An Easter to go down in history: All 50 states under disaster declaration
CNN - People around the US are finding creative new ways to celebrate Easter Sunday. It is the first time in history all 50 states are under federal disaster declarations.
President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration Saturday for Wyoming, the final state to get one. It makes federal funds available to supplement state and local efforts to deal with the pandemic.
A state declaration of disaster also focuses the entire state government on the emergency and heightens awareness. Declarations also allow governors to sidestep certain laws and regulations.
According to John Hopkins University, the country has recorded 20,608 deaths and 530,000 cases. In addition to the states, the US Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Washington, DC, Guam and Puerto Rico have also been declared disasters.
Some states are attempting to restrict religious gatherings today. The Justice Department said it will take actions this week and team up with religious institutions in law suits against these state and local government regulations. Here are a few examples of states with restrictions on religious gatherings at this time.
- In Kentucky, authorities said they will record license plates of those who show up to any gatherings and hand that information over to the local health department. That will require those people to stay quarantined for 14 days, Gov. Andy Beshear said.
- In New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the state amended a public health order banning mass gatherings to include houses of worship.
- The mayor of Louisville, Kentucky, tried to stop a church from holding a drive-in Easter service, even though drive-in liquor stores are still permitted under the state's stay-at-home policy. A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Saturday that overturned the effort.