Coronavirus Reside Updates: Arizona College District Cancels Reopening

Coronavirus Live Updates: Worldwide Cases Reach 20 Million

A teachers strike closed an Arizona school district that was due to begin class on Monday.

A school district outside of Phoenix canceled plans to reopen schools next week after teachers staged an "illness" in protest.

"We received a large number of employee absences on Monday indicating health and safety concerns," said Gregory A. Wyman, superintendent of the J.O. Combs Unified School District said in a letter to families posted online on Friday.

The "overwhelming response" from staff has hampered plans to start the semester, and the district "has not yet confirmed when face-to-face classes can resume," Wyman said. Virtual courses have also been canceled for the time being, although breakfast and lunch are available for pickup.

The J.O. Combs School District, which includes seven schools according to its website, had pushed ahead with a reopening plan despite failing to meet benchmarks set by the Arizona Department of Health before face-to-face tuition could resume.

While new cases in Arizona have declined sharply since a peak in July, state information released Thursday shows that no county in the Phoenix metropolitan area has met all of the benchmarks required for face-to-face learning, according to the New York Times.

The staff rebellion against the early opening comes after some schools in other parts of the country struggled to safely open and enforce student preventive behavior.

A suburb outside of Atlanta had to quarantine nearly 1,200 students and employees this week after a wave of infections hit the county's schools.

With U.S. cities' transit budgets paralyzed by the pandemic, passengers had to wait long times with limited service and then often boarded overcrowded trains or buses, raising concerns about exposure to the coronavirus.

Public transit leaders across the country have issued dire warnings to Congress, saying the $ 25 billion in aid they received in March is rapidly drying up. And without further help, they say, their systems will face a death spiral in which cuts in services make public transportation less convenient for the public, leading to further passenger losses, increasing lost revenue and more cuts lead in the services.

However, Congress has shown little evidence that it will soon pass another stimulus package or that such a deal would include the $ 32 billion in new aid that transit experts believe is necessary.

"It seems like we're invisible and they don't care about us," said Nina Red, a New Orleans resident, who said her bus ride to the grocery store now sometimes took nearly three hours instead of the usual.

The number of drivers in top city systems has dropped 70 to 90 percent during the pandemic, and the sales tax revenue that fuels many transit agency budgets has plummeted due to a collapsing economy.

As a result, cities like San Francisco have cut half of their bus routes. In New Orleans, where 14 percent of transit workers tested positive for the virus, fare revenues are down 45 percent.

And as the service cuts began, experts say the brunt of the problem will be borne by the country's low-income residents, black people and key workers. Two economic studies have shown that blacks are almost twice as likely to die of coronavirus as whites, also because they are more dependent on public transport.

Experts say the greater ability of higher-income workers to work remotely or use cars highlights another systemic inequality that has become apparent during the pandemic.

"People with enough money can opt out for a while," said Beth Osborne, director of Transportation for America, an advocacy group. "It's quite a luxury."

South Korea reported 166 new coronavirus cases on Saturday as health officials struggled to contain local transmissions, mostly centered in two parishes. The daily caseload was the highest since March 11, suggesting the country's outbreak is picking up speed again.

The Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all but 11 of the 166 new patients reported on Saturday had been infected through local transmissions.

Health officials this week closed two churches in the Seoul metropolitan area where a total of 91 believers had tested positive for the virus by midnight Friday, helping to boost the national number.

South Korea reported 103 new cases on Friday, the first three-digit daily increase in three weeks. Officials tested thousands of believers from the two churches and their contacts to isolate the infected and severed chains of transmission.

In addition, Seoul, the capital, home to 10 million people, and the equally populous Gyeonggi Province that surrounds it, have ordered all churches to refrain from large gatherings and to request worship and other disease prevention measures during prayer .

South Korea was one of the countries hit by the epidemic early on. But it has relaxed its social distancing rules in recent months as the country has managed to greatly reduce the number of new daily cases.

