Ten more states added to New York quarantine order: Cuomo

(Reuters) – Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday ordered those arriving in New York from an additional 10 states to quarantine for 14 days to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus as cases flare up across the country.

Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, Washington were added to the travel order which was first issued in June. Minnesota was removed.

Travelers arriving in New York from a total of 31 U.S. states are now required to quarantine upon arrival in New York, according to the travel advisory.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Four more states added to New York quarantine order, Cuomo says

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday ordered those arriving in New York from an additional four states to quarantine for 14 days to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The newly added states – Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin – were all seeing ‘significant’ community spread of the virus, Cuomo said in a statement.

Delaware, previously on the list, has now been removed.

Travelers arriving in New York from a total of 22 U.S. states are now required to quarantine for 14 days, according to Cuomo’s order which was first issued in June.

On Monday, the governor announced a travel enforcement operation at airports across the state to ensure travelers are abiding by the quarantine restrictions.

New York reported five COVID-19 fatalities on Monday, and 820 hospitalizations. There were 912 positive test results, or 1.5% of the total, as Cuomo warned in a tweet that “infection rates are alarmingly rising among 20-somethings in NY.”

(Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York, additional reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Franklin Paul and Bernadette Baum)

Three more states added to New York governor’s quarantine order

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday ordered people arriving from an additional three states to quarantine for 14 days amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The three additional states are Delaware, Kansas and Oklahoma, all of which are seeing ‘significant’ community spread of the virus, Cuomo said in a statement.

Travelers arriving to New York from a total of 19 U.S. states are now required to quarantine for 14 days.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Six U.S. states to coordinate gradual reopening after coronavirus shutdown

By Maria Caspani and Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Six states in the U.S. Northeast took the first tentative step on Monday toward reopening their economies by forming a regional panel to develop a strategy for the gradual lifting of restrictions aimed at stanching the coronavirus pandemic.

The announcement of the panel, to include economic and health officials from each state as well as the chief of staff of all six governors, came after President Donald Trump insisted that any decision on restarting the economy was his to make.

The states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with a total population of 32 million, will join with neighboring Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island in coordinating their efforts to reopen the economy as more signs the outbreak has stabilized emerged over the weekend.

The joint planning reflected growing concern among health officials and political leaders that easing stay-at-home orders too soon could allow the pandemic to re-accelerate, undoing hard-won progress the country has made in recent weeks.

“Nobody has been here before, nobody has all the answers,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said during an open conference call with his five counterparts. “Addressing public health and the economy: which one is first? They’re both first.”

Cuomo said earlier on Monday that reopening “is a delicate balance” that involved “recalibrating” which businesses and activities are essential.

The number of deaths reported in the United States overall on Sunday was 1,513, the smallest increase since April 6. The largest number of fatalities is still in and around New York City, the most populous U.S. city with about 8.4 million people.

Tensions between state governors and U.S. President Donald Trump have bubbled up since the outbreak worsened a month ago and surfaced in the debate about when and how to restart economic activity.

“It is the decision of the president, and for many good reasons,” Trump said on Twitter on Monday. He went on to write that his administration was working closely with the governors.

“A decision by me, in conjunction with the governors and input from others, will be made shortly!” Trump’s tweet said.

Legal experts say a U.S. president has limited power under the U.S. Constitution to order citizens back to their places of employment, or cities to reopen government buildings, transportation, or local businesses to reopen.

‘WORST IS OVER’ BUT…

Cuomo said on Monday that “the worst is over” for his state, the U.S. epicenter of the virus, but he hedged his remark with a warning that gains achieved through social distancing could be undone if “we do something stupid” and relax those restrictions too quickly.

“We can control the spread. Feel good about that,” Cuomo said. “The worst is over, if we continue to be smart going forward.”

Political leaders said a reopening of the economy may hinge on more widespread testing and cautioned that lifting of stay-at-home restrictions too early could reignite the outbreak. The Trump administration has signaled May 1 as a potential date for easing the restrictions.

The United States, with the world’s third-largest population, has recorded more fatalities from COVID-19 than any other country, with more than 23,000 deaths as of Monday morning, according to a Reuters tally.

Wyoming reported its first death from the coronavirus on Monday, the final U.S. state to report a fatality.

Official statistics, which exclude deaths outside of hospitals, have understated the actual number of people who have succumbed to COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, health experts said. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T)

More than 10,000 people have died in New York state, and the death rate was “basically flat at an horrific level of pain and sorrow,” Cuomo said, referring to a flattening of the curve as seen on a graph.

