SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Surging COVID-19 cases in Chicago prompted Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday to ban indoor dining and bar services and limit the number of people gathering in one place.
The rules taking effect Friday will force diners and bar patrons outdoors and shut down service at 11 p.m. No more than 25 people may gather at one time, or fewer if that number would exceed 25% of room capacity.
A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Joaquin County and Lodi officials that had been filed by the owner of three Sacramento-area gyms after officials ordered the shutdown of fitness centers last spring because of COVID-19.
After a Zoom hearing in Sacramento federal court, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez agreed to requests by the defendants that the lawsuit be dismissed and found that the coronavirus pandemic was so dangerous that officials were within their authority when they first ordered the closures.
The orders were “a constitutional response to an unprecedented pandemic,” Mendez said.
Attorney John Killeen argued for the state that since Newsom’s original stay-at-home orders the state has loosened restrictions on fitness centers, including allowing some outdoor exercising and indoor workouts in San Joaquin County at 10% of capacity.
“A number of restrictions have been lifted,” Mendez said.
“I just don’t see any basis for allowing this lawsuit to go forward in the district court,” he added.
The suit was brought by Sean Covell, owner of Fitness System gyms in Land Park, West Sacramento and Lodi, and argued that the shutdown orders violated the Constitution and were costing his operations huge amounts of revenues and lost memberships.
The lawsuit was one of numerous complaints filed by fitness centers, churches and businesses against orders Newsom and health officials issued to combat the spread of COVID-19.
The lawsuits have largely been unsuccessful, although some are pending and yet another involving gyms in Dixon and Sacramento was filed in federal court in Sacramento on Monday.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Monday ordered a return to some restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus as intertwined health care systems across the state showed early signs of buckling.
The Republican governor returned the state to stage 3 of his four-stage reopening plan and said indoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people or fewer, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25% of capacity.…
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) says he will self-quarantine after appearing more than a week ago at a press conference with Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman (R), who announced Sunday that he had contracted coronavirus.
A spokesman for the governor’s office confirmed to the Associated Press that Polis would self-quarantine while waiting to hear from contact tracers. Coffman announced his diagnosis on Twitter, writing that he experienced mild symptoms.
“My symptoms had cleared by Saturday so I went to an urgent care clinic today to get a rapid test so I could be able to go back to the office on Monday and resume my schedule. Unfortunately, the results of the test were positive. I will have to quarantine at home,” Coffman wrote.
My symptoms had cleared by Saturday so I went to an urgent care clinic today to get a rapid test so I could be able to go back to the office on Monday and resume my schedule. Unfortunately, the results of the test were positive. I will have to quarantine at home. (2/2)
– Mayor Mike Coffman (@AuroraMayorMike) October 25, 2020
Colorado has experienced a surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks as many states have seen rates of new infections rise with the beginning of fall. Officials reported 1,922 new cases on Saturday, according to The New York Times, and 550 are hospitalized for the virus across the state.
Polis has been an outspoken critic of the U.S. national coronavirus testing efforts, which he has said are “a complete disgrace” and “almost useless from an epidemiological or even diagnostic perspective.” The U.S. currently has the highest number of coronavirus cases, more than 8.6 million, of any country.
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is quarantining himself after learning that Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman tested positive for the coronavirus over a week after they appeared with other officials at a press conference, a spokesperson for the governor said Sunday.
In a statement, spokesperson Maria De Cambra said Polis would quarantine while waiting to hear from health officials investigating who else may have been exposed to the coronavirus about whether he should continue to isolate himself.…
BIRMINGHAM, AL — As coronavirus cases have spiked in Alabama after a long period of decrease, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth announced he has tested positive for the virus.
This news comes after state officials announced hospitalizations for COVID-19 are up in the state by more than 150 beds since the beginning of the month.
Also in the news, a fatal house fire in the Huffman area is under investigation, as authorities think foul play may be involved.
Here are those stories and more from the previous week:
Fatal Hit And Run On I-59 Under Investigation
A multi-vehicle wreck on I-59 that caused one motorist’s death is under investigation by the Birmingham Police Department. The incident occurred Oct. 6.
Concern Over Increased Coronavirus Hospitalizations In Alabama
Since the last week of September, when the Alabama Department of Public Health reported 703 COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state, the number of patients hospitalized has increased.
Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth Tests Positive For Coronavirus
Alabama Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth announced Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19.
Foul Play Suspected In Fatal House Fire In Huffman Area
A house fire Friday morning in the Huffman area of Birmingham resulted in the death of one victim and the hospitalization of another victim.
Birmingham City Schools To Shift To Hybrid Learning Platform
After spending the first nine weeks of the school year learning from home, students at Birmingham City Schools will soon return to campuses, at least part time.
This article originally appeared on the Birmingham Patch
Texas governor requests use of El Paso-area military hospital for non-COVID-19 patients as cases surge
Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Saturday requested to use a medical center at Fort Bliss for non-COVID-19 patients as coronavirus cases surge in the El Paso area. The request comes as COVID-19 cases have been increasing throughout Texas and the country.
Abbott said Saturday that he had spoken to Dr. Robert Kadiec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to request use of William Beaumont Army Medical Center to free up beds at the region’s hospitals, according to CBS El Paso affiliate KDBC.
El Paso officials said 1,216 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Saturday, for a total of 10,911 active cases and 38,554 cumulative cases.
