How 7 states are responding to the latest COVID-19 surge

Alia Paavola - Print  | 

The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases exceeded 70,000 for the first time since the pandemic began, prompting many states across the U.S. to address the new surge in virus cases and hospitalizations. 

Here is a breakdown of how seven states are responding to the latest COVID-19 surge:

Idaho

Idaho Gov. Brad Little backtracked on reopening the state Oct. 26. Indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people, outdoor gatherings must be at a 25 percent capacity, and long-term care facilities will not be allowed to operate without requiring masks on their premises.  

The state does not have a statewide mask mandate, according to The New York Times. 

Illinois

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will implement several measures in Chicago to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the city. On Oct. 30, indoor dining services at restaurants and bars will be banned. Gatherings must be limited to 25 people or 25 percent of overall room capacity, whichever is less. 

"We can't ignore what is happening around us, because without action, this could look worse than anything we saw in the spring," Mr. Pritzker said. 

Montana

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has tapped the state National Guard to provide staffing support at the Montana State Prison after a COVID-19 outbreak there. Sixty-seven members of the National Guard will help ensure operational aspects of the prison can continue, according to local news station KGVO.

Mr. Bullock also announced a portal that allows residents to submit complaints if they believe a business is not complying with directives to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

North Dakota

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney imposed the state's first mask mandate Oct. 19 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state. 

As of Oct. 26, North Dakota only had 25 intensive care unit beds staffed and available statewide, according to The Washington Post.

Texas

Hospitals in El Paso, Texas, hit ICU capacity Oct. 24, prompting  El Paso County to enact a curfew Oct. 25 and ask residents to stay home for two weeks to help limit the spread of COVID-19, according to The Washington Post

Texas also plans this week to open a 50-bed field hospital at a convention center in El Paso that can expand to 100 beds if needed.

Utah

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said the National Guard is on standby to build a field hospital in the state amid a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations, Politico reported. The field hospital would be built in a convention center outside Salt Lake City. 

On Oct. 13, Mr. Herbert ordered masks to be worn at all outdoor events. 

Hospitals in Utah have begun talking about care-rationing due to a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Providers have said they may need Mr. Herbert to invoke "crisis standards of care." The care-rationing plan, shared with the governor's office Oct. 22, includes deeming younger patients or those who are pregnant higher priority for intensive care.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin opened an alternative care facility for COVID-19 patients Oct. 14. The facility will start out with 50 beds, but has the capacity to hold 530. The activation of the alternate care facility came as a surge in COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm hospitals in Wisconsin. The number of hospitalizations in the state has tripled in the last month. 

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Oct. 28
44,000 Americans hospitalized; Medicare, Medicaid to cover COVID-19 vaccines with emergency authorization — 5 updates
25 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Oct. 28

 

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