Updates from the States Archives

December 2020


  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 17,790,376 total cases and 316,844 deaths. One American is dying from COVID-19 every 33 seconds.The CDC data closes out the day before reporting.
  • The U.S. is now averaging 2,613 new coronavirus deaths per day – more than triple the seven-day average from two months ago. In the week ending Dec. 19, 16 states hit a record number of new deaths. California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas have all recorded more than 1,000 deaths in the past week.
  • The total number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. has increased by 13.6 percent in the past week. Georgia, Arkansas, and South Carolina have all set weekly records for newly diagnosed cases. Tennessee is identifying new COVID-19 cases at the highest per capita rate in the country.
  • Nearly a third of hospitals across the country have more than 80 percent of their ICU beds filled. There are 115,351 people hospitalized across the country with COVID-19 according to the COVID Tracking Project.
  • Hospitals and ICUs across the country are reaching their breaking point. Statewide, California reported 2.1 percent availability of ICU beds on Friday. California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services said many hospitals in the state may also soon run out of room for patients who need to be admitted but do not require intensive care. Just 8 percent of ICU and inpatient beds were available across Arizona on Sunday, and ICUs in Utah have hit 99.4 percent capacity.
    • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he has asked the DoD for 10 teams of 20 health care workers to assist the state’s hard-hit health care facilities.
  • Multiple governors and state officials – including authorities from Alabama, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington – said they will be allocated 20 to 40 percent fewer vaccine doses than expected in their second shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the federal government.
  • Vaccinations in New Jersey nursing homes will begin a week late, Dec. 28, instead of today, after state officials missed the deadline for federal approval by one day.
  • West Virginia is leading the nation in COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration, having doled out nearly 91 percent of its available doses. Gov. Jim Justice (R) said his state is ready to roll out the Moderna vaccine.
  • The head of Oklahoma’s largest teachers union praised Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Monday for moving school personnel to phase two of the state’s vaccine distribution plan.
  • Dozens of protesters trying to force their way into Oregon’s State Capitol building on Monday were met by officers in riot gear, as lawmakers gathered for a one-day special session amid growing tension over coronavirus restrictions in the state.
  • Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) extended a state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic for an additional 60 days.
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed an EO to limit public gatherings to no more than 10 people. The governor urged Tennesseans to limit holiday gatherings to only those living in their household.
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced the end of several restrictions implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In-person classes can resume at high schools and colleges, indoor venues such as movie theaters can reopen with capacity limits and other safety precautions, and outdoor group fitness activities can also resume. The new guidelines will remain in place until Jan. 15.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced an update in the metrics used to inform local school district decisions for in-person learning.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced the launch of WI Exposure Notification, a new mobile app to assist in notifying people who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. The app will go live for Wisconsinites next week.
  • Pennsylvania’s health department unveiled a new digital case investigation tool, the Connect & Protect Form, to allow for more efficient COVID-19 contact tracing efforts. The state already has a contact tracing app available.
  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed an EO that suspends and modifies tax deadlines and collection efforts for tax bills that become due and payable on Jan. 1; suspends municipal assessor certification program requirement; and allows caterer liquor permittees to sell and provide closed or sealed containers of alcoholic beverages.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said Monday that he's "basically begging" Massachusetts residents not to travel for Christmas.
  • Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) signed an emergency proclamation reducing the state's mandatory self-quarantine period for travelers entering the state and traveling between counties from 14 to 10 days.
  • Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (D) tested positive for COVID-19.
  • South Carolina first lady Peggy McMaster and Tennessee first lady Maria Lee have both tested positive for COVID-19.


  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 16,756,581 total cases and 306,427 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. Most sources are now reporting that the U.S. has passed 17 million cases. 
  • Wednesday was the deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. to date, with over 3,360 fatalities reported across the country. The U.S. also set a single-day record for newly reported cases, tallying more than 245,000. Three times as many people in the UU.S. are dying each day now than three months ago, and the number of new cases is six times what it was then.
