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A high school student in Burlington, N.J., earlier this month. linked to Anna Moneymaker credit for the New York Times…
In a major policy overhaul intended to encourage more schools to return to teaching children face-to-face, federal health officials on Friday relaxed the rule that elementary school students must sit two feet apart; they now only have to sit three feet apart in classrooms, as long as everyone is wearing a mask.
The three-foot rule now applies to high school students, provided the transfer is not high in the community, officials said. However, if the transfer is high, these pupils should be separated by at least one metre, unless they are taught in cohorts or small groups separately from the others.
The six-foot rule still applies in the community at large, officials stress, and teachers and other adults working in schools must respect this distance from other adults and students. Most schools already function, at least partially, autonomously, and the available evidence suggests that they do so relatively safely. Research shows that the spread in schools can be contained with simple safety measures such as covering, keeping a distance, washing hands and opening windows.
The transmission dynamic is different for older students – meaning they are more likely to be exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and spread it than younger children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.
Teachers unions across the country are strongly in favor of stepping back six feet and lobbying D.C. and the Biden administration to retain the previous leadership.
On Friday, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second-largest teachers union, issued a statement saying she was suspending her judgment on the new waiver guidelines until the investigation into the virus’ behavior in schools is complete. Becky Pringle, president of the largest teachers’ union, the National Education Association, expressed similar concerns.
However, the C.D.C.’s reporting lags behind that of some local health departments around the country. Illinois and Massachusetts have already indicated that three feet may be appropriate in schools. District health workers also play an important role in the decision-making of school boards and principals, who are often beset by conflicting public health policies.
Dr. Rochelle Walenski, director of the C.D.C., said the agency continually updates its recommendations as new evidence emerges. A recent study in Boston found no significant difference in the number of infections in Massachusetts school districts that applied the three-foot rule versus those that imposed a six-foot distance. More C.D.C. research on school safety was also released Friday.
The C.D.C. is committed to being on the cutting edge of science and adjusting its leadership as new evidence comes to light, Dr. Walenski said. These updated guidelines provide an evidence-based roadmap to safely reopen schools and keep them open to personalized learning.
The new guide emphasizes that good air circulation and ventilation in school buildings are essential to maintaining a safe environment and continues to emphasize various levels of preventive behavior, including universal masking, hand washing, building cleaning, and contact tracing, in conjunction with isolation and quarantine.
Adults in schools should maintain a distance of two metres between themselves and pupils, officials said. The 1.80 m rule still applies in the common areas of schools, such as… For example, in foyers and classrooms, when students are eating or drinking and cannot wear masks, and during activities that require more intense exhalation – such as B. Singing, shouting, group activities, sports, or any form of physical activity, activities that should be moved outdoors or to large, well-ventilated areas if possible.
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VS Immunisations ‘
French Prime Minister Jean Castex receives the first dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on Friday. linked to credit Pool photo by Thomas Kuekes.
France on Friday recalled AstraZeneca’s vaccine, but only for people 55 and older. The country’s prime minister himself got the vaccine on live television to restore crucial confidence in it.
France’s health authority, the Haute Autorité de Santé, on Friday officially gave AstraZeneca the green light to resume vaccination without delay. However, she noted that the few cases of bleeding disorders reported in Europe have occurred in people under 55 years of age and recommended that the vaccine be used only in people of that age.
The country’s prime minister, Jean Castex, 55, appeared before television cameras after receiving his first dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine at a military hospital in the Val-de-Marne district southeast of Paris.
Unlike leaders in other countries, senior French government officials have so far refused to promote vaccination through public inoculation. Many of them stated that they did not meet the criteria currently set by the French health authorities and that they would wait their turn.
But confidence in AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been severely shaken after several countries, including Germany, Italy and France, temporarily suspended its use over concerns about rare cases of blood clotting disorders in people who had received the vaccine.
In France, the number of coronavirus cases rose sharply, by 24% in one week. This variant, first identified in the UK, now accounts for three-quarters of new cases. Several regions, including a hard-hit area that includes Paris, began a new lockdown Friday that will last at least a month.
Last week, health officials in Paris ordered hospitals to cancel many of their procedures to make way for Covid 19 patients. And this week, some patients were transferred to other regions to ease the pressure on hospitals.
