By The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office says it will issue revised guidelines for indoor church services after the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the state’s ban on indoor worship during the coronavirus pandemic. In the most significant legal victory against California’s COVID-19 health orders, the high court told California it can’t continue with a ban on indoor services during the coronavirus pandemic, but it can limit attendance to 25% of a building’s capacity and restrict singing and chanting inside. Newsom’s office said it will continue to enforce the restrictions the high court left in place.
THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
The U.S. aims to rely on more rapid home tests to fight pandemic. AP analysis: Federal executions likely a COVID-19 superspreader. California adding more mass vaccination clinics. China gives broader approval for the domestic-made Sinovac coronavirus vaccine. Supreme Court: California can’t enforce indoor church service ban, but can limit capacity at 25%.
Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico on Saturday reported 424 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases and eights deaths as the coronavirus outbreak in the state slows.
The latest figures released by the Department of Health increased the state’s pandemic totals to 177,214 cases and 3,386 but rolling two-week averages of daily new cases and daily deaths dropped over the past two weeks.
According to data from The COVID-Tracking Project, the rolling average of daily new cases dropped from about 847 on Jan. 22 to around 571 on Friday and the rolling average of daily deaths dropped from 29 to 18.6.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There were 58 fewer people hospitalized in Arkansas on Saturday as the number of hospitalizations continues a recent decline, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. There were 750 hospitalizations, down from 808 on Friday, while the number of reported cases rose by 1,341 and there were 11 more deaths due to COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, according to the health department. Overall, the number of both deaths and cases have declined during the past two weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day rolling average of deaths in the state has dropped from 40.86 per day on Jan. 22 to 31.29 and the average number of new cases has fallen from 1,963.86 per day to 1,737.14 during the same time period, the Johns Hopkins data showed. There have been 306,064 total virus cases and 5,061 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began in March, according to the state health department.
RIO DE JANEIRO — Normally, Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome would be preparing for its greatest time of the year: The world’s most famous Carnival parade.
But a week before the start, the coronavirus pandemic has replaced the pageantry. The celebration is on hold until next year as Rio struggles with a rise in coronavirus cases. The city on Saturday opened a drive-thru immunization station at the Sambadrome, where a line of cars queued up on a broad avenue built for floats.
“This is usually a place of pleasure. Today it is too, because we are exercising an act of citizenship and we are opening the Sambadrome to vaccinate, ” said Paulo Roberto Machado, a 68-year-old nurse who teaches at the Veiga de Almeida University.
Machado has taken part in 40 years of Carnival parades here. But on Saturday, he was coordinating 20 volunteer nursing and medical students to vaccinate people over age 90.
Rio has recorded more than 17,600 confirmed deaths — the most of any city in Brazil, even topping Sao Paulo, which has nearly twice the population.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of reported coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has surpassed 400,000.
The state health department…