Montgomery: Multiple men incarcerated at the Federal Prison Camp have signed their names to a lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons, asking a federal judge to order officials to begin processing inmates to home confinement, compassionate release or to another prison to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. The Federal Prison Camp has not reported outbreak levels of infection. In fact, only two active cases were reported among staff and none in the inmate population as of Friday. But in court filings in recent weeks, multiple men said lax protective measures and continued movement in and out of the prison by guards and inmates who work on Maxwell Air Force Base is putting the prison population at increased risk. Nearly 80 federal prisoners across the country have died from COVID-19 complications, according to the most recent data release by the Bureau of Prisons, and the pandemic has prompted multiple lawsuits from prisoners and their supporters. On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a federal judge’s order to begin removing 800 inmates in an Ohio prison, according to a NBC News report. The Supreme Court order will allow the federal government additional time to challenge the federal order. The American Civil Liberties Union said nine prisoners have died and at least 20% of the population has been infected by the coronavirus at Elkton Federal Correctional Institution in LIsbon, Ohio.
Anchorage: A crew member of a state ferry in the Aleutian Islands tested positive for COVID-19 and sailings were canceled until further notice, officials said. The Alaska Department of Transportation said a crew member of the M/V Tustumena tested positive after displaying symptoms Saturday, KTUU-TV reported. The crew member, who was not identified, had a runny nose, cough and body aches but did not have a fever. The crew member was isolated from other staff and passengers before being tested. The ferry had 35 crew members and no more than 60 passengers traveling from Homer to Dutch Harbor in Unalaska. Officials determined 16 people working as crew members on the vessel came in close contact with the infected person. The Alaska Division of Public Health is working to identify everyone who might be affected, officials said. The Tustumena arrived in Dutch Harbor on Saturday after returning to service June 2.
Phoenix: Hospitalizations in Arizona of patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 have hit a record and the state’s largest health system has reached capacity for patients needing external lung machines. Arizona’s total identified cases rose to 26,889 on Sunday. Health officials had reported 1,578 new cases on Friday – by far the highest daily count since the outbreak began in March – 1,119 more cases Saturday and 1,044 on Sunday. .Also, ventilator and ICU bed use by patients with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 in Arizona hit record highs on Friday, the latest numbers showed. Statewide hospitalizations as of Friday jumped to 1,278 in Arizona with suspected and confirmed COVID-19, which was a record since the state began reporting the data on April 9. It was the fifth consecutive day that hospitalizations statewide have eclipsed 1,000. On Saturday morning, officials with Banner Health notified the Arizona centralized COVID-19 surge line that Banner hospitals are unable to take any new patients needing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ECMO is an an external lung machine that’s used if a patient’s lungs get so damaged that they don’t work, even with the assistance of a ventilator.
Mountain Home: Area churches are welcoming congregations back to worship services after being closed for more than two months amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced on May 4 that the state’s churches could begin reopening for services under certain guidelines, many local churches – particularly those with large congregations – have waited. Vince Daniel, lead pastor of Real Life Church in Mountain Home, prepandemic attendance at three Sunday services at Real Life averaged between 1,100 to 1,400 people. Last Sunday, his church started holding two morning services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Pastor Tad Rogers from First Baptist Church in Mountain Home will welcome his congregation back Sunday with services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Local churches that have opened or will soon open their doors for worship include Redeemer Lutheran Church, where 100 of the church’s 500-member congregation returned to worship May 31 at one 10 a.m. service, according to Congregation Chairman Dr. Robert Nosari. On May 23, Eastside Baptist Church began holding Sunday services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church resumed in-person worship with services at 7 a.m., 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., and a Saturday service at 4 p.m.
Los Angeles: A Catholic archbishop celebrated the first in-person Mass since public worship services were suspended in Los Angeles because of the coronavirus pandemic. Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrated the Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Sunday, The Los Angeles Times reported. The morning service was limited to 100 people, with face masks and social distancing required for all those at the downtown cathedral. People older than 65, suffering from underlying health conditions or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms were encouraged to instead watch a livestream on Facebook. The cathedral was scheduled to be cleaned and sanitized immediately following the Mass, the Los Angeles Archdiocese said. Public religious services were suspended March 16 because of the pandemic. Mass is scheduled to be celebrated at the Catholic cathedral in English at 8 a.m. on weekdays, with no more than 100 people in attendance.
Loveland: The city said Friday that it is ordering mandatory unpaid furloughs for most city employees to cut expenses because of the coronavirus pandemic’s revenue impact, according to a news release. City employees will be required to take six unpaid days off by Dec. 4.Exemptions to the furlough requirement include sworn officers of the police department below the rank of assistant chief, police dispatchers, employees operating City of Loveland Transit and employees engaged in operations not funded by the general fund. In addition to furloughs, the city also announced that is offering voluntary separation buyouts for employees to increase potential cost savings. Friday’s furlough news was Loveland’s third round of cuts since the pandemic’s effects hit Colorado in March. The city furloughed or laid off 280 temporary or seasonal employees in April and followed that up in May with furloughs for more than 40 employees in recreation, library and cultural services operations. The city’s news release said many of those 40 furloughed employees are expected to return as the Chilson Recreation Center, Loveland Museum and Loveland Public Library reopen when state and Larimer County public health orders permit.