The government has urged people to introduce a "new daily life with Covid-19," a term for reclaiming everyday life but with preventative measures such as mask wearing and social distancing in schools and sports stadiums.

Later on Saturday, Prime Minister Chyung Sye-kyun ordered tightening social distancing rules in Seoul and Gyeonggi Province. Under the new rules, sporting events must take place without spectators and large indoor and outdoor gatherings are prohibited. District authorities also have the power to shut down public facilities that are believed to be susceptible to the spread of the disease.

A cruise ship is set to set sail in Italy on Sunday, five months after the industry came to a standstill.

Five months after the coronavirus pandemic cruise in Italy, the MSC Grandiosa will set sail from Genoa on Sunday and be the first large liner to anchor.

MSC Cruises' 7-day Mediterranean cruise in Geneva, one of the largest lines in the world, will stop at the Italian ports of Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo and Valetta in Malta before returning to Genoa.

Earlier this month the Italian government passed a decree giving cruise ships the green light to resume service on August 15th.

The cruise industry worldwide has been hit by the pandemic. Large-scale eruptions hit ship after megalithic ship, starting with Carnival & # 39; s Diamond Princess. It moored in the Japanese port of Yokohama with passengers and crew on board when the number of cases rose to 712 and nine people died.

Last month, U.S. health officials extended a cruise ban until September 30, blaming the cruise lines for outbreaks of 123 cruise lines in U.S. waters alone.

Leonardo Massa, Managing Director of MSC Italy, said in a telephone interview that the company had been working for the past five months on a health and safety protocol that complies with international standards.

The Grandiosa normally carries around 6,000 passengers but will operate at half capacity for the first few cruises.

Both crew members and passengers are tested for the coronavirus before embarking. Passengers wishing to go ashore are limited to excursions coordinated by MSC. Some crew members have been tasked with maintaining social distancing and the medical team on board has been expanded to include three doctors and six nurses.

"We have made the greatest possible effort" to ensure security, said Massa. Part of the ship was reserved for infected passengers.

On August 29th, a second MSC ship, the Magnifica, will be offering week-long cruises on the eastern Mediterranean from the Italian city of Bari to the Greek islands.

Currently, cruises are restricted to residents of the 26 countries in the European passport-free Schengen area.

Mitt Romney has blown Trump's handling of the pandemic and his repeated attacks on mail-in polls.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, who emerged as one of the harshest Republican critics of President Trump last year, on Friday delivered a stinging assessment of the US struggle with the pandemic and the challenges it posed in the November election, submitted.

When asked about the federal response to coronavirus in an interview with the Sutherland Institute, a Salt Lake City-based conservative think tank, Romney accused the Trump administration of blaspheming about the dangers of the virus during the early months of the pandemic to have.

"I think it's fair to say that we didn't make a positive difference in the way we reacted to the crisis when it hit us," he said. "We have 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the deaths from Covid-19 and there is no way to see this in a positive light."

Mr Romney said he supported proposals to increase funding for states preparing for a flood of ballots in the fall. Many voters are expected to be careful not to cast ballots in person.

“I would prefer if we deliver additional funding for states that do not have such effective voting systems, ”he said.

Mr Romney dismissed out of control Mr Trump and his allies warnings that increasing the mail-in vote would lead to rampant election fraud.

He argued that it was easier to investigate potentially fraudulent postal ballots than to expose foreign efforts to personally attack or tamper with electronic voting systems – a threat to democracy he described as comparable to the president's attacks on postal votes.

"We should make every effort to ensure that people who choose to vote have the chance to vote, and that is even more important than the outcome of the vote," said Romney. "We have to preserve the principle of democracy, otherwise the trend we are following will continue to deteriorate."

For months, public health experts and federal officials have said a significant increase in the number of coronavirus tests being done in the United States is critical to containing the pandemic. According to some estimates, several million people may need to be tested every day, including many who do not feel sick.

The country lags far behind that benchmark, however, and for the first time the number of known tests performed daily has decreased.