  • Hospitals and ICUs across the country are under major strain. There are currently 113,069 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country, according to the COVID Tracking Project, marking the 11th consecutive day that the nation has hit a record high of current hospitalizations. Roughly 23 percent of all hospital inpatients have been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • In New York City, public hospitals have canceled elective surgeries in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases. In Boston, pediatric wards are being consolidated to fit all the adults battling the coronavirus. And in Philadelphia, hospitals are once again barring family visitors due to transmission worries.
  • California reported 53,711 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, a roughly 50 percent jump from the state’s recent averages. Patients are overwhelming hospitals and ICU wards across the state, particularly in the hard-hit San Joaquin Valley. The state has bought 5,000 extra body bags and set up 60 refrigerated storage units around the state to help local coroners accommodate bodies that won’t fit in morgues.
  • Nurses in some hard-hit Southern California communities are planning a strike in response to alleged conditions including: “aggressive rationing” of PPE and dirty PPE, insufficient testing for staff and patients, full shifts without a break, and not enough housekeepers, leading to poor sanitation.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) launched “Vaccinate All 58,” the state’s campaign to distribute COVID-19 vaccines equitably across California’s 58 counties.
  • Two trays of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines that were sent to Alabama were not released to hospitals due to deviations in the recommended temperature during shipment, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Several major cities, including New York, Baltimore, and Hartford, temporarily shut down COVID-19 testing sites due to major snowfall and heavy winds. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said the storm delayed the delivery of vaccine doses to some hospitals by several hours.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced updated COVID-19 micro-cluster focus zones in the state. Niagara County's Yellow Precautionary Zone will be expanded. New Yellow Precautionary Zones will be added for Batavia, Genesee County, and for Rome and Utica, Oneida County.
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced he would require Marylanders to limit travel to essential purposes only over the holidays. The state’s department of health also issued a new advisory that lowers the state’s limits on social gatherings from 25 to 10 people.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) on Wednesday eased several COVID-19 restrictions across the state following a four-week “pause.” Outdoor social gatherings with a maximum of 15 people between three households and indoor gatherings with a maximum of 10 people between two households are now permitted; gyms and fitness centers can open at 25 percent capacity; youth and adult sports will resume on Jan. 4; and elementary schools will be permitted to reopen on Jan. 18. Indoor dining is still banned, though outdoor dining may resume at 50 percent capacity. Bars, restaurants, and breweries will continue to be closed for indoor dining through Jan. 11.
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has announced several adjustments to the state's emergency health disaster proclamation. Bars and restaurants can resume their normal hours of operation; the 15-person limitation for indoor gatherings and the 30-person limitation for outdoor gatherings will be lifted, but social distancing will still be required; and spectator limitations at high school, youth and adult sports events will be slightly expanded to allow a member of a participant's household to attend. The state’s limited mask mandate will remain in place.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) amended an EO that requires individuals to wear a mask. The amendment clarifies that individuals who are completely alone in a room do not need to wear a mask.
  • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) on Thursday announced changes to Utah's school quarantine guidelines and an end to the 10 PM curfew for selling alcohol at bars and restaurants.
  • New Mexico’s emergency public health order was amended to accommodate slightly increased capacity inside essential retail spaces, such as grocery stores and certain other large “big box” retailers.
  • Rhode Island’s Department of Education announced a staggered return of students in January 2021.
  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D), Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D), and Gov. Walz joined together in a social media video to encourage everyone across the region to remain safe heading into the holiday season.
  • State health officials in Oregon said they had been told that they were scheduled to get only 25,350 doses next week — significantly fewer than the 40,950 the state received this week. Multiple other states reported similar issues.
  • Useful state data:
    • Use Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 U.S. map as a resource for media, policymakers, and communities to view a collection of critical public health data in one online destination and better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic in populations both large and small across the country. NPR's map can also be used to monitor you state's heat wave.