The health authority said that in France, only three cases of coagulopathy have been reported after the administration of 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca: one case involved a 26-year-old woman who suffered from disseminated intravascular coagulation, and two cases of cerebrovascular thrombosis, a 51-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman.
Until free data on these rare cases is available, RNA vaccines, such as Pfizer’s vaccine, should be used for people younger than 55, the agency said.
Application: U.S. on track for 100 million vaccinations since January 20
President Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will reach its goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days for the Covid 19 vaccine Friday, though he previously acknowledged that it should aim for a higher goal.
Last week we saw an increase in cases in several states. Scientists have made it clear that the spread of new variants of this virus could make the situation even worse. Vaccination is the best we can do to combat these variants. While millions are being vaccinated, millions more need to be vaccinated. And I am proud to announce that tomorrow, 58 days after our government began, we will reach my goal of firing 100 million bullets at our fellow Americans. It’s a few weeks ahead of schedule. Until eight weeks ago, only 8% of the most vulnerable seniors had been vaccinated against Covid-19. Today, 65% of people aged 65 and over have received at least one vaccination. And 36% are fully vaccinated. It is a time of optimism, but not a time of relaxation. I need all Americans, I need all of you to do your part. Keep believing, keep wearing a mask, keep washing your hands, and keep social distance. You’ll be fine. We are ahead of schedule, but we still have a long way to go.
President Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will reach its Covid 19 goal of 100 million vaccinations in 100 days on Friday, though he has previously acknowledged it should aim for a higher level. Credit… John Cherry for the New York Times.
As more states expand the option of vaccination against the coronavirus, the number of daily vaccinations administered in the United States has steadily increased and is now 12 percent higher than it was a week ago.
Thursday, Illinois joined a growing list of at least 16 other states that have announced they will open their meetings to all residents 16 and older this month or next.
The light we see at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter as more people get vaccinated, Dodd said at the press conference.
President Biden said Thursday that his goal of providing 100 million doses of vaccine in 100 days is only six weeks away.
We are ahead of schedule, he said in a brief commentary from the White House, but we still have a long way to go.
Biden argued that the goal of 100 million admissions was ambitious, although he admitted in January that the government should set higher goals. And while the new administration has emphasized the campaign for vaccine production and distribution, the key elements were in place before Biden took office.
As of Thursday, the average dose over seven days was about 2.5 million doses per day, according to an analysis of data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in New York.
Last week, Mr. Biden gave the states a one-year deadline-May-to make vaccines available to all adult residents. At least Maine, Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin, in addition to Washington, D.C., plan to achieve this goal. Other states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan and Montana, hope to make the vaccine available to all their adult residents even sooner.
Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah said opening up access to vaccines to all adults in his state would help create equal opportunity for vaccines and reach out to rural communities. He also said it would allow us to take our mobile immunization clinics to hard-to-reach areas or to populations that have a bit more variability in terms of vaccines.
Other states have also extended eligibility deadlines: In Nevada, all adults will be on the 5th. Vaccinated in April, in Missouri on the 9th. in April, in Maryland on the 27th, and in Rhode Island on the 19th. April.
New York City has not yet covered all adults, but has recently expanded it to include government employees, employees of nonprofit organizations, and employees of major construction services. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was recently cleared for the vaccine because of the changes, received the vaccine Thursday during a Johnson & Johnson press conference.
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Only suitable in certain districts
Only suitable in certain districts
Sheikh Mohamed Hamad Mohamed Al Khalifa, center behind a brown box, who wants to climb Everest, arrives at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Monday…Nishant S. Gurung/ Agence France-Presse – Getty Images
KATHMANDU, Nepal – A bizarre vaccination drama is unfolding at the Nepalese capital’s international airport. Here, a member of the Bahraini royal family arrives from China with thousands of doses of coronavirus vaccine for the Everest expedition.
Before leaving, a group of Bahraini mountaineers led by Sheikh Mohamed Hamad Mohamed Al Khalifa announced that they would bring 2,000 doses of Covid-19, which the Nepalese government says is an AstraZeneca vaccine.