Hartford: Gov. Ned Lamont released detailed Phase 2 pandemic lockdown reopening guidelines for state businesses on Sunday, stressing social distancing, limited capacity, face mask requirements and sanitation. Before the June 17 reopening, businesses must prepare a detailed plan and employee training program and appoint staff to enforce rules. Restaurants, gyms, theaters, libraries and bowling alleys will have a maximum capacity of 50% of normal. Patrons at outdoor events will have to wear masks but performers won’t need them as long as they’re at least 12 feet from anyone. People are advised to stay home if they’re 65 or older or have health conditions making them more vulnerable to coronavirus complications.
Wilmington: The lifting of Delaware’s stay-at-home order on June 1 didn’t trigger the economic reawakening for which the state had hoped, as many stores remained closed over fears of the coronavirus and weekend looting. All of the state’s malls – Christiana, Concord and Dover – remained closed after looters hit the Dover Mall on the night of May 31 at the end of a day of protests in response to George Floyd’s death. Many national chains including J.C. Penney, Marshalls and Burlington had decided to keep their Delaware stores closed June 1, while others continued operating through curbside pickup and by appointment. The decisions left only a handful of stores with crowds of those eager to return to their usual routines, after more than two months under the state’s stay-at-home order. Hundreds of stores between the Christiana, Concord and Dover malls were set to open on June 1 after store owners and mall officials spent weeks crafting new safety protocols to meet the state’s social distancing requirements and inspire confidence in shoppers. Videos showing demonstrators wading through shattered glass with products from stores including Forever 21 and Macy’s, revealed a new safety threat, mall officials said, prompting the postponement of their reopenings indefinitely.
District of Columbia
Washington: Health officials reported and additional 57 cases of the new coronavirus and two additional deaths, WUSA-TV reported. In total, the District has reported 9,389 coronavirus cases and 491 deaths. Health officials are urging those protesting the death of George Floyd to get tested for COVID-19.
West Palm Beach: The infection rate for the new coronavirus is twice as rampant among blacks and Latinos in Florida than it is among white people, a Palm Beach Post analysis of internal Health Department testing data showed. About 25% of Hispanics and 20% of blacks tested positive for the virus, compared to about 11% of whites, The Post found in analyzing nearly 200,000 test results in which patients self-reported their race or ethnicity. The Post found large concentrations of the disease in ZIP codes with a majority of black or Hispanic residents and a much smaller concentration in white-majority ZIP codes, in an analysis of an even larger portion of the data, about 545,000 test results in which patients listed their home address. Additionally, more than 60% of about 43,000 people confirmed with the disease lived in ZIP codes where Census estimates showed the majority of residents are not white. An examination of negative test results showed most were from majority white ZIP codes.
Savannah: After two postponements because of COVID-19, Georgia will take to the polls on Tuesday for a primary election. And the Chatham County Board of Elections is looking to make sure that voting during a pandemic is as safe as possible. In order to provide enough space for social distancing, a few polling places have been changed, and a few have been combined. Voters can find up-to-date information on their polling place at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov. In a typical election, Chatham County has 92 polling places. This time, there will be 90. Two weeks ahead of the election, the Board of Elections were down by 22 sites. Senior centers were out of the question, and a few polling places are not large enough to support the social distancing requirements. Some polling places will be cleaned after the election on the county’s dime, including all of the schools that are polling places and a few other sites who requested the cleaning. Absentee ballots can be turned in up until 7 p.m. Tuesday, after which they will be tabulated. Early voting numbers for 2020 show a total turnout of 4,054 ballots cast early as of Thursday, with 1,090 Republican ballots, 2,931 Democratic ballots and 33 nonpartisan ballots.
Kailua-Kona: An ocean shipping firm requesting federal coronavirus relief funding will continue operations under a reduced schedule and move its barge service to Mondays, officials said. Young Brothers LLC will operate under the reduced schedule for the next month, West Hawaii Today reported Sunday. The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission is investigating the financial condition of the state’s only regulated interisland cargo company after it requested $25 million in federal coronavirus relief to remain in business. The 120-year-old Honolulu company is considered valuable to local economies, especially on smaller islands such as Molokai and Lanai that depend on its tug-and-barge service. The utilities commission last week approved a 30-day extension of the company’s sailing schedule effective June 12 that will include adjustments. Among the changes, Young Brothers plans to move the barge arrival day in Hilo on the Big Island from Thursday to Monday. The adjustment is expected to help farmers and other producers who have had difficulty getting perishables to market in time for the weekend.