    • NASHP has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center which serves as a state-level policy dashboard. Governing is also keeping a running tally of coronavirus news and impacts at the intersection of the health and economic crises in the states and localities.
    • This site from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level information on cases/deaths, social distancing measures, health policy actions, and more.
    • This series of maps shows how states are responding to COVID-19.

Previous Updates

  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 16,113,148 total cases and 298,266 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. Most sources are now reporting that the U.S. has passed 300,000 deaths. 
  • Sunday marked the 41st straight day that the U.S. has reported over 100,000 new COVID-19 infections.
  • ICUs filled to capacity across California this weekend, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continued to rise at alarming rates.
  • The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Wyoming dropped below 200 on Friday for the first time since Nov. 16.
  • Nearly 3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were expected to arrive at 145 facilities across the country on Monday, marking the beginning of a huge logistical effort to stop the rampant spread of the virus. The vaccine will arrive at nearly 500 additional sites on Tuesday and Wednesday. Sandra Lindsay, a critical care nurse at New York’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center, is reportedly the first person to receive the vaccination in the U.S.
  • Twenty million Americans should be able to get the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of December, and another 30 million by the end of January, according to HHS Sec. Alex Azar.
  • Puerto Rico received half the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses it expected and had to scramble to adjust its distribution plan. The delay caused last-minute changes to the National Guard’s plans to deliver vaccine to the handful of locations on the island that have the ultracold medical freezers required for storing it, along with backup generators to keep them working on an island with a notoriously unstable power grid.
  • California, Nevada, Oregon, And Washington’s Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup completed their concurrent and thorough review of the federal process and has confirmed the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and efficacious. Washington, Oregon, and Nevada joined California’s COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup in October, which has worked concurrently and independently to review the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccinations. They will continue to evaluate other COVID-19 vaccines after they are routed through FDA authorization for emergency use. The panel is made up of nationally acclaimed scientists with expertise in immunization and public health.
  • Alabama’s medical licensing board voted Saturday to grant temporary credentials to doctors from elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada to alleviate a shortage of critical-care physicians. The credentials will expire in 180 days or when Gov. Kay Ivey (R) lifts Alabama’s state of emergency, whichever happens first.
  • Gov. Ivey extended her statewide mask mandate until Jan. 22 but said there are no other changes and no new restrictions on businesses.
  • Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced that he is extending the restrictions in place under the state’s current "Pause" status through Jan. 15.
  • Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) extended a mask mandate to several new counties and limited indoor social gatherings to groups of no more than 10 people. Outdoor social gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people.
  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced a number of new public health guidelines which began on Monday. Restaurants and bars can reopen at 50 percent capacity, though service must stop at 11 PM and establishments must close before midnight; venues, event spaces, and theaters can also reopen at 50 percent capacity; professional services can operate with up to 50 percent of employees working in-person; and indoor social gatherings cannot have more than eight people from a maximum of two households.
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed an EO that simplifies and strengthens the enforcement of the state’s face covering requirement. Moving forward, owners and operators of all indoor public spaces – regardless of the type of entity or size – must not allow those who refuse to wear a face-covering to enter or remain in their venue. Previous orders had required enforcement in some but not all public settings.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced new metrics by which micro-cluster focus zones across the state will be determined. As a result of the new guidelines, Gov. Cuomo suspended indoor dining in New York City on Monday. Gyms and salons will now be allowed to remain open with restrictions in orange zones.
  • New Mexico’s Department of Health and Public Education Department announced a delay in the return to in-person learning after the winter break.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) extended an EO that increases the Medicaid home health workforce and eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees.
  • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced on Monday that the state will require all college students to be tested for COVID-19 weekly.
  • Gov. Justice became one of the first top elected officials in the country to receive a coronavirus vaccination on Monday evening, though the state’s rollout will prioritize giving the highly sought-after vaccines to health care workers and people in long-term care centers. The 69-year-old Republican governor said he wanted to demonstrate confidence in the vaccine’s safety.
