USA Today: DOJ warns Nevada its plan to reopen discriminates against religious groups

USA Today: DOJ warns Nevada its plan to reopen discriminates against religious groups. “The Justice Department on Tuesday warned Nevada that its plan allowing certain businesses to gradually reopen amid coronavirus threats discriminates against religious organizations and places of worship. Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband, who heads the department’s Civil Rights Division, told Gov. Steve Sisolak that his plan to let businesses, such as restaurants and hair and nail salons, to reopen, while banning religious gatherings of 10 or more people may violate constitutional rights for free expression.”

UPDATE: Virginia COVID-19 cases increase by 1,615 (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Richmond Times-Dispatch: UPDATE: Virginia COVID-19 cases increase by 1,615. “The Virginia Department of Health reported Tuesday that the state has 39,342 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 1,615 from the 37,727 reported Monday. The jump in cases comes a day after an increase of 1,483 cases. A note on the VDH website on Monday said its disease reporting system was down for maintenance Sunday and data reported during that time were added to Monday’s numbers.”

Route Fifty: In Hard-Hit New Jersey, COVID-19 Saddles Some Small Health Departments With Crushing Workload

Route Fifty: In Hard-Hit New Jersey, COVID-19 Saddles Some Small Health Departments With Crushing Workload. “… in a state where nearly 11,000 people have been killed by COVID-19, the same public health system that struggled to implement widespread testing faces what could be an even larger challenge: preventing a second wave of infection that experts say is almost inevitable without coordinated, aggressive efforts. And more than almost any state in the country, New Jersey relies on small, local health departments, which have found themselves stretched far beyond their missions by the pandemic.”

Poynter: How battleground states are preparing for the pandemic election’s massive increase in voting by mail

Poynter: How battleground states are preparing for the pandemic election’s massive increase in voting by mail. “About half of voters in Lee County, Florida, decided to cast their votes by mail in the past two statewide elections. Elections supervisor Tommy Doyle expects that to climb to 70% in November due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Doyle, a Republican in a conservative-leaning county that is home to Fort Myers, has encouraged voters to mail their ballots this year out of concern for their safety. He is sending information about voting by mail, with a postage-paid return envelope, to every address in the county. For voters who had already requested a ballot, he is sending a card to confirm that their address remains current. At the same time, Doyle is doing his best now to ensure that Election Day is safe for people who want or need to cast their ballots in person. ”

NBC News: ‘This is not about politics’: GOP governor says wearing masks is a public health issue

NBC News: ‘This is not about politics’: GOP governor says wearing masks is a public health issue. ” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, on Sunday dismissed the politicization of wearing masks in public to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, imploring Americans during the Memorial Day weekend to understand ‘we are truly all in this together.’ With many states like Ohio beginning to relax stay-at-home restrictions, he underscored the importance of following studies that show masks are beneficial to limiting the spread of the virus.”

Politico: California church appeals to U.S. Supreme Court over lockdown

Politico: California church appeals to U.S. Supreme Court over lockdown. “The battle over the impact of coronavirus lockdown measures on Americans’ religious observances has reached the Supreme Court as a Southern California church and its pastor made an emergency appeal for relief from executive orders issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Lawyers for the South Bay United Pentecostal Church and Bishop Arthur Hodges asked the justices to step in Sunday after a federal appeals court panel rejected a similar emergency application Friday.”

‘I’m looking for the truth’: States face criticism for COVID-19 data cover-ups (NBC News)

NBC News: ‘I’m looking for the truth’: States face criticism for COVID-19 data cover-ups. “While the U.S. has reported more cases and deaths than any other country, the method for counting COVID-19 deaths varies by state. In testimony before the Senate earlier this month, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the actual number of people who’ve died as a result of the pandemic is ‘almost certainly’ higher than what’s been counted. Such data has been the basis for how quickly states are beginning to open up and return to a sense of normalcy. But government officials in a number of states are facing questions about how open and honest they’re being about how the virus is impacting their state.”