Boise: State residents on unemployment could receive a one-time bonus of up to $1,500 to return to work under a plan Gov. Brad Little announced Friday. The Republican governor said the incentive is intended to help get the state’s economy going again following the coronavirus pandemic. Part-time workers would receive $750. “Now is the time for us to provide Idahoans with the financial incentive to return to work and ensure our economic rebound is swift and robust,” Little said. The state’s unemployment rate has rocketed to 11.5% with more than 100,000 unemployed. But Idaho is in the third stage of Little’s four-stage plan to reopen during the pandemic, and there are signs the economy is turning around. Nearly all businesses can now open under the guidelines. Little said he’s concerned that enhanced unemployment benefits could add up to more than a potential worker could make going back to work. Through May 30, Idaho residents have received about $312 million in unemployment insurance benefits through federal and state programs. Little said the incentive bonus payments made on a first-come, first-served basis could help persuade workers to return to the job. The money for the payments is coming from $100 million of the $1.25 billion Idaho received in federal rescue money.
Chicago: Navy Pier plans to begin reopening Wednesday, nearly three months after closing as part of state and city efforts to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. Initial reopening plans include outdoor restaurant spaces, tour boats, parking garages and outdoor parks and piers. Navy Pier officials said carnival rides including its Ferris wheel and indoor spaces including the Chicago Children’s Museum will not reopen yet. Fireworks shows also remain shut down. Staff who work directly with visitors will be required to wear face coverings and Navy Pier has assigned other staff to act as “social distancing ambassadors” to remind people to keep space between groups. “Our goal is to provide guests with a safe space to reconnect with Chicago through our free public programs, on-site local dining, retail and attractions, and our beloved vistas and vast greenspace,” President and CEO Marilynn Gardner said. “We believe we have outlined a framework that will allow us to serve as a resource for the community while protecting our guests’ well-being.”
Indianapolis: The city has received $168 million in federal funding to help its government and residents cope through the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic – a chunk of money that city officials said is still not enough to cover the costs of the crisis. The funding will boost a variety of social services and public health needs, including $20–million for contact testing and tracing of the virus and $15 million in rental assistance. It’s part of the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund distributed to states and cities of more than 500,000 people through the federal coronavirus relief package. “Now I’ll admit that that sounds like a lot of money — and it is,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a press conference Monday. “But when you consider the scope and the scale of what our city continues to confront as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is clear that these dollars will be helpful but not sufficient.” The City-County Council was scheduled to vote on spending the first $76 million of that funding on Monday night, in addition to approving millions in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding. The relief funding will assist the city as it copes with the ongoing and unknown total impact of the pandemic, which has left millions of Americans unemployed. Residents who have experienced job loss, a reduction in work hours or increased expenses because of the pandemic will be eligible to apply for rental assistance through an application process the city will launch later this month. That money can cover previous rent due back to April 1 or future rent for up to 90 days. Another $3 million will cover meal deliveries and support three major food agencies – Gleaners Food Bank, Midwest Food Bank and Second Helpings – that have distributed food throughout the pandemic.
Coralville: Leaders behind the city’s Xtream Arena and GreenState Family Fieldhouse said the $71.3 million complex that will feature a 6,000-seat arena and mixed-use/museum building, is on track for completion despite the coronavirus pandemic. Jason McKane, senior construction manager with Mortenson Construction, said the contractor intends to hand the building over to ArenaCo – the nonprofit community development corporation formed to own and operate the arena – at the end of August. “We’re focused on wrapping this thing up here over the summer,” McKane told the Cedar Rapids Gazette. “With everything that’s going on in the world … it’s been a fun challenge. We’re moving ahead with that same end date in mind for the ownership.”
Topeka: The Lansing Correctional Facility is the largest single source of Kansas coronavirus cases, followed by the Tyson Foods meatpacking plant near Garden City, a public health document showed. The Kansas City Star, citing a list provided to it by Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation, reported that the document contains a detailed account of every outbreak since May 19 in Kansas. At least 846 cases and six deaths through May 19 were traced to the Lansing prison. The Tyson plant near Garden City has seen 571 cases and one death according to the document. Outbreaks at three Sedgwick County churches collectively infected at least 32 people and resulted in one death. A retirees coffee group in Republic County led to six cases. A keg party in Wabaunsee County was linked to five cases. Multiple residents have died at nearly every nursing home where a COVID-19 outbreak has been identified. The list obtained by the newspaper was attached to a May 21 email from the Kansas Health Alert Network, a messaging system used by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation provided it to the newspaper after obtaining it through a records request.
Louisville: The James Graham Brown Foundation will give $1.5 million to fund randomized coronavirus testing across Jefferson County to better understand who has the virus and how many people have survived it. “This pandemic has been especially difficult because of what we don’t know about it,” Mason Rummel, president and chief executive of James Graham Brown Foundation, said during a Monday morning announcement that included foundation and University of Louisville leaders. The foundation, one of the largest in Kentucky, funds a variety of initiatives, mostly focused on enhancing education and workforce development, economic prosperity and quality-of-life improvements. The latest push for randomized testing is part of a broader effort by U of L, the city’s three large health systems and a group of health care executives called the Co-Immunity Project. The effort began about two months ago as a way for researchers and doctors on the front lines to collaborate on building an arsenal to battle COVID-19.
Baton Rouge: Low-income families have another week to apply for a program to provide healthy meals for children who lost access to school meals during the coronavirus pandemic, the state education department said. Monday had been the original deadline to apply for the federally funded Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program. But the department extended the time to apply until June 15. The federal program is for families of children in prekindergarten through 12th grade who usually receive free or reduced-price meals at school. Louisiana schools have been closed since March 16. Families can apply through a P-EBT portal on the Louisiana Department of Education website.