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed an EO requiring COVID-19 testing in certain adult care homes, to enhance efforts to keep COVID-19 from entering and spreading through nursing homes.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced that the DOD will deploy approximately 45 U.S. Army medical personnel to assist the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19 in Wisconsin.
  • Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public and Behavioral Health is expanding the capabilities of the COVID Trace app by launching Exposure Notification Express through a partnership with Apple and Google.
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 15,271,571 total cases and 288,762 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting
  • The National Governors Association, in collaboration with the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and the COVID Collaborative, released a report on Supporting an Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines: Key Themes, Strategies, and Challenges Across State and Territorial COVID-19 Vaccination Plans. The paper provides a qualitative analysis of all publicly available state and territorial COVID-19 vaccination plans to support identification of key issues and sharing of promising practices.
  • The National Academy for State Health Policy has released a new blog analyzing state COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans and a chart of each state's phased approach to vaccinating priority populations.
  • More than a third of Americans are living in areas where hospitals are running critically short of ICU beds. Hospitals across the country are operating near or above capacity as they cope with a growing flood of COVID-19 cases. Nearly a third of U.S. hospitals have more than 80 percent of their ICU beds filled.
  • On Wednesday, the U.S. set a new record for daily death toll, with 3,053 in just 24 hours. Just as the U.S. surpassed 280,000 deaths from coronavirus on Saturday, Dec. 5, the country is likely to pass 290,000 deaths later today.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) directed the state’s department of health to begin implementing a "surge and flex" protocol and mandated all hospitals begin expanding their bed capacity by 25 percent to further prepare hospitals for an expected COVID-19 surge.
  • Gov. Cuomo also issued a call to all retired doctors and nurses, urging them to return to service if they are able.
  • New Mexico on Thursday suspended all nonessential surgeries and activated “crisis care” standards, a move that allows hospitals to ration care amid a surge in COVID-19 cases that has overwhelmed the state’s capacities. Elective surgeries will be banned until Jan. 4, and health care providers will be permitted to implement a statewide plan to stretch the state’s medical resources.
  • Pennsylvania announced statewide restrictions that ban indoor dining and close gyms, theaters, and casinos for three weeks. Indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced the state will revert to Step 1 of Phase 3 of its reopening plan, requiring indoor performance venues and certain "high-contact indoor recreational businesses" to shut down. Retail shops, arcades, museums, offices, and places of worship will be allowed to operate at 40 percent capacity; outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people; anyone planning to host a gathering of 25 people or more outside will be required to notify their local health board; and dining will be caped to 90 minutes of service for groups no larger than six people.
  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced a new EO that imposes an expanded mask mandate, smaller limits on social gatherings, and a new nightly curfew from midnight to 5 AM.
  • Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) on Thursday announced several new restrictions on social gatherings and businesses. Public gatherings such as weddings and funerals are limited to 50 percent capacity unless the local health department grants an exception; attendance at youth indoor sporting events is limited to four spectators per participant or 50 percent of the building’s capacity; bars and restaurants close at 11 PM each night except for drive-thru or takeout services; and dining tables must be spaced 6 feet apart and that bars. Places of worship are excluded from restrictions.
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced that the state will begin a modified stay-at-home order. The order, which takes effect on Friday and will remain in place until Jan. 8, requires people to stay at home between the hours of 10 PM and 5 AM.
  • North Dakota Gov. Doug Burghum (R) announced the extension of a statewide mask mandate until Jan. 18 and occupancy restrictions on restaurants, bars, and event venues until Jan. 8.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced a three-week extension of statewide restrictions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and the extension of 26 proclamations related to the pandemic.
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced she is extending until Dec. 16 a COVID-19 emergency proclamation that imposed some mask requirements and put limitations on gatherings.
