COVID-19 Update: Virginia’s Current Outlook by the Numbers

A report from the University of Virginia (UVA) Biocomplexity Institute published last Friday showed that the statewide COVID-19 reproduction rate is above 1.0 (1.031) and in all regions except one, meaning the virus is spreading quickly across the Commonwealth, and classifies five out of 35 health districts as a surge.

The UVA Biocomplexity Institute also uses an adaptive model, tracing past and current trends, to predict what could happen in the future. In that report, the model predicted there could be 202,040 total confirmed cases in Virginia by Thanksgiving, an increase of 41,197 confirmed cases from Saturday’s count.

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Mask Usage Only Encouraged, Not Required at Polling Locations on Election Day, Officials Say

Voters in the Commonwealth that arrive at polling places on Election Day without a mask or face covering and refuse to wear one or vote outside will not be turned away, according to election officials.

The Virginia Department of Elections (VDOE) has given election workers throughout Virginia guidance on what to do when a voter goes to a polling precinct without a mask and does not wish to put one on.

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Retiring Sen. Lamar Alexander Defends Dr. Fauci’s COVID-19 Advice

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) defended Dr. Anthony Fauci’s COVID-19 advice after President Donald Trump’s remarks.
The senator also stated that people weren’t doing enough to counteract the spread of the virus.

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Ohio Introduces New Coronavirus Guidelines as the State Sees the Number of COVID-19 Cases Go Over 90,000

Governor Mike DeWine has issued several new recommendations in the wake of an uptick in coronavirus cases.

The number of coronavirus cases in Ohio has recently gone over 90,000 and almost 3,500 people have died, according to The COVID Tracking Project. Thirteen Ohio counties are under the Level Three Public Health Emergency. Level Three means that a county has “very high expose and spread” of the coronavirus.

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Gov. Bill Lee Grants County Mayors Authority to Issue Mask Mandates

Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Friday granting the mayors of 89 counties the authority to issue local face mask mandates.

Six Tennessee counties – Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton, Davidson, Madison, and Shelby – have local health departments, and therefore already have the authority to issue mask requirements as needed, Lee’s office explained.

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Walz Says Statewide Mask Mandate Is ‘On the Table’

Gov. Tim Walz said a statewide mask mandate to help curb the spread of COVID-19 is “on the table” during a Monday press conference.

According to Walz, Republican governors who participated in a Monday phone call with Vice President Mike Pence were also “exploring the idea.”

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Memphis Requires Masks, But Exemptions Include Unconscious People, Children, Runners, and Bikers, Who Are Told Not to Spit

The Memphis government is mandating the use of masks in many instances, with detailed instructions on when to do so or who may be exempt.

Mayor Jim Strickland signed a mask ordinance Thursday, WREG reported. The city council approved the ordinance 9-4 last week.

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Gov. Lee Announces ‘Strong Mask Movement’ to Make Wearing Face Masks ‘Fun’

Gov. Bill Lee announced a new “TN Strong Mask Movement” Thursday with the goal of making face masks more “fun.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the Economic Recovery Group developed the new program along with more than 30 “flagship brands” across the state, including Amazon, Bridgestone, Bristol Motor Speedway, Graceland, Jack Daniel’s, several professional sports teams and universities, and many others.

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Mayor Cooper Signs Order Requiring Face Masks in All Government Buildings

Nashville Mayor John Cooper signed an executive order Monday that requires anyone who enters a government building to wear a face mask.

Under the order, any employee or visitor must wear a face covering while inside any building or “indoor space” that is owned, managed, or leased by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

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Trump Clashes with 3M After Accusations That Foreign Countries Are Getting Face Masks First

President Donald Trump warned 3M on Twitter Thursday night that it will “have a big price to pay” after the company was accused of various wrongdoings surrounding its production of N95 respirator masks.

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FDA Allows Ohio Company to Make Unlimited Use of Face Mask Sterilizer After Trump, DeWine Intervene

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called an emergency press conference Sunday to express his “deep disappointment” with the Food and Drug Administration for limiting the use of a new technology to sterilize face masks.

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