In New York City, three indicators have to show a sustained decline before the city could consider the outbreak to be in a less dangerous phase, Mayor Bill de Blasio said: the daily number of people admitted to hospitals, the number of people in intensive care units, and the percentage of positive tests for the virus.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot acknowledged a “tightening” of the supply chain for swabs needed in coronavirus testing, and said it was part of a “national and international challenge” to ramp up testing.

Chris Sununu, the Republican governor of New Hampshire, said testing for the coronavirus had improved “but we don’t have enough. Nobody has enough.”

“There’s just a limited supply for a massive amount of demand,” Sununu told CNN.

To ease the impact of the shutdown on the U.S. economy, the two top Democrats in the U.S. Congress urged Republicans on Monday to authorize more funding for national testing. An effort to rush fresh assistance to U.S. small businesses stalled in Congress as the health emergency failed to overcome partisan differences between Republicans and Democrats.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani Jessica Resnick-Ault; additional reporting by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Lambert in Washington and Nathan Layne in Wilton, Connecticut; Writing by Grant McCool; Editing by Frank McGurty and Howard Goller)

Magnitude 4.1 quake strikes Delaware, equals estimated state record

(Reuters) – A magnitude 4.1 earthquake struck Delaware on Thursday in a rare seismological occurrence for the U.S. Northeast, officials said, with the temblor’s strength equaling the estimated magnitude of an 1871 quake that was believed to be the largest ever in the state.

The quake, previously reported at magnitude 5.1 and then at 4.4, was centered in the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, according to a statement from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. It was less than 10 miles (17 km) from the city of Dover and less than a mile (0.8 km) from Donas Landing.

There were no reports of injuries or damage, officials said.

In 1871, a quake believed to have been of magnitude 4.1 struck in Delaware, according to the website for the Delaware Geological Survey, a state agency.

The 1871 quake had been the largest on record for Delaware, according to the survey, but its strength has only been estimated.

The largest quake ever recorded in Delaware was a magnitude 3.8 temblor in 1973, according to the Delaware Geological Survey.

Earthquakes in Delaware do not occur on the edge of a tectonic plate, as is more common in places such as California, where fault lines between plates generate earthquakes. Generations of California residents have been bracing for the so-called “Big One” along the San Andreas Fault.

Instead, the Delaware temblor occurred far from the edge of a plate, said Thomas Pratt, a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey who is based in Virginia.

“There’s a lot of speculation, but we don’t have a good answer for why these earthquakes are occurring in the middle of the plates,” Pratt said.

The latest quake was downgraded to a magnitude 4.1 after data came in from several monitoring stations, U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Rafael Abreu said by telephone.

It was felt in Philadelphia in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania, some 53 miles (85 km) from the epicenter.

The quake was shallow, only 5 miles (8 km) deep, which would have amplified its effect, and some people reported feeling light shaking in areas around New York City and Baltimore, according to the USGS website.

Many social media users also confirmed feeling the temblor and #earthquake had quickly risen to the top of trending topics on Twitter with more than 11,000 tweets mentioning the hashtag.

(Reporting by Sandra Maler in Washington and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Sandra Maler and Dan Grebler)

Suspect in Maryland shooting that killed three arrested in Delaware

By Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – An employee of a Maryland kitchen countertop company suspected of fatally shooting three co-workers and critically wounding two others on Wednesday was arrested in neighboring Delaware, a Maryland county sheriff said.

The suspected gunman, Radee Prince, 37, was apprehended by U.S. agents and others, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said on Twitter, without providing further details. Prince was also being sought for a shooting in Delaware that took place after the Maryland shooting.

Prince entered Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood, Maryland, just before 9 a.m. and fired multiple shots from a handgun, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler told reporters.

Three people died at the company’s premises in a business park northeast of Baltimore. Two people were taken to a hospital, one of whom had come out of surgery, he said.

Those killed were identified as Jose Romero, 34; Enis Mrvoljak; and Bayarsaikhan Tudev, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Two other people shot in the attack were in critical condition at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, it said.

Gahler called the shooting a “targeted attack.” Asked about the gunman’s possible motive, he said: “We believe he’s tied into a relationship here at work.”

Prince had worked for Advanced Granite Solutions for the past four months and had been scheduled to work on Wednesday, the sheriff said. The suspect fled in a black GMC Acadia with Delaware license plates.