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills’s (D) administration announced it will extend the requirement for certain businesses statewide to close by 9 PM through Jan. 3.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) extended a statewide mask order for an additional 30 days and an EO that allows for the operation of alternate care sites in response to COVID-19.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced the statewide launch of CA Notify, a new digital tool that will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
  • Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed an EO that authorizes licensed pharmacists to administer any coronavirus vaccine that has been authorized by the FDA under certain conditions and caps the amount that providers may charge to administer COVID-19 vaccines, to ensure that no one is required to pay out-of-pocket costs for the vaccine.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an EO that automatically enrolls residents who choose to receive a COVID-19 vaccine into the state’s existing vaccine registry.
  • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said the state’s teachers and school administrators will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines as a part of phase one, directly after health care workers. Herbert said he expects teachers will be able to be vaccinated by the end of December or early January.
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • New Hampshire state Rep. Dick Hinch (R) has died of COVID-19 one week after being sworn in as House speaker.
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 14,636,914 total cases and 281,253 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting
  • For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. is reporting an average of nearly 2,200 COVID-19 deaths per day. The national seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths per day is currently 2,171. That figure has increased by 139 percent in the past month.
  • The U.S. has reported over 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day for more than a month straight.
  • Hospitalizations continue to surge to unprecedented levels, with over 101,000 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country ­– a new national record. In the past two months, hospitalizations have more than tripled.
  • Officials have reported that the number of people hospitalized in Nevada with COVID-19 has more than doubled over the last month.
  • On Monday afternoon, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that hospitals in his state will stop offering elective surgeries that can be safely postponed beginning Friday in order to free up necessary staffing and beds.
  • The Navajo Nation begins a three-week emergency lockdown on Monday, during which residents are required to remain at home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Essential businesses, including grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats, and restaurants providing drive-thru or curbside service, may remain open on weekdays between 7 AM and 7 PM. Off-reservation travel is not permitted, and, on weekends, a full lockdown will be in place. The lockdown rules will remain in effect until Dec. 28.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Monday announced new criteria for rolling back the state’s reopening and reintroducing shutdown restrictions by region. Under the new plan, the state health department will use hospitalization rates as thresholds for shutdowns and restricting indoor dining, which the governor said could be barred in New York City as soon as Monday.
  • Gov. Cuomo also announced his state is partnering with Prescryptive Health to expand COVID-19 testing capacity. The partnership will help increase testing capacity in areas where testing access is limited, offering 150 new rapid testing locations statewide.
  • New York City began reopening public schools today because of the determined public health benefits of keeping schools operating, particularly for young students, and the real-world experience of over two months of in-person classes in the city’s school system.
  • Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said on Monday that her administration would extend the closures of high schools, universities, and businesses such as casinos and movie theaters for 12 days, as well as a shutdown of indoor dining and organized sports, as officials monitor the number of available hospital beds across the state.
  • Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) announced a new statewide indoor face mask order and new restrictions on social gatherings and businesses. Gatherings without required distancing are limited to 10 people; bars and restaurants must close at 10 PM; patrons seated at bars, restaurants, theaters, concert halls, and large events will be limited to groups of 6; and group workout classes at gyms are limited to 10 people.
  • Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) announced a new stay-at-home advisory, strongly advising all Delawareans to avoid gathering indoors with anyone outside of their household from Dec. 14 through Jan. 11. Gov. Carney will also institute a mask mandate statewide, requiring people to wear a face covering any time they are indoors with someone outside of their immediate household.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said on Monday that he will extend the state’s current curfew order. Infections and hospitalizations across the state continue to rise at a rapid pace. As a result, the Cleveland Clinic and several other hospitals have postponed elective surgeries that require an overnight stay.
  • The Arizona legislature has closed after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, spent two days with maskless GOP lawmakers. Public health officials in Michigan have ordered several state lawmakers to begin quarantining on Monday, after they were also in recent, close contact with Mr. Giuliani. Georgia state senators who attended a seven-hour hearing last week with him were similarly urged to self-quarantine.
