California Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Legal Fees to Church that Violated Coronavirus Restrictions

People holding hands in air at church worship service

After a lengthy court battle, the government of the state of California backed down in its efforts to enforce coronavirus restrictions on a church that continued hosting in-person worship services, and has now agreed in a settlement to pay the church’s $2 million worth of legal fees, Breitbart reports.

When the state repeatedly attempted to enforce strict capacity limits, mask mandates, and other “social distancing” requirements on the San Diego-based Pentecostal church, the church’s lawyers filed suit with the United States Supreme Court, winning all three suits. This ultimately led to lawyers on behalf of the state of California agreeing to the settlement, which was approved by a federal judge.

Responding to the settlement, an attorney with the Thomas More Society, a legal group that represents churches facing suppression of their First Amendment rights, pointed out that while businesses such as Costco were limited to 50 percent capacity, while churches were forced to stay as low as 25 percent, and sometimes even lower.

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Majority of Ohio COVID Restrictions Set to End

Many of the restrictions put in place throughout Ohio in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will expire at midnight on Tuesday. Governor Mike DeWine has stated he will not renew the regulations.

However, DeWine has left the door open for some regulations to remain in place in certain settings. Gov. DeWine announced that the decisions to require masks and limit the total capacity of the number of guests or customers will be left up to individual businesses and other organizations.

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South Carolina, Montana to Stop Providing Pandemic-Related Welfare

"Come in, we're open" business sign

The states of South Carolina and Montana have both decided in recent days to put an end to their handouts of federal unemployment benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to encourage residents to return to the workforce, as per CNN.

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) said in his announcement that “incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to return to the workforce.” Instead, Governor Gianforte announced that the state government will be providing $1,200 checks as bonuses to every citizen who returns to work, using the state’s share of the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package to pay for it.

In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday that the state would be ending their share of federal unemployment benefits, since “what was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.”

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Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Scrapping All of Florida’s Covid Restrictions

Gov. DeSantis discussing COVID-19 bill.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday scrapping all COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state and an accompanying bill that limits localities’ ability to enforce emergency precautions.

“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the executive order. “I think folks are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”

DeSantis signed SB 2006, which says that any emergency orders can last no longer than six weeks. It gives him the authority to overrule cities that adopt restrictions deemed too harsh or unnecessary, and gives city and county commissions the power to overrule mayors.

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Georgia to Lift All COVID-19 Restrictions

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced on Wednesday that Georgia is lifting all COVID-19 restrictions.

“We know hard-working Georgians cannot endure another year like that last. That is why beginning tomorrow we are loosening the remaining restrictions on our economy here in Georgia,” Kemp said in a video statement Wednesday.

Starting from Thursday, Georgia businesses will no longer be required to enforce social distancing, the ban on gatherings will be eliminated and the ability for authorities to shut down businesses that violate restrictions will be taken away, according to The Hill. 

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Fauci Warns States to Keep Restrictions or Independence Day Could Be Cancelled

On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the Biden Administration’s prediction that coronavirus vaccines can lead to relative normalcy by July Fourth is “quite reasonable” —assuming states don’t pull back public safety measures, Politico reported.

“If you wait just a bit longer to give the vaccine program the chance to increase the protection in the community, then it makes pulling back much less risky,” said Fauci, on “Fox News Sunday.” “But if you do it prematurely there really is a danger of triggering another surge.”

But Fauci expressed concerns the pandemic is still a danger in the United States, with the number of new cases seeming to plateau at 50,000 or 60,000 daily over the last week.

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Self Serve Is Back, at Risk No Longer Cautioned in Dine Safe Order

Ohio’s Interim Health Director Lance D. Himes released an amended version of the “Dine Safe Ohio” order Wednesday.

The new order has permitted the use of “self service” food stations at “retail food establishments. The order stated that all “Retail food establishments that are regulated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture are permitted to resume use of their self-service food stations in accordance with guidance from the Department of Health.”

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Healthcare Activist Says Patients Aren’t Being Allowed Crucial Visitors

A nurse turned medical activist is accusing an Ohio Healthcare Provider of refusing to help her husband after she complained about the Hospital’s visitor policies.

Michelle Estel, says that she received a letter from Fairfield Medical Center (FMC), where her husband was receiving chemotherapy for his lymphoma stating that the hospital could no longer provide care to him since the relationship between he and the hospital was “no longer effective.” 

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Calls to Impeach DeWine at Women’s Rally

A Women for Trump meetup in Ohio quickly turned into a rally to impeach Governor Mike DeWine.

Around a hundred women who gathered at Donald Trump’s Ohio headquarters to show their support for the president chanted “impeach DeWine,” according to The Columbus Dispatch. The event featured South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who recently spoke at the Republican National Convention.

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Ohio State University and Other Colleges Crack Down to Prevent COVID Spread Even as Hospitalizations Remain Low

Universities across the country are taking more and more aggressive steps to prevent the spread of COVID.

The moves come as positive cases on university campuses have increased, though false positives remain an issue and some reports show that the number of COVID related hospitalizations at many major institutions remains at 0.

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Ohio to Lift Restrictions on Senior Care Facilities

The Ohio Health Department lifted its restrictions Monday on adult daycare and senior centers.

The facilities were shut down in March as a result of the pandemic. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said at the time, “Our senior citizen’s centers provide very important support, these centers will close.” DeWine lamented the decision calling senior citizen centers the “heart of the community.”

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Ohio State University Suspends 228 Students for Breaking the School’s Coronavirus Guidelines

Ohio State University (OSU) suspended 228 students Tuesday for violation of the school’s coronavirus guidelines, according to 10WBNS.

Students found hosting or attending parties were issued interim suspensions, though it is unclear if anyone in attendance was at high risk or had been in contact with anyone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

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