Tag: states

Get a virus test before you travel, experts say as some US states revert to ‘near-lockdown’ | National News

The coronavirus is taking an increasingly dire toll across the U.S. just as a vaccine appears close at hand. The country is now averaging over 1,300 COVID-19 deaths per day — the highest since the calamitous spring in and around New York City.

With health experts deeply afraid Thanksgiving travel and holiday gatherings next week will fuel the spread of the virus, many states and cities are imposing near-lockdowns or other restrictions. California ordered a 10 p.m.-to 5-a.m. curfew starting Saturday, covering 94% of the state’s 40 million residents.

Amid the bleak new statistics, Pfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, setting in motion a process that could make the first, limited shots available as early as next month, with health care workers and other high-risk groups likely to get priority.

But it could take months before the vaccine becomes widely available. Pfizer has said the vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing the disease.



Daily COVID-19 deaths in US reach highest level since May

Other developments today:

As college students prepare to go home for the holidays, some schools are quickly ramping up COVID-19 testing to try to keep infections from spreading further as the coronavirus surges across the U.S.



Heading home for the holiday? Get a virus test, colleges say

This summer’s huge motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D. led to dozens of coronavirus cases in neighboring Minnesota, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.

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Ohio guidelines after visits to these states

Sarah Brookbank
 
| The Columbus Dispatch
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Traveling for the holidays is being discouraged in light of the coronavirus pandemic, and in Ohio, officials have guidance for those traveling in and out of state lines. 

People entering Ohio after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days.

According to Ohio officials, the positivity rate is an indicator of how much COVID-19 there is in a community, and the Ohio Department of Health is recommending against travel to those states with high positivity.

The self-quarantine should be heeded by residents of both states and out-of-state travelers. It is intended as guidance and is not a mandate, Ohio officials said. 

The following states have a rolling seven-day average above 15%:

  1. Wyoming: 60.99%*
  2. South Dakota: 55.87%
  3. Iowa: 50.15%
  4. Idaho: 43.69%
  5. Kansas: 31.55%
  6. Alabama: 24.72%
  7. Pennsylvania: 24.25%
  8. Missouri: 23.40%
  9. Utah: 20.22%
  10. Montana: 19.49%
  11. Mississippi: 19.46%
  12. Arizona: 16.21%
  13. Wisconsin: 16.05%
  14. Oklahoma: 15.80%

The Ohio advisory also includes Minnesota, which has a positivity rate of 14.44% as of Thursday afternoon, according to John Hopkins. 

On Wednesday, Ohio officials said Wyoming is showing multiple days in the past week without overall testing volume data. They said an accurate positivity rate cannot be calculated.

Ohio curfew: ‘Reflects the desperate situation that we’re in’: Gov. DeWine makes stop in Cincinnati

“Based on recent trends in the state, the positivity rate is likely elevated, and travel to/from Wyoming should be reconsidered,” officials said. 

More: Ohio and Kentucky have new coronavirus restrictions; here are the differences

What to do during self-quarantine, according to health officials:

  • Remain at home and avoid all in-person activities. This includes work, grocery stores and pharmacies, public events, and public places.
  • Do not have visitors in your home.
  • If you live in a home with other people who did not travel with you, stay in a separate room. If this is not possible, wear a face mask when you are in the same room and stay at least six feet away from others.
  • Do not leave home except to seek medical care. If you need to see a provider for reasons other than a medical emergency, please call in advance and discuss the care you need.
  • In the event of a medical emergency, call 911. Indicate that you are in home quarantine for novel coronavirus exposure. Keep a face mask on until you are asked by a health care provider to remove it.
  • Do not use public transportation, taxis or ride-shares.
  • Wash your hands and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often. Do not share personal items such as dishes, cups, forks, spoons and towels.
  • Check yourself for fever twice a day and record it in a log or piece of paper.
  • In Kentucky, contact your local health department for additional help, including arranging for food and other essential deliveries if you are
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NJ Expands Coronavirus Travel Quarantine List To 46 States

NEW JERSEY – Gov. Phil Murphy has once again expanded New Jersey’s quarantine travel advisory list to its biggest ever, now demanding any travelers from 46 states and territories to quarantine for two weeks after returning – even if their travel route started in the Garden State.

