more details about the virtual event, which will aim to educate people about the state’s agricultural industry. Competitive events held virtually will not require the purchase of an animal. “How we keep the threads of the competitiveness there, particularly in our youth programming, is one of the issues we’re working on real-time,” Redding said. He said there will be no livestock shows at the Farm Show Complex, but perhaps events can be held in local communities. The Farm Show bills itself as the country’s largest agricultural exposition under a single roof, featuring about 6,000 animals and 10,000 competitive exhibits. Like an enormous state fair without the rides and carnival barkers, the Farm Show is part professional development for farm families, along with a range of entertainment, from horse shows and tractor pulls to an annual butter sculpture.

Rhode Island

Providence: Almost 9% of people who tested positive for the coronavirus over a week in early August reported having recently visited a bar or a restaurant, according to a Rhode Island Department of Health analysis. Because people are getting more mobile as the state’s economy reopens, it’s getting harder to identify exactly how people got sick, Joseph Wendelken, a spokesman for the Department of Health, said in an email. But according to a recent story in The New York Times, restaurants and bars have been a “focal point” for recent outbreaks. The national restaurant industry pushed back forcefully against that report, saying it mischaracterized the safety of restaurants. And locally, people involved in the business said they’re taking their responsibilities seriously – making it safe to go out to eat, indoors or outdoors. “It’s safe, because the rules make it safe,” said Dale Venturini, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Hospitality Association, whose members include hundreds of bars and restaurants in Providence. Venturini said there have been a few cases among workers in the industry, one or two each, and no outbreaks. But that’s at least in part a result of aggressive testing among workers in the industry, she said: Businesses want to know if their employees have gotten sick, and have tried their best to find out. As to the state’s recent analysis showing almost 9% of cases over a week in August had visited a restaurant recently, Venturini noted that it’s easier to do that sort of study on the industry – because under the state’s rules, restaurants have to keep people’s information. Other industries or settings don’t have to keep such meticulous records.

South Carolina

Moore: Construction on a coffee roasting and packaging facility that has been in the works for more than two years has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials. The Keurig Dr. Pepper plant being built in Spartanburg County is now set to be completed in early 2021, The Spartanburg Herald-Journal quoted site leadership team member Chuck Hollingsworth as saying. Coffee and Keurig single-serve K-Cup pods will be manufactured at the $350 million facility in Moore, which was first announced in May 2018, according to the news outlet. Keurig Dr. Pepper said it planned to create 500 jobs in connection with the site. It was not immediately clear when the plant was originally set to be completed. Officials did not comment further on the delay.

South Dakota

a group of people walking down the street: Hobo Day, a South Dakota State celebration meant to focus on the traditions and honors of of students, alumni and others, won't happen like usual this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the university stated in a press release Wednesday. © Argus Leader file photo Hobo Day, a South Dakota State celebration meant to focus on the traditions and honors of of students, alumni and others, won't happen like usual this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, the university stated in a press release Wednesday.

Sioux Falls: South Dakota State University is canceling one of its longest-standing Homecoming traditions this fall. Hobo Day, a celebration meant to focus on the traditions and honors of of students, alumni and others, won't happen like usual because of the coronavirus pandemic, the university stated in a press release Wednesday. College officials and the 2020 Hobo Day committee met over the summer to explore how to hold the event with health and safety at the forefront, the release stated. But after many conversations and planning meetings with school officials made the choice not to move forward with the annual Hobo Day parade this fall, with the understanding that not having a fall football season at SDSU was a distinct possibility, the release stated. The Hobo Day Committee understood hosting the annual Hobo Day parade would create logistical challenges and significant health and safety concerns for attendees in the midst of a global pandemic, the release states. "These are challenging times, and the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the lives of everyone," the release stated. "The spirit of Hobo Day, however, is one thing that will remain intact." Instead, the committee will focus on finding ways to celebrate the tradition and still honor the homecoming event through new avenues, the release stated.

Tennessee

Knoxville: Students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville could face punishments as stiff as expulsion if they are “irresponsible” in hosting big parties, if they won’t cooperate with COVID-19 contact tracing or if they don’t complete forms documenting their self-isolation, the chancellor said Tuesday. The news comes as Tennessee school officials grapple with identifying and publicizing virus-related data in schools across the state. “It’s possible that you could be expelled from school and I will not hesitate to do that if people, our students, are irresponsible,” Chancellor Donde Plowman said in a video conference. Plowman also noted five cases linked to an off-campus party last week. Wednesday was the first day of classes at the flagship campus. School officials have confirmed 75 active COVID-19 cases there, involving 66 students and nine employees. About 6,500 students have moved in on campus, and 30,000-plus live off-campus. The campus has 270 people in isolation because of contacts, symptoms or positive tests, including 51 students living on campus, Plowman said. Plowman also said students won’t be punished for telling contact tracers they attended a party with underage drinking.

Texas

Corpus Christi: The Alice ISD board of trustees voted Tuesday to postpone the district’s 2020-21 start date to Sept. 8 – thus pushing back the reopening of its campuses until October. The original start date was Monday. The later date was needed because the delivery of 500 digital devices for students was delayed, and internet repairs at William Adams Middle School are ongoing, Superintendent Carl Scarbrough said. The district distributed about 2,200 devices for students to be taught remotely, and another 500 students need devices. After they’re delivered, schools will need to install remote learning programs on the devices and give students time to practice using them, Scarbrough said. The district previously planned to give only remote instruction for the first four weeks of the school year, meaning in-person instruction would have begun in mid-September. With the new start date, schools will reopen in early October, district spokeswoman Ofelia Hunter said. Teachers can use the extra time to reach students and prepare remote lessons, Scarbrough said. The district will hold more training sessions on remote instruction for parents. And officials are keeping an eye on COVID-19 cases, he said.

