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Curfews, Closures, and Restrictions Threaten Thanksgiving

(Associated Press) Republican and Democratic governors from several Midwestern states issued a joint video urging people to say home for Thanksgiving and wear masks to slow the spread of the virus until a vaccine is widely available.

Hospitals in many states are running out of beds and are short on nurses, including in the states where governors are reluctant to act.

“We know what will happen. We know that three to four weeks from Thanksgiving, we will see an exacerbation of the outbreaks,” said Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.


LOS ANGELES — California is enacting a nighttime curfew Saturday as spiking coronavirus cases threaten to overrun health care systems. The state’s largest county warned that a more drastic lockdown could be imminent.

The new restrictions say people should stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except for essential errands. The curfew runs through Dec. 21 and covers 41 counties that contain most of the state’s population.

Authorities say the focus is on keeping people from social mixing and drinking — the kinds of activities blamed for causing coronavirus infections to soar after dipping only a few months ago.

Los Angeles County, the state’s largest with about 10 million people, could see a stricter lockdown as early as next week because of soaring cases and hospitalization levels. The county accounts for a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents, but it has about a third of the coronavirus cases and close to 40% of the deaths.

California had a record 13,000 new cases on Thursday and more than 1 million total confirmed cases. The state has 18,653 confirmed deaths, third in the nation behind New York (34,252) and Texas (20,751).


CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has announced new limits on indoor and outdoor public gatherings. But he has not implemented a statewide mask mandate as coronavirus cases surge across the state.

The Republican governor and state health officer Dr. Alexia Harrist say public gatherings will be limited to 25 people or fewer without restrictions. Indoor gatherings will be limited to 25% capacity, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50%.

The new order goes into effect Tuesday. No statewide mask mandate was approved, though nearly all of the county health officers have called for one as virus cases, hospitalizations and deaths have substantially increased in recent weeks.


AUSTIN, Texas — Texas has surpassed 8,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients for the first time since the summer surge, and doctors are amplifying pleas to keep Thanksgiving gatherings small.

Texas reported more than 11,700 new cases Friday, once again approaching record highs. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has ruled out shutdowns and says cities and counties need to enforce restrictions already on the books, including occupancy limits and masks.

The Texas Hospital Association is appealing for families to keep holiday gatherings “very small” as doctors and nurses struggle to keep up with rising caseloads. The group says staff are “tired and emotionally drained” and worried about the health of their own families.


LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Kentucky reported a record 3,825 new daily coronavirus cases on Friday as new restrictions took effect.

Private indoor gatherings are limited to two households, with a maximum of eight people. For roughly three weeks, bars and restaurants must close indoor dining, allowing curbside pickup, delivery and outdoor dining services.

Event venue capacity is limited to 25 people. Gym capacity is lowered to 33%, and group classes, team practices and competitions are prohibited. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has encouraged houses of worship to refrain from in-person services. There is no statewide mask mandate in Kentucky.

“Remember, your decisions are going to be what determines how many people live or die. Do your part,” said Beshear, urging Kentuckians to follow the new requirements.

Kentucky has reached 152,206 confirmed total cases. There were 20 deaths, bringing the confirmed death total to 1,762.


DETROIT — A judge on Friday declined to halt a three-week ban on indoor dining in Michigan that is one of the most recent coronavirus restrictions imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration.

The state health department reported a new daily high of confirmed coronavirus cases, 9,779, and 53 more deaths.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney in Kalamazoo says a restraining order halting the indoor dining ban wouldn’t be appropriate, especially when the state hasn’t had a chance to respond to the lawsuit.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association, which has thousands of members, is suing to try to stop the indoor dining ban that began Wednesday. The group says restaurants can take further steps to reduce coronavirus risk without cutting off customers.

The group says its members were being unfairly treated compared to other businesses. The judge, however, wasn’t swayed.

“Individuals who patronize the businesses that remain open can do so — and must do so — while wearing a face covering. … In contrast, individuals cannot eat or drink while wearing a mask,” Maloney said.

Maloney scheduled the next hearing for Nov. 30, nearly two weeks into the three-week ban.

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