Portland: Gov. Janet Mills said the state is going to quadruple its testing capacity at its lab and develop testing sites throughout the state. The office of Mills, a Democrat, said Monday that the push represented a move toward “radically expanded testing capacity.” The state is working with IDEXX Laboratories to create a new mobile lab that will be anchored at the state lab in Augusta, the office said. The state will also develop “swab and send” locations across the state to make sure 90% of residents can get tested within a half-hour of their home, Mills said. She called the increased testing “another breakthrough for Maine in the fight against COVID-19.” The expanded capacity is set to come online in July. Maine also expanded testing access last month.
Salisbury: With 24 fewer hospitalized patients compared to Sunday, hospitalizations in Maryland dropped below 1,000 for the first time since April 11, according to state data. The number of intensive care beds filled by COVID-19 patients has fallen to below 400. More than 8,000 tests have been entered into the Maryland Department of Health database in the last 24 hours. Less than 450 of those test results were positive. Wicomico County has seven more cases, Worcester County has four and Somerset County has one. There have been 28 new confirmed deaths reported across the state, but no additional fatalities for the three Lower Shore counties.
Boston: Versatility is the key for management at Joe Sent Me, a suburban Boston restaurant reopening for outdoor dining on Monday as the state continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re fired up about it. It’s about time,” co-owner Sandy McCullough said as he helped set up a tent in the Waltham pub’s parking lot, where staff was placing picnic tables that can accommodate up to six diners each. “We can put six or seven tables in the parking lot, in addition to the six or seven we can fit on our patio,” he said. “We’re calling it our ‘partio.’ ” Under Phase 2 of Gov. Charlie Baker’s economic reopening plan during the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants across Massachusetts are allowed to offer al fresco dining only. They have been limited to takeout and delivery orders since mid-March. Tables have to be placed at least 6 feet apart, dining is by reservation only, and menus must be either disposable or cleaned regularly. Joe Sent Me’s menu has been revamped to give the eatery a more “outdoors” feel, with additions like potato salad and kabobs. “It’s stuff you’d have at a barbecue in your own back yard,” McCullough said. He’s also prepared to change the menu on short notice based on the availability and price of some ingredients, he said. Massachusetts Restaurant Association President Bob Luz tells the Boston Herald that roughly 80% of restaurants in the state don’t have patios and will have to wait until Phase 3 of the governor’s reopening plan. Baker’s plan to restart the economy comes after the state Department of Public Health reported Sunday that key metrics around the outbreak are on the decline, including the seven-day weighted average of positive test rates, which dipped 5%.
Detroit: Nonprofit arts and culture organizations in southeastern Michigan will share $500,000 in funding to help relieve financial pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty grants of $10,000 each have been awarded from the COVID-19 Arts and Creative Community Assistance Fund, according to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The funding also allows the organizations to plan for new mission-related program opportunities. More than 200 organizations submitted applications for funding of more than $2 million. The COVID-19 Arts and Creative Community Assistance Fund receives support from various foundations. “We must support our region’s arts and culture organizations,” said Mariam Noland, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan president. “The sector is a vital resource that supports thousands of jobs, supports business, and grows our economy.”
Minneapolis: Health officials said Saturday that the number of coronavirus hospitalizations fell from 478 to 473 and the number of people in intensive care units dropped from 220 to 206. Health experts said hospital counts are a key factor in tracking COVID-19. Gov. Tim Walz on Friday announced that some restrictions would be eased next week, including limited resumption of business for indoor restaurants, swimming pools, movie theaters and fitness clubs.
Jackson: State-run museums will start reopening soon after being closed for several weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson reopened Monday. The children’s barnyard has goats and lambs that were born during the shutdown, state Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said Friday. The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, which are side-by-side in downtown Jackson, reopened Sunday. The state Department of Archives and History made that announcement Thursday, also saying Sunday was the reopening date for the the Eudora Welty House & Garden and the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, which are both in Jackson, and of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians in Natchez.
Springfield: The Springfield-Greene County Health Department said Monday that the incubation period has passed for people potentially exposed to the new coronavirus at a Springfield Great Clips salon, and no clients nor additional coworkers tested positive for COVID-19. “This is exciting news about the value of masking to prevent COVID-19,” Director of Health Clay Goddard said in a release. “We are studying more closely the details of these exposures, including what types of face coverings were worn and what other precautions were taken to lead to this encouraging result. We never want an exposure like this to happen, but this situation will greatly expand our understanding of how this novel coronavirus spreads.” Goddard noted in addition to masking, Great Clips had policies in place that also likely prevented the spread of the disease,. such as distancing of salon chairs, staggering appointments and other measures that will be studied. Two stylists tested positive for the virus after working at the Great Clips at 1864 S. Glenstone Ave., potentially exposing 140 clients and six coworkers. No additional clients or coworkers tested positive. Testing was offered to all those potentially exposed and 46 people pursued testing and all came back negative. Regardless of testing, everyone potentially exposed was quarantined for the duration of their exposure period.
