Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Fact Check

“A new, independent study put out last week found that at least 55 of our largest corporations used various loopholes to pay zero federal...

A FedEx truck in Olive Branch, Miss. on Dec. 20, 2020. FedEx was one of 55 companies cited in a recent report as having...

The Facts on the Recommended J&J Vaccine ‘Pause’

Rishell of Cleveland Park receives the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from Heidi Johnson in Washington, D.C. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via...

Residents of New York state “pay the highest taxes in the nation.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes his third oath of office, on Ellis Island in New York harbor, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. (AP)Source link...

Black Lives Matter protest at Iowa Capitol was an “insurrection” like that on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. Capitol Police push back rioters trying to enter the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP)Source link

“We have encountered the largest surge of migrants (at the southern border) in the last 20 years.”

A migrant from Honduras seeking asylum in the U.S. stands in front of tents at the border crossing on March 1, 2021, in Tijuana,...

No, Ilhan Omar didn’t say that police shouldn’t exist because there are Jewish cops

If Your Time is shortThis claim appears to have originated in a self-described satirical blog post.See the sources for this fact-checkAmid the trial of...

US Politics
Latest

Pelosi invites Biden to address Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. | Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty ImagesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday night formally invited President Joe Biden to address a...

Former Trump housing official sanctioned over campaign video

NEW YORK (AP) — A former federal official admitted she abused her authority in a publicity stunt that tricked New York City public housing...

Almost all of New York’s House Democrats draw a hard line on state and local tax deductions

Every Empire State House Democrat except Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Kathleen Rice signed the letter, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO. The group...

Suit seeks to reverse Trump changes to sea turtle protection

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Conservation groups sued on Tuesday to reverse changes made under former President Donald Trump to rules protecting sea turtles, even...

NRSC raises $8.3M in March to cap $23M quarter

There had been some concerns about Republicans’ fundraising this year after the losses in the two Georgia runoffs and Scott’s vote, along with other...

LGBTQ

Crafty Kamala Harris is the new star of the crochet community / LGBTQ Nation

Allison Hoffman's Kamala Harris Amigurumi dollPhoto: Allison HoffmanVice President Kamala Harris is crafty. She’s a crocheter. The hobby frequently associated with the elderly has made...

Joe Biden calls for increase in funds to end HIV epidemic / LGBTQ Nation

President Joe Biden signing papers in the White House as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on.Photo: ShutterstockThe Biden administration is seeking to drastically increase...

Tom Daley can’t stomach being a Harry Potter fan because of J.K. Rowling / LGBTQ Nation

Dustin Lance Black and husband Tom Daley (l)/J.K. RowlingPhoto: ShutterstockOut Olympic diver Tom Daley said in a recent interview that he can no longer...

Tech

US sanctions Chinese computer makers in widening tech fight

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government on Friday criticized the Biden administration’s curbs on access to U.S. technology for its supercomputer developers and said sanctions...

Muslim civil rights group sues Facebook over hate speech

A civil rights group is suing Facebook and its executives, saying CEO Mark Zuckerberg made “false and deceptive” statements to Congress when he said...

Schools weigh whether to seat students closer together

Must read

Pelosi invites Biden to address Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. | Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty ImagesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday night formally invited President Joe Biden to address a...

US sanctions Chinese computer makers in widening tech fight

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government on Friday criticized the Biden administration’s curbs on access to U.S. technology for its supercomputer developers and said sanctions...

Crafty Kamala Harris is the new star of the crochet community / LGBTQ Nation

Allison Hoffman's Kamala Harris Amigurumi dollPhoto: Allison HoffmanVice President Kamala Harris is crafty. She’s a crocheter. The hobby frequently associated with the elderly has made...

Joe Biden calls for increase in funds to end HIV epidemic / LGBTQ Nation

President Joe Biden signing papers in the White House as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on.Photo: ShutterstockThe Biden administration is seeking to drastically increase...

BOSTON (AP) — New evidence that it may be safe for schools to seat students 3 feet apart — half of the previous recommended distance — could offer a way to return more of the nation’s children to classrooms with limited space.

Even as more teachers receive vaccinations against COVID-19, social distancing guidelines have remained a major hurdle for districts across the U.S. Debate around the issue flared last week when a study suggested that masked students can be seated as close as 3 feet apart with no increased risk to them or teachers.

Published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the research looked at schools in Massachusetts, which has backed the 3-foot guideline for months. Illinois and Indiana are also allowing 3 feet of distance, and other states such as Oregon are considering doing the same.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now exploring the idea too. The agency’s director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said the 6-foot guideline is “among the biggest challenges” schools have faced in reopening.