Police in Wilmington, Delaware, about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Edgewood, said Prince was also being sought for a shooting there at 10:46 a.m. that injured a man.

Wilmington police spokeswoman Stephanie Castellani said the victim identified the shooter as Prince, who fled in the same vehicle. Prince had been arrested 42 times in Delaware and had 15 felony convictions, she said.

“He is a dangerous individual,” said Castellani, adding that the motive was not yet known but that Prince was associated with all six victims. “We do not know if there is a beef going on between the victims and the suspect.”

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Additional reporting by Chris Kenning in Chicago, Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas and Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)

Gunman kills three at Maryland company, suspected in Delaware shooting

By Ian Simpson

(Reuters) – An employee of a Maryland kitchen countertop company fatally shot three co-workers and critically wounded two others on Wednesday and is suspected in a later shooting in nearby Delaware, authorities said.

A manhunt was on for the suspected gunman, Radee Prince, 37, who entered Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood, Maryland, just before 9 a.m. and fired multiple shots from a handgun, Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler told reporters.

Three people died at the company’s premises in a business park northeast of Baltimore. Two people were taken to a hospital, one of whom had come out of surgery, he said.

Gahler called the shooting a “targeted attack.” Asked about the gunman’s possible motive, he said: “We believe he’s tied into a relationship here at work.”

Prince had worked for Advanced Granite Solutions for the past four months and had been scheduled to work on Wednesday, the sheriff said. The suspect fled in a black GMC Acadia with Delaware license plates after the shooting.

Police in Wilmington, Delaware, about 30 miles northeast of Edgewood, said in a statement that Prince was also being sought in connection with a shooting there about two hours later.

The statement did not give details about the incident and a police spokesman could not be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Chris Reese and Peter Cooney)

Delaware House votes to guarantee abortion rights, in stance against Trump

FILE PHOTO -- A woman holds a sign in the rain as abortion rights protestors arrive to prepare for a counter protest against March for Life anti-abortion demonstrators on the 39th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade decision, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File PhotoFILE PHOTO -- A woman holds a sign in the rain as abortion rights protestors arrive to prepare for a counter protest against March for Life anti-abortion demonstrators on the 39th anniversary of the Roe vs Wade decision, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, January 23, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

By Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters) – The Delaware legislature on Tuesday approved a bill that would guarantee abortion access, taking the stance after President Donald Trump pledged to upend the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows the procedure nationally.

Delaware’s legislation aims to codify at the state level the provisions of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that protects a woman’s right to abortion.

Trump, a Republican whose election was backed by anti-abortion groups, has promised to appoint justices to the nation’s top court who would overturn Roe v. Wade and let states decide whether to legalize abortion.

The Delaware state House, after more than five hours of debate and discussion, voted 22 to 16 on Tuesday to approve the measure, according to the website for the state legislature. The measure had already passed in the state Senate.

Both chambers of the Delaware legislature are controlled by Democrats, and Governor John Carney Jr. also is a Democrat.

Passage of the bill through the House positions Delaware to potentially become the first state to guarantee access to abortion since Trump was elected president.

Carney, who has been following debate on the bill, has not yet said if he will sign it into law, his spokeswoman Jessica Borcky said.

“But the governor supports the rights and protections afforded women under Roe v. Wade,” Borcky said.

Abortion opponents lobbied against the legislation, concerned it could turn Delaware into “a late-term abortion haven,” said Delaware Right to Life spokeswoman Moira Sheridan. Her group plans to take its fight to the governor’s office.

“We will exert the same pressure upon Governor Carney, a Catholic, to uphold the sanctity of life for those innocent unborn children whose lives depend upon his vetoing this radical bill,” Sheridan said.

A bill to support abortion rights was approved by the Illinois legislature in May but the state’s Republican governor,┬áBruce Rauner, has vowed to veto it. In January, New York’s Assembly adopted legislation similar to Delaware’s, but it has stalled in the Senate.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York and Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Tom Brown)

Delaware House set for final vote on abortion rights

By Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters) – The Delaware House of Representatives was poised to vote on Tuesday on a Senate-approved bill that would guarantee abortion access after U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to upend the ruling that legalizes the procedure nationally.

Delaware’s legislation aims to codify at the state level the provisions of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that protects a woman’s right to abortion.

Trump, a Republican whose election was backed by anti-abortion groups, has promised to appoint justices to the nation’s top court who would overturn Roe v. Wade and let states decide whether to legalize abortion.