Bozeman: The state is moving ahead with its attempt to ease crowding on one of its most popular rivers. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has put forward a proposal for regulating fishing outfitters and easing crowding on the Madison River, one of the top fly-fishing destinations in the world, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported. Its proposal would cap the number of guided trips, bar guides from some river sections on certain days and create a stamp program for anglers to begin gathering data on non-guided fishing pressure. The proposal, lined out in a 51-page environmental assessment that considers a variety of regulatory options, goes before the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission in a virtual meeting next week. The commission will vote on putting the document out for public comment, a step that would begin a public review process that state officials hope would lead to regulations going into effect in 2021. But there are people pushing to kill the process, arguing that the coronavirus pandemic makes this the wrong time to consider regulating the river. Mac Minard, executive director of the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, said because the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the commission should put the process on pause. Minard said it’s “unbelievable that we’re actually resurrecting this now.” Others don’t want to see the process tanked, but don’t like what they see in the new proposal. And some feel an urgency to keep the process moving after years of heated debates and negotiations. Pat Byorth, the commissioner representing southwestern Montana, said the work has already been delayed by a few months because of the coronavirus pandemic, and that it’s just time for it to come back up.
Omaha: Two children in Nebraska have been diagnosed with a rare and serious inflammatory condition that’s linked to the new coronavirus. Last week, a 9-year-old Lexington boy was diagnosed with the condition. On Monday, the Douglas County Health Department announced that a child under 12 has been hospitalized with the condition. That news came as the one-day total of new coronavirus cases in the state dropped to below 100 for the first time since May 10. Nebraska’s online coronavirus tracking dashboard showed 91 new cases were reported Sunday, to bring the state’s total to 15,634. Officials said 188 people in Nebraska have died from COVID-19. Nearly 122,000 people in Nebraska have been tested, and hospital capacity was stable, with 45% of hospital beds, 46% of intensive care unit beds and 78% of ventilators available for use.
Reno: State attorneys are stepping up their defense of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s 50-person cap on religious gatherings in a legal fight with leaders of a rural church who said it violates their constitutional right to exercise their beliefs. Attorney General Aaron Ford is urging a federal judge in Reno to deny an order sought by Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley to invalidate COVID-19 restrictions so up to 90 people can attend services at a time at the 200-capacity church southeast of Reno. A telephonic hearing is scheduled Tuesday on its new request for a temporary injunction suspending the cap after the U.S. court denied its bid last week for an emergency order striking it down as unconstitutional.
Concord: The University of New Hampshire is offering advice to parents struggling with whether to send their children to summer camps during the coronavirus pandemic. Officials with the university’s recreation management, health management and other programs have compiled a tip sheet to help parents make informed decisions about overnight camps. It includes information from the American Camping Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with suggested questions parents can ask about social distancing and other issues. “A good camp will welcome these questions,” said Jayson Seaman, associate professor of recreation management and policy. “Camp directors and youth development professionals recognize that kids need camp more than ever this year. Those that have decided to open are working hard to modify their programs in response to the pandemic while still giving kids a memorable camp experience.”
West Long Branch: Some Monmouth University students said their neediest classmates were being denied a share of federal funding set aside for those affected by the new coronavirus. Several students contend the university’s distribution of funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act is based on a formula that ignored a student’s true need and instead focused only on their financial aid status. “The university created a criteria for receiving emergency aid that completely left out students that have high financial need,” said Esosa Ruffin, a 2020 Monmouth graduate and leader of Monmouth Pell Recipients for CARES Aid formed in May to protest the aid formula. The group recently launched an online petition at Change.org that urges the university to change the funding formula and reassess its distribution. The petition had received more than 1,000 names as of Friday afternoon. Monmouth University President Patrick Leahy issued a statement late Friday stating the process had been updated to include more students. Ruffin said the petition would remain until graduate students she says are still denied funding are included.
Mora: New Mexico’s cattle and sheep industries are being adversely affected as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic is causing the wholesale prices of meat and wool to drop sharply. Although the industries are affected in different ways, cow and sheep ranchers told the Santa Fe New Mexican that their difficulties might last until next year. Ranchers said demand for beef and lamb has plummeted partly because restaurants were shut down to slow the spread of the virus. Cattle ranchers also are selling fewer calves because some large meat processing plants were idled by viral outbreaks among workers. Young calves and lambs are now stuck at feedlots beyond their prescribed time, incurring more expenses while vendors wait for meat prices to rise so they can at least break even. The price for cattle in January was $1.20 per pound. It’s now at 99 cents a pound. Live lamb prices have fallen to $1.35 a pound from $1.90 two months ago. “Anybody that is trying to market livestock at all is taking a hit,” said Caren Cowan, publisher of New Mexico Stockman and Livestock Market Digest.
