Mont. pursues action over mask use noncompliance

HELENA, Mont. — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says the state health department is pursuing legal action against several businesses in northwestern Montana for not following a mask mandate and other restrictions meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The announcement came Thursday as the state reported 932 newly confirmed coronavirus cases. That was far above the previous one-day high of 734.

The new cases include 173 in Yellowstone County and 112 in Flathead County, where the governor says businesses face legal action.

State officials also have launched a new website to allow people to submit complaints against businesses and events that are not complying with health directives.


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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— France extends curfew to 38 regions because of coronavirus surge

— African health officials expect WHO distribution of rapid virus tests

— Oxford vaccine trial continues amid death report

— Britain offering financial help for bars, pubs and restaurants struggling because of restrictions due to the coronavirus.

— Czech Republic enters second lockdown to avoid health system collapse. New measures include closing stores, shopping malls and hotels.

— Photographer in Dubai providing free photo shoots to laid-off expats forced to leave the skyscraper-studded Persian Gulf city because of the pandemic.

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Follow all of AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

ROSWELL, N.M. — Officials at a military junior college in New Mexico say the school is under quarantine after more than 60 cadets and employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Those who tested positive are being kept isolated.

The quarantine at the New Mexico Military Institute is expected to last until Oct. 29. Parents will be allowed to visit only in special situations or emergencies, and officials say all campus facilities are being closed to the public for five weeks.

The closure comes as the state struggles with a surge in coronavirus infections. Wednesday marked another record day for daily confirmed cases, with 827, and state health officials reported an additional 669 cases Thursday. That brings the statewide total to nearly 39,380 since the pandemic began.

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BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana will allow more high school football fans to attend games in open-air stadiums beginning Friday if the events are in parishes with low numbers of coronavirus cases in the last few weeks.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday that stadiums will be allowed to have crowds at 50% capacity in parishes where 5% or less of coronavirus tests have come back positive in the previous two weeks. Stadiums have been capped at 25% capacity.

The governor says 26 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes meet the criteria to boost crowd size.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth said Thursday that he remains opposed to mandatory mask orders despite being diagnosed with COVID-19, even though he encourages people to wear one.

The Republican lieutenant governor announced Wednesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus. He said he sought a test

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