Nonessential travel from Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware also is highly discouraged, although none of the states are on the travel advisory list. New York and Connecticut are also discouraging nonessential travel to and from the Garden State, but they are not mandating that travelers quarantine.

It’s not clear how much of the travel advisory list will remain intact for Thanksgiving, but Murphy has consistently expanded the number of states in recent weeks as the coronavirus outbreak has gotten worse.

The new list comes as New Jersey has taken new steps to curtail the spread of the virus in the Garden State. Read more: Gov. Murphy: NJ To Lower Gathering Limits Amid Coronavirus Spikes

New Jersey reported 4,060 new COVID-19 coronavirus cases and 38 more fatalities on Tuesday – the highest single-day death toll since early July.

Murphy added one state on Tuesday – Vermont – raising the total of states and territories included in the advisory to 46, marking the largest number of states on New Jersey’s quarantine list to date.

The travel advisory is issued for states with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a state with a 10 percent or higher positive rate over a 7-day rolling average.

Delaware, Connecticut and Pennsylvania meet the criteria for New Jersey’s travel advisory, but they were left off the list due to the interconnected nature of the region, Murphy said. A 14-day quarantine for travelers from these states is “not reasonable in all instances,” Murphy said.

The only state that could appear on the list – but doesn’t – is Hawaii.

Still, anybody traveling south will still have to find a circuitous route since Maryland remains on the quarantine list. In fact, traveling to nearly all parts of the US will be difficult without having to isolate upon return (see full list of states on the quarantine list below).

Anyone returning from the designated states should self-quarantine at their home, hotel or other temporary lodging, Murphy said, and only leave for medical care or essential items.

“As we face the second wave of this virus, we need to recommit ourselves to the mindset of personal responsibility that helped us flatten the curve earlier this year,” said Murphy. “We are asking anyone arriving from these 46 states and territories to get tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine for 14 days.”

Here is the latest list:

  • Alabama

  • Alaska

  • Arizona

  • Arkansas

  • California

  • Colorado

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Guam

  • Iowa

  • Idaho

  • Indiana

  • Illinois

  • Kansas

  • Kentucky

  • Louisiana

  • Maine

  • Maryland

  • Massachusetts

  • Michigan

  • Minnesota

  • Missouri

  • Mississippi

  • Montana

  • North Carolina

  • North Dakota

  • Nebraska

  • New Hampshire

  • New Mexico

  • Nevada

  • Ohio

  • Oklahoma

  • Oregon

  • Puerto Rico

  • Rhode Island

  • South Carolina

  • South Dakota

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • Utah

  • Vermont

  • Virginia

  • Wisconsin

  • West Virginia

  • Washington

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N.J. adds another state to COVID-19 travel advisory. Nearly all 50 states meet quarantine criteria as cases surge.

One more state has been added to New Jersey’s travel advisory for the coronavirus Tuesday, setting a new high of 46 states and territories considered COVID-19 hotspots and that require a 14-day quarantine.



a person standing in a room: United Airlines take precautions to keep customers and employees safe at Newark Liberty airport during the coronavirus pandemic. Friday, Jun. 26, 2020.rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


© Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS
United Airlines take precautions to keep customers and employees safe at Newark Liberty airport during the coronavirus pandemic. Friday, Jun. 26, 2020.rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Vermont was the latest state to be added, Gov. Phil Murphy’s office announced. The only remaining state that doesn’t meet the criteria to be on the list is Hawaii.