Utah

Salt Lake City: Hispanic and nonwhite people in Utah were disproportionately hit by workplace COVID-19 outbreaks, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Monday. From March to early June, 12% of the state’s coronavirus cases were tied to workplace outbreaks, mostly in manufacturing, construction and wholesale trade. The report found that 73% of the cases in these outbreaks were Hispanic or other nonwhite people, even though they only make up 24% of the workers in those industries. The report noted that nonwhite workers typically have less flexible work schedules and fewer telework opportunities compared to white employees. That lack of flexibility along with unpaid sick leave policies might prevent workers from staying home when they’re ill, resulting in more workplace exposures and increased virus spread. These racial disparities in work-related outbreaks in Utah are similar to those seen in meat processing facility outbreaks in other states, according to the report. The CDC report recommended that employers ensure that opportunities for paid sick leave and remote work are offered equitably to non-white workers to avoid potential outbreaks.

Vermont

Burlington: Mayor Miro Weinberger has proposed new rules for the city’s bars and for gatherings to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus as college students return. Weinberger proposed that bars stop selling alcohol at 10 p.m. and that outside gatherings on residential properties be limited to 25 people. Indoor gatherings would be restricted to 10 people, with families excluded. Weinberger called for a special City Council meeting on Thursday to approve the emergency resolution. Police plan to inform residents in neighborhoods across the University of Vermont of the changes, if approved. Violators could be ticketed or bars could be fined. Weinberger said Tuesday that he hopes the regulations are only needed for a short time. “If virus transmission levels in Burlington remain very low after both the public schools have opened and we’ve gotten through this transition of the colleges reopening and getting into the rhythm of their new testing rhythm, we will happily reevaluate the necessity of their regulations and consider lifting them,” he said. Nearly 12,000 UVM students have decided to return to campus, said UVM President Suresh Garimella. They are being tested before they arrive and upon arrival. He said 8,700 pre-arrival tests were ordered and of the 1,150 results that have come back, two were positive. Since Aug. 7, 955 students have been tested on campus and two of those tested positive.

Virginia

Richmond: More than 80% of coronavirus cases in Virginia’s capital city are among its Black and Latino populations. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported Tuesday that the virus runs rampant in close quarters and heavily impacts low-wage workers who lack paid sick leave and adequate workplace protections. Latinos in Richmond have been hit particularly hard. They have nearly three times the number of virus cases than white residents. Latinos make up 7% of the city’s population. Dr. Danny Avula, director of the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, said a lack of workplace protections fueled the impact. People in the Black and Latino communities were forced to make a choice: stay home and risk being fired, or go to work and potentially get sick.

Washington

Olympia: State health officials said mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are being reported in eastern Washington’s Benton and Yakima counties. The Washington Department of Health said seven positive samples have been reported in Washington so far this year. No human cases have yet been reported. In Washington, the West Nile virus season starts as early as July and can last until early October. Officials said it can be a serious, even fatal, illness that can affect people, horses, birds, and other animals. The virus is almost always spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito, which becomes infected after feeding on birds that carry the virus. Health officials urge people to avoid mosquito bites. The majority of people infected with the virus do not get sick. About one in five will develop symptoms that go away without medical treatment. Even fewer, about one in 150 people infected, will have more severe symptoms, officials said. Severe symptoms might include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis, and coma. People with any of those symptoms should contact their healthcare provider right away.

West Virginia

Charleston: About 540 furloughed workers at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races have been permanently laid off because of the coronavirus pandemic. The employees’ final day was Sunday at the casino, news outlets reported. Casino owner Penn National Gaming of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, said in a statement that although it was hopeful to have employees return, normal operations won’t happen at its properties “for the foreseeable future.” Penn National announced the furloughs of about 26,000 workers nationwide in April. Casino sports bar server Wayne Thomas of Martinsburg said the workers are especially upset that they will not be paid for unused and accrued personal time off. “We can understand all the layoffs,” Thomas said Monday. “We get it. But we earned that PTO.”

Wisconsin

Madison: With more positive coronavirus cases in Wisconsin linked to parties and other gatherings, state health officials on Wednesday released a new tool that people can use to measure risk levels of different activities. Positive COVID-19 cases tied to mass gatherings grew from 7% of cases in May to 21% in June and 20% in July, the state Department of Health Services said. Overall, nearly 67,500 people have tested positive in Wisconsin, with 1,060 deaths. That death count is the 28th-highest in the country overall and the 37th-highest per capita at 18 deaths per 100,000 people. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has decreased by 209, a decrease of 25%. There were 174 new cases per 100,000 people in Wisconsin over the past two weeks, which ranks 24th in the country for new cases per capita. The tool unveiled Wednesday allows people to answer a series of questions to determine the risk of certain behaviors, like who will be gathering, where will people be getting together and how widespread is COVID-19 in the area. The state health department also released guidelines for school districts to follow in preventing, investigation and controlling COVID-19 outbreaks. The guidelines include instructions for school staff in identifying cases and close contacts among students as well as best practices for isolation and quarantine of infected students and staff.

Wyoming

Casper: The University of Wyoming has 42 active cases of coronavirus, as of Tuesday, after the school identified 30 new staff and students with the disease over the weekend. Two of the new cases are students who live in residence halls. University spokesman Chad Baldwin declined to say if the students were athletes, but he said it’s believed that they contracted the virus from within the community or from visitors. Forty-seven members of the UW community have been directed to quarantine because of exposure to a person who tested positive.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pregnant Panda, Rim of the Pacific, virtual colleges: News from around our 50 states


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