  • School districts across the country are adjusting their education plans. New York City is reopening some of its public schools Monday despite a worsening coronavirus outbreak. The Los Angeles public school district, the second-largest in the U.S., will revert to online learning for the rest of the semester. Three other large districts — in Birmingham, Alabama, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Wichita, Kansas — closed over the past week.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) extended an EO that expands the health care workforce for hospitals and other inpatient treatment facilities.
  • Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (D) announced that the state’s department of health and human services will launch an outreach campaign to Latinx and immigrant communities facing disproportionately high COVID-19 positivity rates. The campaign, which communicates in Spanish and 16 other languages, aims to empower community members to protect their own health and that of their family members.
  • Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Nevada announced that requests to extend the federal authorization of their state National Guard’s support to ongoing state responses to the COVID-19 public health emergency have been approved. The federal government will provide the states with a 75 percent cost-share for this period.
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 13,822,249 total cases and 272,525 deaths. The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. It is estimated that total cases surpassed 14 million today. 
  • Hospitals are confronting new and alarming levels of strain amid a surge of coronavirus patients, with over 100,000 hospitalized nationwide Tuesday. Indiana, Nevada, and South Dakota are reporting more than 500 currently hospitalized per million people. Twenty-eight percent of hospitals have more than 80 percent of their ICU beds filled.
  • Minnesota is now averaging 96.7 new cases a day for every 100,000 people, the second-worst rate in the nation behind South Dakota.
  • New York City's seven-day average daily positive test rate rose above 5 percent, to 5.19, for the first time since May 28.
  • Daily new COVID-19 cases in Delaware are up 50 percent from two weeks ago.
  • Florida has become the third state to report over one million confirmed COVID-19 cases. California and Texas each surpassed one million cases in November.
  • More than 1.3 million children in the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
  • November marked the worst month on record for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the U.S. More than 4.2 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with COVID-19, equivalent to one in every 76 Americans testing positive, and 36,745 people died from the disease.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said he will be implementing strict stay-at-home orders by region, which will be triggered when the intensive care units in a region’s hospitals fill to more than 85 percent of capacity. Residents would be required to stay home except for essential tasks and outdoor exercise. Most businesses would have to shut down, including in-person dining, salons, and sports events. Schools that have been allowed to reopen can continue to operate, and religious services could be held outdoors under the order.
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced steps Tuesday to address a looming shortage of hospital beds and a grave shortage of doctors and nurses across the state. Gov. Hogan asked hospitals to submit a “patient surge” plan, which includes a detailed strategy for increasing hospital bed and staffing capacities, to the state health department by Dec. 8. The department is working with the Maryland Hospital Association to recruit medical personnel and support staff at the state’s hospitals, asking universities to award academic credit to students willing to work at hospitals during the pandemic and to let graduating students receive early licensing, and urging counties to redeploy school nurses to help at testing and vaccination facilities.
  • Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez ordered a new, partial lockdown on Thursday that will force most businesses to close on Sundays and ban weekend alcohol sales from Dec. 7 to Jan. 7. Only pharmacies, supermarkets, gas stations, hardware stores and food delivery and pickup will be allowed on Sundays.
  • New Hampshire’s state legislature will begin its new legislative session outdoors. With 400 members, New Hampshire’s House of Representatives is the largest in the country. But its chamber only has room for about 130 people if proper social distancing protocols are being followed.
  • Families and community organizations in Los Angeles and Oakland sued California this week, saying that it has failed during the pandemic to provide low-income Black and Latino students the free and equal education that the State Constitution guarantees.
  • The Washington State Department of Health, in conjunction with the University of Washington, launched an app that seeks to notify users if they have been exposed to COVID-19. The app is voluntary and data-secure and is seen as a complementary tool for testing and contact tracing.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced this week that he and First Gentleman Marlon Reis have tested positive for COVID-19.
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