New York City: Scarred by the deadliest coronavirus outbreak in the nation, New York City gradually began reopening Monday in a turning point in the three-month-long crisis and an important test of the city’s discipline. With the virus in check – at least for now – stores previously deemed nonessential were cleared to reopen for delivery and curbside pickup, though customers cannot yet browse inside. Construction, manufacturing and wholesalers also were cleared to resume work. Some major store chains took it slow: Macy’s declined to give a date for starting curbside pickup at its flagship store, where smash-and-grab thieves hit amid last week’s protests over George Floyd’s death. Saks Fifth Avenue, which girded itself with razor wire last week, and Tiffany’s might launch pickup service later this week. Owners of smaller shops were eager to reopen, even if they didn’t expect much business. “We are going to be open every day for the sake of showing life,” said eyewear designer Ahlem Manai-Platt, who was reopening a lower Manhattan store. Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed the reopenings as evidence of how “strong and resilient” New York is. But he also warned the city against letting its guard down and jeopardizing its hard-won progress against the virus: “Let’s hold onto it. Let’s build on it.”
Elon: A speedway drew a crowd of more than 2,000 in defiance of the state’s coronavirus restrictions after declaring the race a “protest.” The governor’s office had warned Ace Speedway earlier this week that a crowd of more than 25 would violate the state’s Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions. But news outlets reported that more than 2,000 attended a race Saturday night. A sign from management outside the speedway read, “This Event is held in Peaceful Protest of Injustice and Inequality Everywhere.” The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said it is “evaluating the events.”
Bismarck: Health officials said Monday 19 additional people have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Dakota, bringing the state total to 2,880 cases. North Dakota has confirmed 72 deaths from complications of the coronavirus but none was reported Monday. Twenty-nine people were hospitalized Sunday, an increase of one from the day before. Health officials said 2,336 people have recovered from the coronavirus, including 29 in the past day.
Columbus: Annie Glenn, whose fame as an astronaut’s wife led to a life advocating for those with speech disorders, will be remembered Saturday at a virtual memorial service. Glenn, wife of the late John Glenn, died May 19 at 100 of complications from COVID-19. She had been living in a nursing home near St. Paul, Minnesota. The Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State University is holding the 11 a.m. memorial service on its website. It also will be broadcast on public television. The Glenns were married for 73 years at the time of John Glenn’s death in 2016. She was at his side throughout an extraordinary life, including being the first American to orbit the Earth.
Oklahoma City: Less than half of likely Republican voters in Oklahoma would get vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 70% of likely Democratic voters would get the vaccine if it became available, according to a new poll. Although a majority of voters in both parties surveyed wear a mask at least some of the time when they go out in public, nearly three times as many Republicans as Democrats said they rarely or never wear one. The poll was conducted June 3-4 by Amber Integrated of Oklahoma City. The results include responses from 500 likely voters, with the pool weighted by party registration and demographics. The margin of error is 4.4% at a 95% confidence level. In the largely rural 3rd congressional district, which includes much of western Oklahoma, including the area that experienced a major outbreak at a meatpacking plant, only 44% of all voters said they would get a vaccine. In the 5th congressional district, which includes most of Oklahoma County, 66% of all voters said they would get a vaccine. Statewide, 63% of black voters said they would get a vaccine, and 57% of whites, 27% of Hispanics and 88% of Asians said they would get a vaccine.
Newport: More than 100 workers at Newport’s Pacific Seafood plant have been confirmed positive for COVID-19, making it the second-largest workplace outbreak in the state. Lincoln County officials announced 65 coronavirus cases early Sunday linked to the seafood operation but updated the number of confirmed positive cases to 124. Only the Oregon State Penitentiary, with 165 cases, has more, according to a weekly Oregon Health Authority report. Townsend Farms in Multnomah County is now third with 51 cases. The outbreak at the Newport plant led to a spike of new cases in the coastal community and contributed to the highest total of new cases in Oregon in a day since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Oregon Health Authority. The investigation into the outbreak started June 2, but the initial case count was below the threshold for public disclosure, OHA officials said in a release Sunday. “State and county public health officials are working with the business to address the outbreak and protect the health of workers,” health officials said. “The risk to the general public is considered low.”
Philadelphia: A dozen new coronavirus cases in the Philadelphia area have been traced to someone who attended gatherings at beach houses at the Jersey Shore, according to the health department in suburban Bucks County. The department said 11 cases reported Saturday were linked to a New Jersey resident who was at gatherings in the past two weeks. One case reported Friday also was traced to the same person. “There are likely to be additional infections among family members of the new cases,” said Dr. David Damsker, the health director in Bucks County. He did not disclose further details, including exactly where the gatherings took place. “This is exactly why we can’t let our guard down now, even if it feels `safe’ to be at the beach,” Damsker said. “One unlucky exposure can lead to a large cascade of cases down the line.” Damsker said it’s important to wear face coverings when attending small gatherings involving people who are not members of the same household. Nearly 5,000 residents of Bucks County, which is just north of Philadelphia and borders New Jersey, have tested positive for the virus.
Providence: Gov. Gina Raimondo apologized for violating her own safety rules by addressing demonstrators without wearing a mask. Raimondo told the Providence Journal in a statement that things were “tense and hectic” Friday night at the State House as the number of protesters swelled to at least 10,000. She said she forgot to bring a face mask when she went outside to speak. “That was wrong. It was counter to our public health guidance, and I apologize,” she wrote. Republican state Rep. Bobby Nardolillo didn’t let the misstep go unnoticed. On Twitter, he called the Democractic governor’s behavior “reckless,” told her to “KNOCK IT OFF” and encouraged her to quarantine for 14 days. Protests have been ongoing throughout the U.S. following George Floyd’s death. Floyd, a black man, died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck while he was handcuffed on the ground until he stopped breathing.