It was to fulfill a promise the climbers had made to the locals during another expedition last September – a promise of generosity that led the villagers to name the local mountain Bahrain Peak.
But when the mountaineers arrived in the capital Kathmandu on Monday, an investigation by Nepal’s medicines authority found that the vaccines they were carrying had indeed been developed by Sinopharm, a state-owned Chinese vaccine producer.
The Nepalese authorities are now in a quandary over whether to accept or refuse a dose of vaccine.
The cans are stored in a cold room at the airport and the climbers have been quarantined in a hotel while authorities figure out how to handle the situation.
Nepal is relying heavily on AstraZeneca’s vaccine to implement this slow-moving program. With a donation of 1 million doses from India, Nepal vaccinated about 1.7 million people in a country of about 30 million.
His efforts were delayed by a delay in the delivery of two million doses of the vaccine he had purchased from the Serum Institute of India.
Although Nepal approved the emergency use of Sinopharm’s vaccine after China promised to provide 500,000 doses, it has not received any Chinese donations.
In September, Bahraini mountaineers arrived in Nepal by chartered plane to climb two mountains, Mount Manaslu and Lobuche Peak. The doses of vaccine they carried this week were a gift to the villagers of Samagaun, the gateway to Mount Manaslu.
The Bahraini climbing team could not be reached for comment. But Mingma Sherpa, owner of Seven Summit Treks, the agency that organized the Bahraini team’s Everest expedition, said the complications could have resulted from a lack of communication between the Foreign Ministry and Nepal’s Health Ministry.
He added that Sinopharm’s vaccine has also been used for vaccination in Bahrain.
This is a matter for the government, Sherpa said. If they deem it necessary, vaccines will be administered to people in rural areas. If they feel it is risky to vaccinate people, the team will take the vaccine back to Bahrain.
Marge Rolfe gets a shot at the Madrid House in Iowa in January.Credit…Bryon Hulgrave/De Moyne Register, via The Associated Press
For the first time in nearly a year, Iowa reports no active outbreaks of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities in the state.
According to Iowa’s Covid 19 dashboard, more than 2,200 residents of these facilities have died from the virus since the pandemic began. But the number of outbreaks began to drop sharply in January as the state stepped up vaccination of residents and staff.
In the first two weeks of January alone, the number of cases dropped by 70%, from 410 to 119 by mid-January, according to the Iowa Public Health Association. Of the 445 nursing homes and 258 nursing homes in the state, 146 were affected by outbreaks in December.
It’s an important step, says Nola Aigner Davis, educator for the Polk County Health Department in Des Moines. That says a lot about the effectiveness of this vaccine.
During most of the pandemic, nursing home residents and staff were among the most vulnerable in the country.
By the end of February, the coronavirus had entered more than 31,000 long-term care facilities and killed at least 172,000 people who lived and worked there. More than 1.3 million residents and staff of long-term care facilities were infected last year.
Of the 5,673 deaths in Iowa, nearly 60 percent were over the age of 80.
However, with the advent of vaccination, the situation has changed.
According to a New York Times analysis, the number of new cases among residents of nursing homes – a subset of long-term care facilities – dropped by more than 80% from late December to early February. That’s about twice the total population.
While the mortality rate in the general population has peaked, the mortality rate in institutions has fallen by more than 65%.
About 4.8 million residents and caregivers have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 2.8 million people are fully vaccinated.
Maria Alyokhina, center, a member of Pussy Riot, at the Moscow City Court. Moscow City Court press office via Shutterstock….
A Russian court has placed some of the country’s most prominent opposition members under house arrest on charges of violating coronavirus rules, in what appears to be an attempt by the government to use the restrictions to silence its opponents.
The trial, known as the sanctions case, involves ten opposition politicians and dissidents, including the leadership of Alexei A. Navalny and members of the protest group Pussy Riot. Allen is accused of encouraging others to violate rules put in place last spring to slow the spread of the coronavirus. His lawyers dispute this claim.
Prosecutors allege that 19 people who should have been legally segregated because they tested positive for Covid-19 participated in their social media campaign to promote the protest in Moscow in January, putting the rest of the participants at risk.
Supporters say authorities are cynically twisting coronavirus rules to isolate people who pose no risk of infection but are seen by the government as a political threat.
