Florida school district gets cash over mask vote

To make up the state pay cuts that were imposed by the board's vote to approve a student anticoronavirus mandate, a Florida school district received cash from President Joe Biden.

Florida school district gets cash over mask vote

Carlee Simon, Alachua County's school superintendent, announced Thursday that the district received $148,000 from the U.S. Department of Education.

Simon states that Alachua, home to Gainesville University and the University of Florida, was the first district in the country to receive such grants.

Republican Governor. Ron DeSantis, along with state education officials, have started cutting salaries to Florida school board members who voted for masks for students. DeSantis supports allowing parents to choose whether their children have face covers. This is a larger issue and DeSantis is currently in court battles.

A dozen Florida school boards, which represent more than half of the state's students and cover about half the state, voted to ignore the state ban on mask mandates, despite the governor. Ron DeSantis made the decision to withhold some funding.

RALEIGH (N.C.) -- Nearly one-third of 56,000 North Carolina government workers included in Democratic Gov. According to state data, Roy Cooper's executive orders requiring them to have a COVID-19 shot and face weekly testing were not fully implemented.

Although law enforcement officers are being vaccinated at the lowest rate, the state says it is still processing large amounts of data from Department of Public Safety. Only 53% of 21,804 employees in that department are covered by Cooper's directive.

This is significantly lower than the 63% North Carolina adults who had received one Johnson & Johnson vaccine, two Pfizer or Moderna shots as of Thursday.

Cooper stated Tuesday in a press conference that he was particularly concerned about the number of prison officials refusing to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Cooper stated that "It's most concerning because we know that there are close quarters and congregated population there, so it's really important to work on those percents." "Right now we are establishing discipline procedures for those who don't do the vaccinations or testing. Some employees are already falling into that category."

Cooper's order covers the largest agency, the Department of Public Safety. The state Department of Health and Human Services is next, with three-quarters of its over 15,000 employees fully vaccinated.


MONTGOMERY AL -- Alabama has seen more than 100 deaths per day from COVID-19 in the past week, according to statistics. This makes it the country's most deathly state over that period, even though hospitalizations related to the coronavirus epidemic continue to fall.

Johns Hopkins University statistics show that 106 deaths have been reported in Alabama over the past seven days. However, some of these could have happened earlier due to lags in reporting. Alabama's 18 deaths per 100,000 residents in the past week was far higher than West Virginia's second-place rate of 10 deaths per 100,000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This increase in deaths comes as the number of hospitalizations in the state dropped below 1,800 patients for a first time in a monthly, which health officials believe is due to both people dying and getting better.

Although more people are being vaccinated now than ever before the highly contagious Delta strain, it still has one the lowest vaccination rates in the country. The state's chief health officer stated that more people should get shots as the risk of contracting the virus remains high.

Dr. Scott Harris, the head of Alabama Department of Public Health, stated that it was crucial to increase vaccine rates in order to reduce COVID-19 cases.


NEW YORK -- New York's inequity regarding COVID-19 vaccine distribution is becoming more apparent as many African countries whose people have little or no access to life-saving shots stepped up to speak at U.N.'s annual meeting world leaders.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa referred to vaccines "as the greatest defense humanity has against this pandemic."

Ramaphosa spoke via video link and urged U.N. members to support a proposal that temporarily waives certain intellectual property rights set by the World Trade Organization in order to allow more countries, especially low- and medium-income, to produce COVID-19 vaccinations.

He says, "It is an indictment of humanity that more than 82% have been acquired by rich countries while less than 1 percent has gone to low income countries."

Joao Lourenco, president of Angola, says that these disparities permit third doses to sometimes be given in certain cases. In other cases, such as Africa, the majority of the population have not received the first dose.

The U.S., Britain and France are all among those countries that have or plan to administer boosters. It was called "vaccine apartheid" by Hage Geingob, the Namibian president.


OAKLAND, Calif. -- Students 12 years and older must be vaccinated against coronavirus in order to attend school in person.

Oakland Unified became the first Northern California school district to mandate vaccination requirements with this move Wednesday night. This vote follows Los Angeles Unified, California's largest school district and Culver City, a smaller Southern California district that imposed similar policies to their students earlier this month.

As schools attempt to survive the pandemic, several other San Francisco Bay Area school boards are looking at similar strategies.


ISTANBUL -- An official from a Turkish school is using traditional shadow puppet shows in order to teach students how to comply with COVID-19 rules in class, according to the state-run news agency.

Mehmet Saylan, who is based in central Anatolian Kirsehir has been staging Karagoz plays for primary and kindergarten students. Karagoz, which was popularized in the Ottoman period, often contains a moral message.

Saylan, 39 years old, said that he covered hygiene, distance, and masks. The children respond to what they hear and see in the play with greater enjoyment and more willingness. We also get positive feedback from schools. The children have fun learning the rules of the pandemic and having fun with them."


NEW YORK -- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul reports that Howard Zucker, the state's Health Commissioner, has resigned. Hochul announced Thursday that Zucker had agreed to continue until the state appoints a new commissioner.

Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo as state health commissioner in 2015. He was criticized for his COVID-19 response in particular nursing homes.

The state released data earlier this year showing that 15,800 people who were living in long-term care homes or nursing homes in New York died from COVID-19.

Zucker defended a March 2020 directive that stated nursing homes could not refuse admissions to patients with COVID-19, a directive which was later rescinded.

Health care workers also criticised Zucker, claiming that the state did not provide adequate personal protective gear or staffing for nursing homes and hospitals during the New York pandemic.