Both chambers of the Delaware legislature are controlled by Democrats, and Governor John Carney Jr. also is a Democrat.

Passage of the bill through the House could position Delaware to become the first state to guarantee access to abortion since Trump was elected president.

A bill to support abortion rights was approved by the Illinois legislature in May but the state’s Republican governor,┬áBruce Rauner, has vowed to veto it. In January, New York’s Assembly adopted legislation similar to Delaware’s, but it has stalled in the Senate.

Carney has been following debate on the bill and has not yet said if he will sign it into law, said his spokeswoman Jessica Borcky.

“But the governor supports the rights and protections afforded women under Roe v. Wade,” Borcky said.

If the bill clears the House and is sent to the governor, he must sign or veto it within 10 days, or the measure automatically becomes law.

Abortion opponents lobbied against the legislation, concerned it could turn Delaware into “a late-term abortion haven,” said Delaware Right to Life spokeswoman Moira Sheridan. If it passes, the group will take its fight to the governor’s office, she said.

“We will exert the same pressure upon Governor Carney, a Catholic, to uphold the sanctity of life for those innocent unborn children whose lives depend upon his vetoing this radical bill,” Sheridan said.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Delaware legislature moves to guarantee abortion access in Trump era

An exam room at the Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center is shown following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities in Austin, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2016. REUTERS/Ilana Panich-Linsman

By Barbara Goldberg

(Reuters) – The Delaware state Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would keep abortion legal in the state if a future U.S. Supreme Court shaped by President Donald Trump overturns the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized it nationally.

The measure was approved by a vote of 11-7 but needs to be passed by the House and signed by Democratic Governor John Carney Jr. to take effect.

Democrats control both houses of the Delaware legislature but are facing a June 30 end to this year’s session.

Carney “supports the rights and protections afforded women under Roe v. Wade” but has not yet said whether he will sign the bill into law, said his spokeswoman Jessica Borcky.

Trump has promised to appoint justices to the nation’s top court, including recent appointee Neil Gorsuch, who would overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling and leave it up to the individual states to decide whether to legalize abortion. Trump received strong support from anti-abortion groups in the election campaign.

Delaware is one of 11 states with a pre-Roe abortion ban still on the books, according to the Guttmacher Institute which tracks reproductive policy.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion would be almost immediately illegal in four states – Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to Guttmacher and the Center for Reproductive Rights. In the other 46 states, abortion would remain legal but in at least 10 states – including Delaware – it could become illegal with a step as simple and swift as a state attorney general’s opinion, Guttmacher said.

“There wasn’t a sense of urgency until President Trump got elected,” said Kathleen MacRae, executive director of the ACLU of Delaware. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood of Delaware formed the “She Decides Delaware” campaign to lobby for legislation to keep abortion legal.

“We don’t want to leave the women of Delaware in a vulnerable position,” MacRae said. “It’s up to the woman and the family to decide when she would like to become a parent.”

Momentum for the bill grew in April when a coalition of state religious leaders including Jewish, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and Unitarian clergy publicly declared “acceptance” of abortion in a show of support for Planned Parenthood. The state’s Catholic leader, Bishop Francis Malooly of the Diocese of Wilmington, immediately denounced the statement.

MINIMALIST DESIGN

The bill itself has a minimalist design. It aims to keep the provisions of Roe v. Wade rather than repeal the 1953 state ban.

“This bill simply seeks to codify the framework in place for a very long time – that a woman has a right to choose,” Senator Bryan Townsend, a Democrat who is the bill’s sponsor, told colleagues before the vote.

“It’s a decision that belongs with the woman, her doctor and her family,” said Senator Stephanie Hansen, a Democrat and bill co-sponsor.

Opponents denounced the move. “Any civilized society restricts an individual’s right to choose when it would affect an innocent person. I can think of no more innocent person than an unborn child,” said Senator Bryant Richardson, a Republican.

“You can codify abortion all you want but you are still codifying the murder of an unborn child,” said Delaware Right to Life spokeswoman Moira Sheridan.

Under the 1950s’ Delaware ban, terminating a pregnancy is a felony for the provider and a misdemeanor for the woman, except when it is deemed a “therapeutic abortion” in either case.

Dr. Larry Glazerman, medical director at Planned Parenthood Delaware, said he is confident the bill is enough to protect him and other doctors who provide abortion from prosecution.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)