The Garden State, along with New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Delaware all meet the criteria to be on the travel advisory, but are exempt. Travel between the states is allowed without any quarantine. But officials have said people shouldn’t be traveling unless it’s essential.



a person standing in front of a computer: United Airlines take precautions to keep customers and employees safe at Newark Liberty airport during the coronavirus pandemic. Friday, Jun. 26, 2020.rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


© Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/Patti Sapone | NJ Advance Media/nj.com/TNS
United Airlines take precautions to keep customers and employees safe at Newark Liberty airport during the coronavirus pandemic. Friday, Jun. 26, 2020.rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

“As we face the second wave of this virus, we need to recommit ourselves to the mindset of personal responsibility that helped us flatten the curve earlier this year,” Murphy said in a statement.

New Jersey’s quarantine list was previously issued as a joint advisory with New York and Connecticut, but New York scrapped it after the state itself met the criteria to qualify for the quarantine.

New York is requiring visitors from non-neighboring states to take a COVID-19 test.

New Jersey’s advisory now includes:

Alabama (added 6/24/20)

Alaska (re-added 9/1/20)

Arizona (re-added 10/20/20)

Arkansas (added 6/24/20)

California (re-added 10/27/20)

Colorado (added 9/29/20)

Florida (added 6/24/20)

Georgia (added 6/30/20)

Guam (added 8/25/20)

Idaho (added 6/30/20)

Illinois (added 7/28/20)

Indiana (added 7/21/20)

Iowa (added 6/30/20)

Kansas (added 7/7/20)

Kentucky (added 7/28/20)

Louisiana (added 6/30/20)

Maine (added 11/10/20)

Maryland (re-added 10/20/20)

Massachusetts (added 10/27/20)

Michigan (added 10/13/20)

Minnesota (re-added 9/22/20)

Mississippi (added 6/30/20)

Missouri (added 7/21/20)

Montana (re-added 9/1/20)

Nebraska (added 7/21/20)

Nevada (re-added 9/22/20)

New Hampshire (added 11/10/20)

New Mexico (re-added 10/6/20)

North Carolina (added 6/24/20)

North Dakota (added 7/21/20)

Ohio (re-added 10/13/20)

Oklahoma (added 7/7/20)

Oregon (added 11/4/20)

Puerto Rico (re-added 9/15/20)

Rhode Island (re-added 9/22/20)

South Carolina (added 6/24/20)

South Dakota (added 8/11/20)

Tennessee (added 6/30/20)

Texas (added 6/24/20)

Utah (added 6/24/20)

Vermont (added 11/17/20)

Virginia (re-added 10/13/20)

Washington (re-added 11/4/20)

West Virginia (added 9/8/20)

Wisconsin (added 7/14/20)

Wyoming (added 9/22/20)

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Live map tracker 5/8 Newsletter 5/8 Homepage

Places are deemed COVID-19 hot spots if any state or territory has a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or if there’s a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.

New Jersey has been well above the first criteria for weeks.

While violators of New York’s advisory have faced a possible $2,000 fine, New Jersey has never established fines. Instead, Murphy and other officials have asked people to practice “personal responsibility” and follow the order.

People flying into

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States are enacting restrictions because of surging coronavirus cases

As the US faces another surge in the number of positive coronavirus cases, several states are tightening restrictions in an attempt to curtail the spread.

The restrictions come just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday season when millions of Americans typically travel and gather with their extended family members and friends. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, said late last month these gatherings are likely to easily spread the coronavirus. 

“If you have people like elderly or individuals who are compromised because of underlying conditions, you want to take a couple of steps back and say, is it worth it for this year to bring those people together when you don’t know what the status of everybody in that pod that you’ve created is?” Fauci said in conversation with peer-reviewed journal JAMA.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourage people to modify their holiday plans to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The agency has stressed these recommendations are meant to supplement local and state restrictions. 

Here are the states that have enacted tighter restrictions in response to surging cases that can affect holiday plans.

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West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving

West Coast states are jointly asking anyone who arrives from out of state to self-quarantine for 14 days.



a airplane that is flying in the sky: West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving


© Getty Images
West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving

The new advisories in California, Washington and Oregon are meant to discourage nonessential travel and apply to both residents and nonresidents.