Charleston: Advocates worry that elevated family stress, increased financial burdens and extended school closures mean that many children across South Carolina remain at a high risk for abuse and neglect during the coronavirus pandemic. The full extent of how this will impact the children is still unknown, said Carole Swiecicki, executive director of Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center in Charleston. Still, research of other large-scale community level disruptions, such as natural disasters, has shown a spike in child abuse in the aftermath of those events, she said. That’s because during that time children are likely isolated from school, routines have been disrupted and their parents often have higher levels of stress. Not only that, she said, but if parents are forced to return to work while schools remain closed, they might be more likely to turn to alternative child care providers that aren’t vetted by the state’s social services agency.
Sturgis: A survey by the City Council found that most locals want the 80th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Rapid City Journal reported the city mailed 3,290 surveys to resident addresses and more than 60 percent of those responding want the rally suspended. The city was scheduled to hear a presentation from the rally officials on Monday with information gathered throughout May and June from businesses, hotels, motels, campgrounds, police and hospitals. The city has said it would make an official decision in mid-June on whether to go forward with hosting the event. Sturgis Rally and Events Director Jerry Cole said his staff and city officials have had about three to five meetings a day over the past five weeks with businesses, state and federal representatives, and others. Cole said all campgrounds will be open during the rally, which is scheduled for Aug. 7-16.
Nashville: The Tennessee State Fair has been canceled for the first time in its more than 150-year history because of the coronavirus pandemic. The annual event will resume Sept. 10, 2021, organizers said. The fair is not “closing its doors or abandoning its long history and tradition,” said State Fair Manager Scott Jones in a news release. “We’re just doing what we believe is in the best interest of the health and well being of those who walk through our gates each year.” Because the fair would be operating this year in a smaller space than usual because of construction for the new MLS stadium, it would be difficult to follow health care officials’ guidance for COVID-19, Jones said. Although the fair won’t be held as usual, some pop-up events might be planned, including contests and exhibits. Livestock competitions and entertainment won’t be included this year. “We plan to do our very best to provide some agenda that will still make it entertaining and educational to attend an abbreviated production of the Fair this year,” Jones said.
Dallas: Three months into the coronavirus outbreak in Texas, black lawmakers said Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and state health officials have fallen short in addressing their pleas for better racial data and efforts to decrease COVD-19’s decidedly deadly toll on black Americans. The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday that since the first positive coronavirus case in Texas in March, black legislators have asked for a task force, a more accurate count of the disease’s impact on black and brown Texans and increased testing in highly affected black and brown neighborhoods. Texas has struggled to track racial health disparities. Many of the more than 70,000 confirmed cases and 1,700 deaths on the state’s case dashboard do not have information on race and ethnicity. As of Friday, the state had still not received the race or ethnicity of 79% of the cases reported to the state and 63% of the reported deaths. “We have been asking – myself, my colleagues and people of color – have been asking the government with no answers,” state Sen. Borris Miles, a Houston Democrat, told the newspaper. “It’s like we don’t exist.” Miles said he was able to get state-provided COVID-19 testing in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods considered hot spots in his district in mid-May. But that was more than two months after Abbott declared a state of disaster. Abbott spokesman John Wittman told the newspaper that the he state will significantly ramp up testing in black and Hispanic neighborhoods on Monday. He did not provide additional details. In April, Abbott said he was working with lawmakers to better respond to the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on African Americans.
Cedar City: A proposed coronavirus “protest” concert featuring country artist Collin Raye that was twice rejected in other parts of Utah has been permitted in Iron County. Despite a recent rise in COVID-19 cases and state guidelines that recommend limiting gatherings to 50 or fewer people, event organizers said they hope to draw about 3,000 to the show, which will take place at a resort west of Cedar City. The show had initially been set to take place on May 30 in Kaysville with the support of Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt, but public outcry over the risks for further spreading the coronavirus caused the organizers to look for a new venue. Eric Moutsos, a former police officer and the concert promoter via a Facebook group called Utah Business Revival, then arranged for the event to be held at The Amphitheater at Studio Ranch in Grantsville on May 30. That proposal was met with a restraining order filed by Tooele County against Moutsos and venue owner Jason Manning. The restraining order affidavit stated that Tooele County had “no prior notice of this concert” before learning of the plan from a KSL radio show producer just nine days before the event was being advertised to take place. The concert was approved Monday by the Iron County Commissioners to take place at the Iron Springs Adventure Resort several miles west of downtown Cedar City. According to a Facebook post, the resort, owned by Frank Nicholls, has several thousand acres of trails and camping space. “We’ll have enough space so people can social distance,” Iron County Commissioner Paul Cozzens said. “We’re asking people to respect that. If people want to wear masks, that’s great.”