Reported daily tests have largely been in decline over the past two weeks, essentially blocking the country's test response. According to the Covid Tracking Project, an average of 733,000 people were tested every day this month, compared to nearly 750,000 in July. The 7-day testing average fell to 709,000 on Monday, its lowest level in nearly a month before going back up over the weekend.

The trend that has come after months of steadily increasing tests may be due in part to fewer people looking for tests, as known cases have flattened to more than 50,000 a day after the surge this summer. But the plateau in testing can also reflect people's frustration at the prospect of long lines and delays in getting results – as well as another fundamental problem: the nation has yet to build a robust system to test large swathes of the population, doesn't only those who seek tests.

Six months into the pandemic, testing remains a major barrier to America's efforts to stop the virus. Some of the supply bottlenecks that previously caused problems have subsided, but even after improvements have been made, in some cases test results are still not returned within a day or two, hindering efforts to quickly isolate patients and track their contacts.

"We are clearly not doing enough," said Dr. Mark McClellan, the director of the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy who was Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration under President George W. Bush.

Extra money for testing has been one of the topics at stake in discussions between Congress and the White House about the next coronavirus aid package.

Although those negotiations are ongoing, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows spoke to members of the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus on Saturday to help clear the traffic jam, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

When the school year ended and summer began, Page Curtin saw a summer with canceled plans for her three children.

Then she heard about a program designed to teach girls financial, entrepreneurship, and business skills in a five-week virtual program. Their 12-year-old daughter took the opportunity and joined other girls during the program to create a tween-run mask awareness campaign.

The Girls With Impact program became "a great Plan B," said Ms. Curtin. “It gave the week a little structure. She had homework and was responsible for every meeting. "

It also helped her daughter understand things that many parents fret about for their children: knowledge of personal finances, business skills, and the ability to collaborate.

A majority of parents polled this year have financial literacy at the top of their list of noncore courses they want to teach in school, according to a report slated to be released next week by the Charles Schwab Foundation. The report interviewed 5,000 people in February before the pandemic broke out and 2,000 more in June.

"This pandemic has exposed so many Americans' financial vulnerabilities," said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, chairman and president of the Charles Schwab Foundation. "People place great value on educating this next generation so that they don't experience what they are experiencing today."

Interest in the program has increased. In the six months of the pandemic, more than 2,900 girls completed the program, increasing the number since it began two years ago. A total of 3,175 girls took part in the program, which can also reach remote areas. Since the program has always used Zoom, it had already fixed the problems with online learning before the coronavirus.

When the rising number of coronavirus in southern California this month forced Chapman University to abandon plans to reopen its campus and move to an autumn of distance learning instead, the school promised students would continue to have a "robust Chapman experience."

"What about a robust refund?" Christopher Moore, a spring graduate, replied on Facebook.

One parent intervened: "We pay a lot of money for classes and our students don't get what we paid for," wrote Shannon Carducci, whose youngest child, Ally, is sophomore at Chapman, where the costs are Attendance averages $ 65,000 per year.

When they believed Ally would attend class in person, her parents rented her an apartment for $ 1,200 a month. Now, Ms. Carducci said, she was going to apply for a discount on tuition fees.

A rebellion against the high cost of a bachelor's degree, which was brewing in the U.S. before the coronavirus, has gained momentum as campuses campaigned for the pandemic.

At Rutgers University, more than 30,000 people signed a petition launched in July calling for the abolition of fees and a 20 percent cut in tuition fees. More than 40,000 have signed a plea urging the University of North Carolina system to accept students in the event that campus closes again due to Covid-19. And about 340 Harvard newbies – about a fifth in first grade – have postponed admission, rather than possibly spending part of the year online.

The universities' responses were divided, with some offering discounts but most resisting.

As with so many other aspects of life, the pandemic has turned almost every element of the lifeguard on its head. Ocean rescues are non-contact and require guards to shower and disinfect equipment afterwards. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is provided through a face mask equipped with a manual pump.