The CDC included the larger spacing in its latest school guidelines, which were issued in February and concluded that schools can safely operate during the pandemic with masks, distancing and other precautions. It suggested 6 feet and said physical distancing “should be maximized to the greatest extent possible.”

Other organizations have issued more relaxed guidelines, including the World Health Organization, which urges 1 meter in schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics says to space desks “3 feet apart and ideally 6 feet apart.”

Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, a national superintendents group, said he expects more states and schools to move to the 3-foot rule in coming weeks. With the larger guideline, he said, most schools only have space to bring back half of their students at a time. Moving to 3 feet could allow about 75% at a time, he said.

“There are districts that have been doing 3 feet for quite some time without experiencing any greater amount of infection,” he said.

In Illinois, health officials said last week that students can be seated 3 feet apart as long as their teachers are vaccinated. Before, state officials required 6 feet.

With the state’s blessing, the Barrington district near Chicago reopened middle schools Tuesday using the smaller spacing rule. Any student will be allowed to attend in-person classes, although the district expects roughly 30% to continue with remote learning.

Questions around spacing have led to a battle in Massachusetts, where teachers and some schools oppose a state plan to bring younger students back five days a week starting next month. The plan calls on schools to seat students 3 feet apart, although many have been using 6 feet as a standard. Districts that fail to meet the reopening deadline would risk losing state funding.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association, a statewide union, argues that seating students closer will increase the risk for everyone in the classroom. It also poses a problem for districts that have agreed to contracts with teachers adopting the 6-foot rule as a requirement.

“They can’t just throw 6 feet out the window. They can’t throw away what has been agreed upon,” said Merrie Najimy, president of the union. “If they can’t make it work, then they’re going to have to come to a new agreement.”

Public schools in Worcester are among those pushing back against the closer spacing. Tracy O’Connell Novick, a member of the district school committee, said switching to the 3-feet standard would be “betting the health” of thousands of students and staff.

In Boston’s public schools, desks will be spaced at least 3 feet apart, but teachers and staff will be asked to keep 6 feet from students and other staff when feasible, district spokesperson Xavier Andrews said. Schools will also use larger rooms and outdoor spaces to keep students at a safe distance, he said.

In some states that already allow 3-feet spacing, schools say they have seen no evidence of increased risk. School officials in Danville, Indiana, which moved to 3 feet in October, said students have been in the classroom all year with no uptick in virus transmission.

“It’s gone very well for us. I won’t say there has been no transmission, but it’s been staggeringly low — like one time or something like that,” said Tim McRoberts, vice president of the school board. “We’ve kept our doors open. We’ve had no temporary shutdowns.”

In Ohio, Cincinnati’s school board got an earful from parents and others last month when it proposed resuming in-person learning at the crowded Walnut Hills High School under a model that called for distancing of only 3 feet there while its other schools would use 6 feet.

The critics included Walnut Hills teacher Brandon Keller, who said the plan was dangerous. He warned the board that their decision “will have a body count.”

Board members backed off on reopening that school, then weeks later narrowly voted for a plan that included a phased reopening, but they also warned that the physical distancing might be less than 6 feet. Students also have options to continue learning virtually.

Seven superintendents in central Oregon sent a letter to Gov. Kate Brown last week asking the state to relax some of its social distancing rules — including the 6-foot barrier — so that more students can return to class full time.

Oregon’s Crook County School District, which has had students in classrooms most of the school year, has found that masks, contact tracing and sending students home when they show symptoms are the most effective means of combating the virus.

“The 6-feet rule doesn’t make as much sense as the other safety measures,” district spokesperson Jason Carr said. “What may have made sense two months ago or at the beginning of the year might not now.”

___

Associated Press writers Philip Marcelo, John Seewer and Kantele Franko contributed to this report.

Source link

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

Pelosi invites Biden to address Congress

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. | Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty ImagesHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday night formally invited President Joe Biden to address a...

US sanctions Chinese computer makers in widening tech fight

BEIJING (AP) — China’s government on Friday criticized the Biden administration’s curbs on access to U.S. technology for its supercomputer developers and said sanctions...

Crafty Kamala Harris is the new star of the crochet community / LGBTQ Nation

Allison Hoffman's Kamala Harris Amigurumi dollPhoto: Allison HoffmanVice President Kamala Harris is crafty. She’s a crocheter. The hobby frequently associated with the elderly has made...

Joe Biden calls for increase in funds to end HIV epidemic / LGBTQ Nation

President Joe Biden signing papers in the White House as Vice President Kamala Harris looks on.Photo: ShutterstockThe Biden administration is seeking to drastically increase...

Former Trump housing official sanctioned over campaign video

NEW YORK (AP) — A former federal official admitted she abused her authority in a publicity stunt that tricked New York City public housing...