Winooski: The outbreak of COVID-19 that began in the city on Memorial Day has grown to 62 cases, including 24 children, and spread to other communities, state officials said Monday. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said that in addition to those in Winooski, nine are from the adjoining city of Burlington and five are from other communities. There have been no reports of hospitalizations or deaths and only one in five of the infected individuals showed any symptoms, Levine said. Officials said the outbreak is confined to “one social network of families,” but they have been reluctant to provide more details, citing confidentiality concerns. Contact tracers have identified shared activities that could have led to the outbreak and officials believe there has been spread within households as well, said state Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso. “We think this is a pretty well contained situation or outbreak and while the case numbers may go up because there may have been exposures in the recent days even, we don’t think this is something that we will see pop up all over the state,” Kelso said.
Richmond: Eviction proceedings in Virginia were halted Monday because of a temporary statewide moratorium, Gov. Ralph Northam said. Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Lemons issued the order Monday, which will remain in effect through June 28. Evictions were put on hold in mid-March while courthouses were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic. But on May 17, the order to suspend nonemergency proceedings expired, allowing backlog eviction lawsuits to continue. On May 18, Lynchburg General District Court Chief Judge Sam Eggleston III heard 90 eviction lawsuits, the most of any court in Virginia, The News & Advance previously reported. The moratorium gives Northam’s administration time to implement a rent relief program for residents facing housing insecurity during the pandemic. Details regarding the rent relief initiative are expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Olympia: A farm workers union has sued two state agencies over rules that would allow workers to sleep in close quarters on bunk beds during the coronavirus pandemic. The lawsuit filed last week by Familias Unidas por la Justicia seeks to repeal parts of rules adopted by the Department of Labor & Industries and the Department of Health, Tri-City Herald reported Sunday. Temporary farm workers typically reside in dormitory-style housing with several hundred workers, the lawsuit said. The state’s emergency heath rules that took effect May 18 allow workers who are not related to sleep on the upper and lower levels of bunk beds if farm operators assign them to groups of up to 15 who remain separate from other workers. The practice is referred to as group shelters or cohorts. The union said the state regulations are “contrary to scientific evidence.” “We will keep fighting until the agencies pass rules that actually protect farm workers from COVID-19,” said Ramon Torres, president of Familias Unidas por la Justicia. Washington agricultural employers plan to bring about 30,000 farm workers from rural areas of Mexico under nonimmigrant, temporary H-2A work visas. Rosalinda Guillen of farm worker support organization Community to Community Development said the rules are offensive. “What they are saying is that our individual lives are worth sacrificing for industry profits. It’s acceptable to them to lump us together and subject us to the disease because those getting sick, and who may die, are poor brown people,” Guillen said. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee said May 28 that proper adherence to the cohort model “can tremendously reduce the risk to agricultural workers because they are only exposed to a smaller group of people that can reside and travel and work together.” Inslee spokesman Mike Faulk said the governor’s office legal counsel is reviewing the lawsuit. State Department of Health spokeswoman Jessica Baggett said the agency could not comment on the lawsuit.
Charleston: Low-contact youth sports teams in West Virginia can start practicing this week under Gov. Jim Justice’s move to continue lifting coronavirus restrictions. Middle and high school teams also can begin training Monday, and sports facilities such as indoor tennis and racquetball and outdoor basketball courts can reopen. Under the Republican governor’s orders, games involving youth teams can restart on June 22 with fans in the stands if social distancing rules are followed. Private and state park campgrounds, cabins and lodges are set to reopen to out-of-state guests Wednesday. At least 84 people in West Virginia have died from the virus and about 2,100 have tested positive, health officials said.
Milwaukee: The Milwaukee County Zoo will partially reopen Saturday, allowing visitors to access the outside habitats. There will also be a limited daily capacity of visitors and Zoo Pass holders, according to a statement from County Executive David Crowley’s office. This is the first phase of a reopening plan. Visitors and Zoo Pass holders must make reservations online at www.milwaukeezoo.org and will receive timed, electronic tickets that will be scanned “at a safe distance,” according to the statement. Those who feel ill are asked to not come to the zoo. Visitors will receive an emailed ticket confirmation once a reservation is made. Whether it is printed or on a phone, the confirmation can be scanned from a distance. The zoo will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily during this phase. The last entry time will be 1:30 p.m. Visitors will be required to wear masks, and anyone who has forgotten theirs will be issued a paper mask. Visitors can also buy masks at the zoo’s gift shop. Zoo staff members who work with the public will have to wear masks. Also, high-touch areas and areas where large numbers of people could congregate will not be accessible.
Cheyenne: The state Department of Transportation plans to close 10 highway rest areas to save money amid a budget crisis. The closures starting June 15 will save about $800,000 a year, department officials said Friday. The department is closing rest areas near Lusk on U.S. Highway 18; Guernsey on U.S. 26; Greybull on U.S. 14-16-20; Moorcroft on Interstate 90; Star Valley on U.S. 89; Ft. Steele on I-80; Sundance on I-90; Upton on U.S. 16; and Orin Junction and Chugwater, both on I-25. Wyoming faces a two-year budget deficit of $1 billion or more because of the coronavirus pandemic and less revenue from its fossil-fuel extraction industry.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 50 states