The travel advisories recommend individuals limit their interactions to their immediate household, defining essential travel as travel for work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security.

The advisories reflect the reality that the coronavirus is spreading uncontrollably across the country, and are meant to dissuade large gatherings of people ahead of Thanksgiving.

But unlike some other states, quarantine is not mandated.

“COVID-19 does not stop at state lines. As hospitals across the West are stretched to capacity, we must take steps to ensure travelers are not bringing this disease home with them,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) said in a statement. “If you do not need to travel, you shouldn’t. This will be hard, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner. But the best way to keep your family safe is to stay close to home.”

California on Thursday became the second state to hit 1 million cases, and its positivity rate has climbed to 4.2 percent in recent weeks.

Several cities in the state have imposed new restrictions amid rising case numbers, including San Francisco, which has prohibited indoor dining and reduced capacities in gyms and movie theaters. It has also frozen plans for schools to return to in-person classes.

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West Coast states recommend 2-week travel quarantine

Three West Coast states issued a travel advisory Friday urging against nonessential travel and recommending quarantines for those who do travel between states and internationally.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recommend travelers to their states and residents who leave and then return home self-quarantine for 14 days.

This recommendation does not apply to individuals who cross state borders for essential travel, which includes travel for work, study, critical infrastructure support, economic services, health, immediate medical care and safety.

“California just surpassed a sobering threshold — one million COVID-19 cases — with no signs of the virus slowing down,” Newsom said in a statement. “Increased cases are adding pressure on our hospital systems and threatening the lives of seniors, essential workers and vulnerable Californians. Travel increases the risk of spreading COVID-19, and we must all collectively increase our efforts at this time to keep the virus at bay and save lives.”

Brown said in a video posted on Twitter on Thursday, “If we do not act immediately, we will soon reach a breaking point.”

Inslee sounded a similar warning.


“We have to rethink spending time with people from outside our households right now, including Thanksgiving and the December holidays,” he wrote on social media. “This is temporary. We will get back to normal. But right now, it is just too dangerous to gather.”

This news comes after 10 counties and one city in the greater Bay Area issued a similar travel advisory Monday. Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Napa, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma, as well as the city of Berkeley, urged residents to stay local and asked those who do travel to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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West Coast states issue travel advisory ahead of Thanksgiving week


An agent works at the counter May 28 in the Delta Air Lines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport.

An agent works at the counter May 28 in the Delta Air Lines terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. | Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo

Updated


California, Oregon and Washington on Friday issued a joint travel advisory discouraging nonessential travel and urging visitors and residents returning from other states to quarantine for 14 days.

Essential travel under the advisory includes “work and study, critical infrastructure support, economic services and supply chains, health, immediate medical care and safety and security,” according to a Friday press release.

While other states such as Connecticut have mandated quarantine upon arrival for residents of high-risk states, California’s advisory falls short of a requirement. New York recently revised its quarantine order to exempt those from contiguous states and those who test negative at least 72 hours prior to arrival.

The California advisory applies to all out-of-state travel and visitors, including those from Oregon and Washington.

Context: The advisory comes as Covid-19 cases are increasing across California and the country. California just hit 1 million cases, and its positivity rate has climbed to 4.2 percent in recent weeks — a level not seen since early September, according to state Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly.

The Bay Area began considering a 14-day quarantine last week, Ghaly said in his Nov. 4 briefing. In the days since, nine counties have regressed to more restrictive reopening tiers, including two — Sacramento and San Diego — that entered the most restrictive purple tier. More than half of California residents are now living in purple-tier areas.

Los Angeles County, which remains in the purple tier, recommended Thursday that residents not travel out of state for the holidays and quarantine for 14 days upon their return if they do.

What’s next: Ghaly said during a press briefing on Monday that if the trends continue through the next week, more than half of California’s 58 counties will be moved into a stricter tier.