El Paso officials said Saturday one person died, a woman in her 40s with underlying health conditions. There have been 572 deaths in El Paso due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
As of Saturday, there were 715 people hospitalized in El Paso County due to COVID-19, including 199 in intensive care and 85 on ventilators.
Abbott announced earlier this week that he would be sending more than 450 medical personnel to the El Paso area. He also said he will be sending extra equipment including ambulances, patient monitors, patient beds and oxygen concentrators.
“The medical personnel and supplies we are deploying to El Paso build upon the resources the state previously sent to the community and will provide much needed support to area hospitals and first responders,” Abbott said in a statement. “The State of Texas will continue to work with local officials to protect public health and help the El Paso community mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
A report by UT-Austin released Thursday said “the El Paso region has the most threatening projections, with an estimated 85% probability that COVID-19 cases will exceed local hospital capacity by November 8th, 2020.”
According to the same report, five other regions have a more than 25% chance of hospitals being overwhelmed with in 3 weeks: Amarillo (28%), Lubbock (29%), Wichita Falls (30%), San Angelo (29%) and Galveston (33%).
The Texas Department of Public Health reported Saturday more than 89,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the state, including more than 6,000 new cases.
Coronavirus cases nationwide have been rising,than any other single day since the pandemic began.
This is an opinion column.
Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth is getting some nasty messages since he tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Guess Karma and Natural Selection caught up with your dumb white ass,” said one email Ainsworth shared with me. “May you die gasping for your last breath!”
It’s probably not a spiritually safe practice to invoke karma in one sentence before wishing someone death in the next, but moving on.
“You’re 1 step closer to (skull emoji, coffin emoji, laughing-through-tears emoji),” one fellow tweeted at him.
Yes, when sending hate-tweets, please limit your hieroglyphics to three.
Let’s be clear, no matter how you feel about Ainsworth, wishing death on people is not OK. No matter how cathartic it might feel, it’s not good for your soul, and from a more secular standpoint, it just gives the folks you’re hate-mailing more reason to believe you’re crazy and they’re right.
Which is a shame, because I believe there’s a lesson the lieutenant governor could learn here, and I think there’s a better message he could send than the one he’s been sharing, before and after his diagnosis.
Since Ainsworth went public with his test (points for transparency), he has been a bit defensive about it. That’s understandable. The lieutenant governor has criticized Gov. Kay Ivey for keeping a statewide mask mandate in place, and he’s said the decision whether to wear a mask should be left to the individual. He still says that, even now.
But Wednesday night, Ainsworth wanted to make clear he’d been wearing a mask when he thinks he contracted the disease.
“Because I follow social distancing rules and wear a mask both in church and in my daily interactions, the positive result shows that even those of us who are the most cautious can be at risk,” he said.
Now, others on social media have found pictures of Ainsworth not doing either of those things. Heck, he shares them on Twitter. But I’ll let that be.
Again, there’s a bigger lesson to be learned here.
Ainsworth tested positive on Wednesday and says he suspects he contracted the disease at his church on Sunday. Aside from a runny nose — which he told me allergies give him much of the year — he hasn’t had any symptoms. He had been active on Monday and Tuesday, and he played tennis the night before he tested positive. If it weren’t for his pastor informing him a member of his Sunday school class had fallen ill, Ainsworth says he might never have checked.
And that’s the thing. And let’s shout this one so the sinners’ pew can hear it: Masks aren’t to protect you from the disease; they protect others when you have the disease and don’t know it.
It doesn’t matter so much whether Ainsworth wore a mask at church. It matters whether the person he got it from was wearing a mask.
And it matters less whether he was wearing a mask on Sunday than if he wore
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is holding a COVID-19 briefing Thursday after the state reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for four days straight. It’s no longer just a few hotspot counties causing the virus to spread — the problem is now widespread in the state, CBS New York reported.
Murphy said Wednesday he was self-quarantining out of an abundance caution because a senior member of his staff tested positive for the virus. He stressed he had no symptoms and has tested negative twice this week, including on Wednesday.
How to watch Murphy’s COVID-19 briefing today
- What: New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy gives briefing on COVID-19
- Date: Thursday, October 22, 2020
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- Location: New Jersey
- Online stream: Live on CBSN New York in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
Hospitalizations are increasing in the state and more schools are delaying reopenings.
“This is not something we didn’t expect. We expected a second wave to happen in the fall. But the question is how bad it gets. That means peak, and how quickly we get to that peak,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, president and CEO of University Hospital, Newark.
Dr. Elnahal said this week the hospital was already nearly at capacity with non-COVID patients. Now virus-related hospitalizations are increasing again.
“Signs are pointing that this is about to get worse,” Dr. Elnahal said. “When you start to hit levels of 3 or 4% positivity, you can expect even more admissions. And most concerningly… we did have one COVID-19 death last week for the first time in many weeks.”
“The other patients will have to delay their care even more,” Dr. Elnahal added.
State health officials say it’s mostly indoor gatherings and parties contributing to the spike, not schools or businesses. Murphy says that makes it harder to contain.
“As far as we can tell, these are mostly gatherings that are beyond our ability to effectively regulate or easily enforce compliance,” he said.
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is again calling for a statewide mask mandate as the coronavirus case count continues to climb in rural parts of the state that don’t require them.
Kelly said Wednesday that two-thirds of the state’s COVID-19 cases are now coming from outside the Wichita and Kansas City region. Over the summer, she issued an order requiring Kansas residents to wear masks, but more than 90 counties chose to opt out. She said she now plans to speak with House and Senate leadership to work toward a bipartisan requirement with more teeth.…