Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | National Guard deploys to El Paso to help with morgue crisis … Prosecutors are reviewing 800 cases possibly tainted by lab analyst … Nursing home workers strike in Illinois.
In an effort to deter people from going out the night before Thanksgiving, Pennsylvania will pause alcohol sales at bars and restaurants for one night on Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered this week. Wolf noted that the Wednesday night before the holiday is a big drinking night, saying they will stop alcohol sales at 5 p.m that evening. “When people get together in that situation it leads to an increase in the exchange of the fluids that leads to increased infection,” he said. The changes, announced with other mitigation efforts, are driven by the state’s surge in Covid-19 cases. “We’re trying to balance the needs of a very fragile economy with the needs for all of us to keep safe,” Wolf said. Restaurant owners complained of the one-night drinking break, saying it unfairly targets their industry. One owner questioned why the state hasn’t imposed new restrictions on retailers, pointing out that people typically crowd into stores on the Friday after the holiday. “You are going to restrict us and not one restriction on retail for the biggest holiday, the biggest day of the year?” he said. [TribLive; PennLive]
PURDUE GUILTY PLEA | Purdue Pharma, the producer of OxyContin, pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges, acknowledging the company’s role in creating the opioid epidemic. While the company also settled monetary compensation with the federal government, states and cities have been in talks with the company in bankruptcy court about their own settlement deal. [Associated Press]
MORGUE SUPPORT | Members of the National Guard are deploying to El Paso to help with the city’s morgue crisis. Mayor Dee Margo said the guard members’ assistance will be essential. The city has secured a central morgue to help with the increase in people dying from the coronavirus. "As we've seen a rapid increase in cases and hospitalizations, we are unfortunately also seeing a spike in deaths. We have been working closely with funeral homes and mortuaries to assist with increased capacity and coordination of resources," he said on Twitter. [CNN]
TAINTED CASES? | Prosecutors in San Francisco are going to take a new look at more than 800 cases associated with a fired lab analyst caught in Utah with an evidence bag of methamphetamine. The review, which will include a decade of cases, could cost half a million dollars, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office estimated. [San Francisco Chronicle; SFGate]
NURSING HOME STRIKE | About 700 nursing home workers in Illinois went on strike Monday, saying they need increased pay and better coronavirus protections. Workers said they want to see the homes they work with, which are mostly in the Chicago area, to offer similar wage increases as were given to 10,000 workers at other homes after an earlier strike. [Chicago Tribune]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor at Route Fifty.
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