The Latest: Iowa’s governor orders statewide mask mandate


By The Associated Press



IOWA CITY, Iowa — With Iowa hospitals filling up, Gov. Kim Reynolds has dropped her opposition to a statewide mandate for mask use to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Reynolds signed a proclamation Monday requiring that everyone over 2 years old wear masks when in indoor public spaces. The mandate applies only when people are within six feet of others for 15 minutes and they aren’t members of their households.

Reynolds also is limiting gatherings for social, community, business and leisure purposes to no more than 15 people indoors and 30 outdoors, including family events. Routine office and factory work and spiritual gatherings are exempted.

The governor rejected calls to close bars and restaurants for in-person service but is ordering that they close by 10 p.m. She also has suspended sports and recreational activities, except for high school, college and professional sports.

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

MONROE, La. — Louisiana landlords have filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn a moratorium on evictions ordered by the CDC to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus.

The suit says that “the CDC’s eviction moratorium represents a sweeping assumption of power by an administrative agency that it simply does not possess.”

Figures provided by the Seattle-based Housing Justice Project says landlords in Georgia, Ohio and Tennessee have filed similar lawsuits against the CDC moratorium. Those in 13 other states and the District of Columbia are trying to overturn state or city eviction moratoriums.

The CDC’s Sept. 1 order came about three weeks after President Donald Trump issued an executive order telling federal health officials to consider measures to temporarily halt evictions.

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson has begun a new late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, this time on a two-dose regimen.

J&J plans to give up to 30,000 people two doses of the vaccine. It’s been testing a one-dose regimen in a 60,000-person trial that began in late September and has enrolled nearly 10,000 volunteers so far.

In the new trial, volunteers will get either the vaccine or a dummy shot, then a second dose 57 days later, a company spokesman said Monday. That study is being conducted in the U.S., plus Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain and the UK — locations chosen because they have a high incidence of COVID-19 and can start testing quickly.

The company said it’s being “extremely thorough”’ by testing multiple doses and dosing regimens to evaluate long-term effectiveness.

A small, early-stage study of the vaccine found it triggered a strong immune response and was well tolerated.

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HARTFORD, Conn. — The Yale professor who co-chairs President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus advisory board said Monday that her group has not been able to speak with President Trump’s coronavirus advisors, but is optimistic the two groups will work together during the transition.

Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith said there is a long “wish list” of information that the incoming administration would like to know about the Trump administration’s COVID-19 strategy, with plans for the storage and distribution of a vaccine at or near the top.

She said it was in everyone’s best interest for the two teams to sync during the transition.

Nunez-Smith also reiterated that Biden plans to work with governors, mayors and other elected leaders to reach “national agreement and unification” on mask-wearing standards.

By The Associated Press