Many lifeguards now wear hand sanitizer as well as disposable masks and gloves to protect themselves from the often maskless groups of people who pack the shore.

So far, outbreaks among lifeguards appeared largely to be due to group accommodations and post-work gatherings, which for many young workers are selling points for this typical seasonal job.

In the past month, about two dozen lifeguards in Avalon, New Jersey, tested positive for the virus. This resulted in about 45 guards being quarantined, the ranks exhausted, and other guards being forced to do shift work non-stop. In New York, 13 lifeguards from two Suffolk County beaches tested positive after a barbecue in July. There have been numerous minor outbreaks, including in Cape Cod, Delaware and Newport Beach, California.

Janet Fash, a lifeguard on Rockaway Beach, New York City, said her guards carried out more rescue operations than usual, also because there are so many beach goers.

The challenge is to keep your distance from swimming swimmers – a strange notion for most lifeguards, for the most part trained to never lose touch with them.

Generally, lifeguards will pass a lifebuoy and then place it over their chests. To avoid contact, many guards approach people from behind, give them the buoy and drag them in with the buoy line.

The year began with hope for the Fryson brothers. They had reunited with their mother, Beatrice McMillian, after years of care.

Ms. McMillian had secured rent support for an apartment so she could move out of a homeless shelter. Elderly brother Kasaun entered adulthood, worked at Whole Foods, and attended community college.

The younger brother EJ lived with his mother and did well in high school. Then, in April, Ms. McMillian died of Covid-19, and her death destroyed everything the family had gained. Mr. Fryson, 22, went to court to try to become his brother's guardian and prevent him from returning to foster care. "He needs someone and I will be that person," said Mr. Fryson.

When the New York pandemic killed thousands of people, orphans were born with an unknown number of children. At least eight children have been taken into foster care because their parents died from the virus, according to the city's child services department.

The total number is likely higher. Children in families with more money or broader support systems usually handle guardianship issues privately.

The sudden loss has put some young adults in the unexpected roles of surrogate parents and struggled to hold the remains of their families together.

“Your physical home is gone, your emotional home is gone. Then you will be matched with someone you have never known in your life, ”said Karen J. Freedman, founder and executive director of Lawyers for Children, who represents children in foster care, including some whose parents are in the pandemic. "It's a terrible process for any child."

The White Mountain Apache tribe, which is found in a large reservation in eastern Arizona, is more than ten times as likely to be infected with the virus as the entire state.

Still, their Covid-19 death rate is just 1.3 percent, far lower than Arizona's 2.1 percent. Epidemiologists wonder if the intense contact tracing on the reservation allowed teams to find and treat seriously ill people before it was too late to rescue them.

Contact tracing is commonly used to identify and isolate those infected and to slow down the spread of the virus. Elsewhere in the US, the strategy largely fails as tracers struggle to keep up with widespread infections.

On the reservation, contact tracers armed with oximeters to detect low blood oxygen levels in people who often went unnoticed that they were critically ill have discovered effective new tactics as they wandered far away from home.

Experts suggest that their approach could offer a new strategy to reduce deaths in some of the hardest hit communities, especially in residential areas where space is shared by several generations.

Dr. Vincent Marconi, director of infectious disease research at Emory University in Atlanta, said it was "incredible" that contact tracing could have such an effect on such a disadvantaged and vulnerable population.

If the reservation's methods have lowered the death rate, he added, "Then this undoubtedly needs to be repeated elsewhere."

Alternatives to learning from pods.

If your kids aren't returning to the classrooms this fall, you may have considered joining another family to create a learning pod, or even hire a tutor to help you with your kids' learning. There are a few other options.

Coverage was by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Luke Broadwater, Choe Sang-Hun, Emily Cochrane, Shawn Hubler, Corey Kilgannon, Gina Kolata, Zach Montague, Sarah Mervosh, Elisabetta Povoledo, Nikita Stewart, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Paul Sullivan and Pranshu Verma composed.


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