USA TODAY US Edition
ALABAMA Tuscaloosa: Thousands of excited football fans partied in streets around the University of Alabama after the Crimson Tide defeated Ohio State for the national championship, ignoring pleas for common sense and safety at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, with many crowding together and not wearing masks.
ALASKA Anchorage: Data from the Alaska Department of Corrections shows more than 40% of the people incarcerated in the state have been infected with the coronavirus.
ARIZONA Phoenix: Schools that have lost students during the pandemic would see their funding cut under a proposal Gov. Doug Ducey outlined Monday in his annual state-of-thestate address, which hardened his long-standing resistance to school and business closures.
ARKANSAS Little Rock: Hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients set a second record high in three days Monday, the state Department of Health reported.
COLORADO Loveland: The virus isn’t stopping troops of loyal volunteers from keeping one of the city’s sweetest traditions going. Starting Feb. 1, a pared-down group will begin stamping the thousands of valentines that come through Loveland from across the world as part of the Sweetheart City’s valentine re-mailing program. Those who are healthy with no preexisting health conditions can participate if they wear
a mask and socially distance, officials said. CONNECTICUT Hartford: Residents 75 and older will be able to begin signing up for COVID-19 vaccination appointments next week, a process Gov. Ned Lamont promised Monday will be more orderly than in states where senior citizens have waited outdoors in long lines. The Democrat said vaccines will be administered by appointment only, with sign-ups available online or by telephone.
DELAWARE Dover: The Legislature is considering exempting unemployment benefits that were paid in 2020 from state income taxes, through a bill lawmakers introduced Monday with the support of Gov. John Carney.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington: Howard University has announced its participation as a clinical trial site to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Novavax’s new COVID-19 vaccine, WUSA-TV reports. FLORIDA Tallahassee: Lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Members of the public and lobbyists not directly involved in a Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee hearing had to monitor proceedings blocks away from an arena at Florida State University.
GEORGIA Atlanta: The Republican majority leader of the state Senate announced Tuesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus during mandatory testing at the Capitol. Sen. Mike Dugan said he was experiencing “minor” symptoms and would isolate at home.
HAWAII Honolulu: Businesses are anticipating a possible tripling of unemployment taxes that could slow the recovery of the economy that has been crippled by the pandemic.
IDAHO Boise: The Legislature says a judge shouldn’t force its leaders to make extra accommodations for lawmakers during the pandemic. Two Democratics sued the Legislature and House Speaker Scott Bedke last week, saying the Statehouse is unsafe for them and others with chronic health conditions because coronavirus precautions are being ignored.
ILLINOIS Chicago: The state’s top doctor received a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday after delivering an emotional address about the difficulties of the pandemic for health care workers and her own family. Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said she was getting vaccinated for her children and her husband, who has been diagnosed with a medical condition that puts him at a higher risk.
INDIANA Indianapolis: The city will tap nearly $13 million from its general fund to provide rental assistance, housing for the homeless and other pandemic relief efforts.
IOWA Des Moines: A second, larger round of federal dollars meant to ease the pandemic’s toll on public schools delivered $345 million to the state this week.
KANSAS Topeka: Legislators are reviewing the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, though U.S. government data showed Monday that the state’s inoculation rate no longer lagged most other states.
KENTUCKY Frankfort: Graffiti proclaiming COVID-19 to be a fraud was spray-painted on the home mailbox of the state’s top public health official in an action Gov. Andy Beshear denounced as trying to “create fear.”
LOUISIANA Baton Rouge: The state on Monday boosted distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to the elderly, increasing the number of doses available to people 70 and older and expanding the locations where they can get the shots to include every parish of the state.
MAINE Portland: Food pantries are seeing a surge of demand as coronavirus cases and unemployment claims rise. More than 60% of food pantries across Maine saw increases in clients in November, the Good Shepherd Food Bank said.
MARYLAND Annapolis: The state has confirmed its first two cases of a more contagious coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom. The Anne Arundel County residents are in isolation, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.
MASSACHUSETTS Boston: The state is preparing to open its first mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium as it ramps up efforts to get shots into arms. The site will open Thursday by first administering vaccinations into staff members, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday. Starting Monday, the site will begin giving shots to first responders.
MICHIGAN Detroit: A 65-vehicle drive-in theater is coming to downtown Detroit this month as part of efforts to boost the city amid the coronavirus pandemic. Patrons will be able to order food from some downtown restaurants and have it delivered to their vehicles.
MINNESOTA Minneapolis: The state launched a dashboard Tuesday to provide more information on the status of vaccination efforts. The dashboard includes data on the numbers of doses promised to the state by the federal government, doses shipped to Minnesota providers and doses administered.
MISSISSIPPI Jackson: Residents who are 65 and older and those with preexisting conditions will now be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Tuesday.
MISSOURI O’Fallon: The St. Louis Blues won’t be playing to an empty arena when they open their first homestand next week. The NHL team said it will allow a very small crowd made up of medical workers and public safety employees who have been on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.
MONTANA Helena: A state House committee held a hearing Tuesday on a bill to limit the power of the governor to address declared disasters lasting longer than two months, instead shifting it to lawmakers for dealing with emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
NEBRASKA Lincoln: More than 40% of the state’s 90,000 health care workers have received the first of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine as distribution ramps up.