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UPDATE 5-Biden aide says no U.S.-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

(Adds New Mexico health order; updates latest national tallies)



A health care professional walks past an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri


© Reuters
A health care professional walks past an ambulance during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

By Doina Chiacu and Sharon Bernstein

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging COVID-19 pandemic, while three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.

The warning against unnecessary transit came as the daily increase in COVID-19 cases in the United States rose to a record of over 177,000 on Friday, the fourth straight day a new all-time high has been set, according to a Reuters tally of figures from U.S. public health agencies.

California, Oregon and Washington urged residents to avoid venturing out of state, citing concerns raised by health experts that the coming holiday travel season would accelerate already alarming spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the additional step of ordering social gatherings limited to no more than six people, effective immediately, a restriction she said she was prepared to enforce.

“I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings … and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown said.

Similarly, New Mexico’s acting health secretary, Billy Jiminez, extended through the end of November a three-week-old ban on gatherings of more than five people who do not live in the same household, along with a directive advising state residents to stay “in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services.”

That order also requires face coverings be worn in public and mandates the closure of workplaces not defined as “essential businesses,” such as grocery stores, farms, childcare centers, banks, “big-box” retailers, factories and healthcare facilities.

The dire situation has prompted a growing list of state and local governments to re-impose restrictions they eased during a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.

The governors of six states in the Northeast, the region hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, plan an emergency meeting this weekend to coordinate responses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The country’s patchwork of measures will likely remain intact after Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 following his election defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, the head of the Democrat’s coronavirus advisory board said.

“We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad a spread is taking place in a specific region,” he said.

Murthy’s comments were a sharp rebuttal to Trump’s repeated campaign assertions that Biden was intent

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Biden aide says no U.S.-wide COVID lockdown planned as West Coast states advise against travel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Joe Biden’s top coronavirus adviser said on Friday there were no plans for a wholesale nationwide lockdown to curb the surging coronavirus as three U.S. West Coast states jointly called for a halt in non-essential travel.

The joint advisory from California, Oregon and Washington urging residents to avoid venturing out of state came as health experts voiced concerns that the coming holiday travel season would accelerate already alarming spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown took the additional step of ordering social gatherings limited to no more than six people, effective immediately, a restriction she said she was prepared to enforce.

“I am not asking you, I am telling you, to stop your social gatherings … and your house parties and to limit your social interactions to six and under, not more than one household,” Brown said.

The increasingly dire situation has prompted a growing list of state and local governments to re-impose restrictions they eased during a summertime ebb in COVID-19 outbreaks.

The governors of six states in the Northeast, the region hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic, plan an emergency meeting this weekend to coordinate responses, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said.

The country’s patchwork of measures will likely remain intact after Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20 following his election defeat of Republican President Donald Trump, the head of the Democrat’s coronavirus advisory board said.

“We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, a former U.S. surgeon general, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad a spread is taking place in a specific region,” he said.

Murthy’s comments were a sharp rebuttal to Trump’s repeated campaign assertions that Biden was intent on locking down the country if he were elected president.

Medical experts point to increased indoor gatherings with the onset of winter, along with lapses in social distancing and mask-wearing habits, as the main factors stoking an ominous nationwide surge in coronavirus transmissions and the rate of COVID-19 tests coming back positive.

The mounting caseload is starting to strain the resources of some hospitals and is on track to push many to the brink, they warn.

“I’m 100% worried about the holidays,” Dr. Khalilah Gates, a pulmonary specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, told Reuters on Friday. “We don’t have an endless ability to surge.”

TROUBLING BENCHMARKS

Announcing the West Coast travel advisory, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said a strict mandate was ruled out over concerns that “COVID fatigue” might spark a backlash, leading people to behave in ways that are less safe.

The advisory urges individuals entering or returning to the three states to self-quarantine for 14 days, the presumed incubation period for the virus.

On Thursday, California became only the

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