The Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck down the state’s stay-at-home order, the most dramatic statewide setback yet in the effort to slow the spread of coronavirus by closing businesses and limiting gatherings.
The move raises the possibility that local officials may make their own restrictions, leading to a patchwork of policies with rules varying significantly from one county to the next. Meanwhile, other states across the nation have been constantly adjusting their regulations in an attempt to flatten the curve of the virus while limiting devastating economic fallout.
There are now more than 84,000 deaths and almost 1.4 million confirmed cases in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, the virus has killed more than 297,000 people and has infected more than 4.3 million.
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Here are some of the most significant developments from Thursday:
What we’re talking about Thursday: Should you wear gloves in public? No. It only spreads germs.
Some good news: This video of 200 goats roaming California streets freely will make you smile.
AAU youth volleyball tournament still scheduled to be played in June
The nation’s largest youth volleyball tournament that hosts thousands of boys and girls is still scheduled to be held next month in Orlando despite concerns about the coronavirus. The Amateur Athletic Union event featured 2,800 teams last summer and drew roughly 110,000 visitors to the city over 12 days.
The AAU said in a news release that “the safety of the participants is our highest priority,” and “we do not make this decision lightly.” The statement also made clear there is a financial motivation at stake, noting the importance of the event to the local economy.
Among the safety precautions: There will be no international teams this year and temperature checks will be instituted before competition. Volleyballs and courts will be sanitized regularly. Handshakes will be discouraged. Courts will be spaced farther apart. Each team will be limited to a party of 30 people, including 15 players, five coaches and 10 chaperones.
– Tom Schad
Wisconsin Supreme Court overturns governor’s stay-at-home order
A stay-at-home order issued by the administration of Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has been struck down by the state’s Supreme Court.
Evers has sought to extend restrictions on residents through the end of May to halt the spread of coronavirus in the state. Republican lawmakers objected because of the impact on the economy.
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice Patience Roggesack determined Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm should have issued such state restrictions through a process known as rule making, which gives lawmakers veto power over agency policies.
The ruling will force the Democratic governor and Republican-controlled Legislature to work together on the state’s response to the ebbs and flows of the outbreak – a dynamic the two sides have rarely been able to achieve before.
– Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Trump says schools should ‘absolutely open’ this fall
President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Dr. Anthony Fauci did not give an “acceptable answer” when telling senators Tuesday that there’s no easy answer on whether schools can reopen this fall.
“I think you should absolutely open the schools,” Trump said during a meeting with the governors of Colorado and North Dakota at the White House. “I don’t consider our country coming back if the schools are closed.”
His comments came after a Senate committee hearing in which Fauci offered a much starker outlook on the coronavirus than what’s been offered by Trump. The president has been eager to reopen parts of public life and on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke by video conference with more than a dozen university leaders about getting students back on campus.
– Maureen Groppe
New study shows kids not as safe; NJ sees 18 children with inflammatory syndrome
Children are not as safe from severe illness caused by the novel coronavirus as originally thought, according to new research and clinical experience that may have implications for decisions about reopening schools and day care centers.
Concerns are rising about the small but growing number of children hospitalized with a coronavirus-related inflammatory syndrome similar to Kawasaki disease. New Jersey State Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said Wednesday that the state is investigating 18 cases of the inflammatory syndrome in children aged 3 to 18.
And a new study coauthored by a Rutgers researcher describes 48 children hospitalized for COVID-19 in pediatric intensive care units across the country in the early days of the pandemic.
At least 118 children — 100 in New York and the 18 in New Jersey – have been identified since mid-April with the newly recognized syndrome, which can cause high fevers, rashes, abdominal pain, low blood pressure and in some cases, heart, liver or kidney failure. Most of those hospitalized with the syndrome in New Jersey were previously healthy.
– Lindy Washburn
Matt Damon reveals his daughter had virus ‘early on’
Actor Matt Damon revealed his oldest daughter had coronavirus in New York City while the rest of the Damons quarantined in Ireland.
The actor, 49, had been in Dublin shooting Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel” when the country began to shut down over coronavirus concerns. He, along with wife Luciana Barroso, and children Isabella, 13, Gia, 12, and Stella, 9, stayed in Ireland while 20-year-old college student, Alexia, stayed stateside.
“She’s in New York City and she had COVID really early on along with her roommates and got through it fine,” Damon told Dublin radio station Spin 1038 in an interview shared Wednesday. “We’ll reunite with her at the end of the month. But everybody’s OK, obviously Lucy’s mom and my mom – it’s scary for that generation.”
– Hannah Yasharoff
More coronavirus news and information from USA TODAY
Study finds cats can catch COVID-19, may be able to transmit to other cats
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that cats “can readily become infected” with the coronavirus and may be able to pass it on to other cats.
Professor of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine Yoshihiro Kawaoka led the study. In it, researchers administered the virus, which had been isolated from a human patient, to three cats. The next day, researchers detected the virus in two of the cats, using nasal swabs. By the third day, they detected the virus in all of the cats.
The day after administering the virus to the first three cats, researchers placed another cat in each of their cages. Researchers didn’t administer the coronavirus to the newly-added cats. Within two days, one of the new cats was shedding the virus and in six days, all cats were doing so.