NEVADA Carson City: Roughly twothirds of the COVID-19 vaccine doses the state has received remain in vials. Only six states have administered fewer doses per capita, data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. Nevada Health Bureau Chief Candice McDaniel attributed the incomplete rollout to a lack of advance notice from the federal government, which alerts officials of how many doses are scheduled to be delivered no more than a week in advance.
NEW HAMPSHIRE Concord: Residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or were previously infected with the coronavirus no longer need to quarantine after being exposed to an infected person or after traveling, according to new guidance from the state Division of Public Health Services.
NEW JERSEY Trenton: The COVID19 vaccine is giving the Garden State a sense of promise that people will be able to gather and celebrate together again, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday in his State of the State address. So far, about 233,000 people have been vaccinated, out of about 400,000 doses the state has received. Murphy wants nearly 5 million adults inoculated by June. NEW
MEXICO Santa Fe: Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is recommending a 3.3% increase in general fund spending in the next fiscal year to devote more to education, health and workplace safety programs, as authorities grapple with the economic hardships and mounting death toll of the pandemic.
NEW YORK New York: The state has again expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to allow anyone over age 65 to get it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday. NORTH
CAROLINA Greensboro: Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte have delayed the start of in-person classes as coronavirus cases surge across the state.
NORTH DAKOTA Bismarck: Supporters of amending the state’s constitution to legalize recreational marijuana are taking another run at the issue, after failing to collect enough signatures to get it on the 2020 ballot. Organizers said they were hampered by the pandemic.
OHIO Columbus: Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a bill that would have lifted his health department’s order limiting county fairs, allowing rides, games and grandstand events. DeWine said he would consult with health officials at the state and local level before the 2021 fair season.
OKLAHOMA Oklahoma City: The state health department has begun making COVID-19 vaccines available to the Legislature. Lawmakers returned to the Capitol last week to prepare for the session that begins Feb. 1. Many did not wear masks, despite a rule mandating them for visitors inside the building.
OREGON Salem: Courthouse Club Fitness, a gym that made headlines for violating COVID-19 restrictions and remaining open in defiance of public health orders, was fined an additional $126,749, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials said Tuesday. The fine is the largest penalty issued to an employer by Oregon OSHA for a violation related to COVID-19.
PENNSYLVANIA Harrisburg: The state will speed up vaccines for seniors ages 65 and older at the urging of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state health director Rachel Levine said Tuesday.
RHODE ISLAND Providence: The number of people who have died of COVID-19 is approaching 2,000, according to state Department of Health statistics released Tuesday.
SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia: The General Assembly opened its 2021 session Tuesday promising not to let COVID-19 stop its work and with the largest Republican Senate majority in modern times changing rules that could limit lengthy debates. Some – but not all – lawmakers wore masks, and elbow taps and fist bumps replaced hugs and handshakes.
SOUTH DAKOTA Sioux Falls: For the second straight day, no new deaths were reported from COVID-19, according to data released Tuesday by the state Department of Health.
TENNESSEE Memphis: A group of doctors that has been pushing Gov. Bill Lee for a statewide mask mandate turned its attention to the Legislature on Tuesday, the first day of the 2021 session. “This is a global pandemic, so it cannot be fought by individuals,” said Dr. Diana Sepehri-Harvey, a Franklin primary care physician. “We are asking our state representatives to do the job Gov. Lee has not.” Despite the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in Tennessee, where more than 7,800 people have died, it seemed unlikely lawmakers would act on the call for a mask mandate. In the GOP-dominant General Assembly on Tuesday, few lawmakers were wearing masks themselves.
TEXAS Austin: A field hospital in the city’s convention center opened Tuesday as COVID-19 cases continue to soar. For now the facility has 25 beds and can expand if needed.
UTAH Salt Lake City: A state prison inmate has sued the Utah Department of Corrections to stop the movement of inmates among buildings, an alleged lack of mask and glove use by prison officials, and other measures that he claims spread the coronavirus, which he contracted.
VERMONT Montpelier: The state has seen more new coronavirus cases in just the past five days than it did from May through September, officials said Tuesday.
VIRGINIA Staunton: A COVID-19 outbreak at Envoy of Staunton is alarming officials. The 170-bed certified skilled nursing facility has 167 active coronavirus cases and has reported 14 deaths, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
WASHINGTON Seattle: A respiratory therapist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been sentenced to three months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing a ventilator and other medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic and selling it for personal gain.
WEST VIRGINIA Madison: A county health department has been barred from distributing the COVID-19 vaccine until state officials conduct a “clinical monitoring visit,” officials said. The Boone County Health Department hasn’t received any vaccine since Dec. 30, when it mistakenly gave 44 people an antibody treatment instead of the vaccine, news outlets report.
WISCONSIN Madison: The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a scaleddown COVID-19 relief package Tuesday, drawing a pledge from Gov. Tony Evers that he would sign the measure if it can clear the Assembly. Senate Republicans removed a host of contentious provisions Assembly Republicans had tucked into the package. WYOMING Casper: Most rivers in the state
will be at below-average levels this spring, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.