State and local officials tussle over virus restrictions

Across the U.S., state and local officials are trying to balance the competing priorities of protecting their citizens from the coronavirus while keeping the economy running. Add into the mix strong feelings about individual freedom, weak and sometimes contradictory guidance from the federal government, and a highly partisan political atmosphere, and that balancing act suddenly becomes a wrestling match.

Take Georgia for example, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is suing the Democratic mayor of Atlanta over its face mask mandate. Kemp filed the lawsuit Thursday, a day after issuing an executive order banning cities from requiring face coverings. President Donald Trump also visited Atlanta on Wednesday, arriving at the airport without a face mask. The circumstance prompted Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who earlier tested positive for the virus but was asymptomatic, to question the timing of the lawsuit.

With case counts rising rapidly in Georgia, more than a dozen

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Health Officials Report 6 More Coronavirus Deaths, 317 Cases

SEATTLE, WA —Wednesday state health officials confirmed six new deaths linked to COVID-19 in Washington and 317 new confirmed cases of the disease.

Three of the deaths were reported in King County. The remainder were in Yakima, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Yakima County also had the brunt of the new cases, with 189 lab-confirmed infections.

The new numbers mean a total of 22,484 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the evergreen state since the outbreak began, and 1,135 people have died. A total of 377,327 Washingtonians have been tested for the coronavirus, meaning roughly six percent of tests come back positive.

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Catch up on the latest developments:

The first counties apply for Phase 3

As many large counties are struggling

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State Officials Confirm 6 Coronavirus Deaths, 275 New Cases

SEATTLE, WA — After the first day without a coronavirus-related death in weeks Sunday, the death toll has once again risen in Washington. Monday state health officials confirmed six new deaths linked to COVID-19, and 275 new confirmed cases of the disease.

The new numbers mean a total of 21,977 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Washington since the outbreak began, and 1,124 people have died. A total of 365,272 Washingtonians have been tested for the coronavirus, meaning roughly six percent of tests come back positive.

Starting Monday the new county-based Safe Start plan went into effect, meaning each county is now being independently judged on their individual coronavirus transmission rates. The state will use the number of new cases and other metrics to determine which counties can move ahead into further phases of reopening, which will allow business to slowly return to usual as they progress. Already,

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Public Health Officials Contradict Nursing Home Director’s Claims

EVANSTON, IL — The director of the nursing home that has accounted for more than half of COVID-19 deaths in Evanston claimed he had been forbidden from comprehensive testing for the new coronavirus. But according to state public health officials, there was never any such ban on testing.

Phil Hemmer, executive director of Three Crowns Park, has said facility administrators had urged public health officials to website design jacksonville FL authorize testing of asymptomatic people since mid-March.

“The trigger for this terrible disease is its ability to spread unknowingly by infected individuals who show no symptoms,” he told residents Monday. “Unfortunately, until recently testing had been limited to those with symptoms, allowing many infected individuals without symptoms to infect others.”

Last month, Hemmer said Three Crowns Park had hired a private lab to test all independent living residents, and on April 24 he announced that the facility planned to start

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