The ideological intent is to label opponents as contagious, toxic, poisoners of society, said Danil Berman, lawyer for Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina, who was one of the targets. The isolation of key leaders in the run-up to this year’s parliamentary elections is also slowing down the opposition.
Many people around the world complain that restrictions related to the coronavirus limit their freedoms as a byproduct of security measures. But representatives of Russia’s opposition say the government is using restrictions against them with the specific purpose of limiting their freedom.
Online posts by opposition figures who supported the protest did not encourage patients to take part in the action, according to the lawyer who has been charged by the government. Anyway, the suspensions in Moscow had been largely lifted a few months earlier.
Moreover, according to human rights activists, the rules are selectively applied to curb opposition activities, while pro-government events are allowed with few restrictions, but the virus is reportedly spread just as easily at all kinds of gatherings.
Hiking in Zion National Park, Utah, in November…Credit…Nikki Boliau for The New York Times.
Last June, as Americans began to emerge from isolation and enter a new and still uncertain phase of the pandemic, Amy Ryan and her family boarded a 44-foot catamaran and sailed along the Atlantic coast. They haven’t stopped swimming since.
Mrs Ryan’s husband, Casey Ryan, 56, was on partial paid leave from his job as an airline pilot. School was far away for her daughters, who are now 7 and 11. Mrs. Ryan, a broker, can manage her team from anywhere.
For nine months the Rians were engaged in the cultivation of hops, first on the coast and then in the Caribbean. Usually we are so isolated that we don’t see anyone on the property for weeks, Ryan says. The biggest challenge is to find a covid 19 test before moving to a new location.
Many people have lived in limbo for the past twelve months, dreams and plans have been put on hold until further notice, even the simplest journey is still uncertain. But some, like Ryans, saw the constraints – virtual school and remote work – as an opportunity to pick themselves up and get to work elsewhere. With a good Internet connection, conference calls can be held on the boat or in the back of the motorhome, as well as in the living room.
Many people cringe at the thought of someone undertaking a journey, let alone an endless journey in a time of immense suffering. The closure of schools and offices was not meant to calm the world, but to encourage people to stay home and slow the spread of a deadly virus. And if there weren’t a lot of people working and struggling to pay the bills, or trying to balance parenthood with the demands of remote work, it wouldn’t be possible.
But these families insist that their slow travel methods – which allow only occasional encounters with others in the home – are no more dangerous than staying home. If you’re traveling across the country in an RV and staying in a state park, it’s unlikely you’ll run into anyone but your family, except to get food and gas.
This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for everyone, and people are finding ways to cope and overcome it, said Ashish K. Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, adding that isolated activities like sailing and camping are not inherently risky.
Before the pandemic, the Ryans were not sailors, nor did they ever want to be. But they spent the cell watching YouTube videos of sailing families. They had bought a boat in May, not knowing how long they would be on it.
If Covid hadn’t been there, Mrs. Ryan, this wouldn’t have happened.
On a bus in the centre of Kiev in January. Credit…Gleb Garanich/Reuters
The Ukrainian capital will be the last European city to be closed. Strict three-week measures will be imposed in Kiev on Saturday after vaccinations failed to prevent a third wave of infections with the coronavirus.
Restaurants, offices, schools and non-food stores closed after months of relatively quiet compliance with security measures.
The closure comes at a time when other parts of Europe are facing an increase in infections. A national lockdown was declared Monday for Italy, and several regions in France began a lockdown Friday that will last at least a month.
Although the number of cases has increased recently, Kiev’s vibrant restaurant and bar scene often pretends the pandemic doesn’t exist. Nightclubs will remain open, but masks must be worn on the dance floor.
But the partial measures have not worked. Hospitals in the city are at 70% of their capacity, and Mayor Vitaly Klitschko said Friday that 1,210 people in the capital had tested positive in the past 24 hours. Across Ukraine, health authorities registered an average of 11,315 new cases per day last week.
The situation is complicated and could become catastrophic, Klitschko said this week.
Ukraine, which has received vaccines under agreements with India and China, has been slow to vaccinate a population that has many reservations about vaccines. Only 0.2% of Ukraine’s population has been colonized.