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 to be awarded such a grant.

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 of the state, voted to ignore the state ban on mask mandates, despite the governor. Ron DeSantis made the decision to withhold some funding.

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 the most worrying because we know 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 testing or vaccination, and some employees are 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 a delay 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.

"Increasing vaccine rates is critical to reduce COVID-19 cases," Dr. Scott Harris, the head of Alabama Department of Public Health, stated in a Thursday statement.


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 a vaccine requirement 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.


FOND DU LAC (Wis.) -- According to his department, a Fond du Lac officer of police aged 26 has died from COVID-19 complications.

According to Chief Aaron Goldstein's statement, the death of Officer Joseph Kurer occurred Wednesday, one day after his second child was born.

Kurer joined Fond du Lac Police in August 2018. He was a member the Tactical Field Force Team (the Honor Guard Unit, Domestic Violence Intervention Team) and was certified as an officer field training.

According to Kurer's department, Kurer was also a member the Wisconsin National Guard.


HELENA (Mont.) HELENA, Mont. -- A state law prohibiting employers from prescribing vaccines to employees is being challenged by medical providers and Montana residents suffering from compromised immune systems.

They claim the law passed by 2021 Legislature is in violation of federal requirements for safe workplaces, reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, and they want a federal judge ruling that it does not apply to hospitals or other medical providers.

On Wednesday, the Montana Medical Association, private physicians groups, a Missoula Hospital and seven individuals filed a complaint at U.S. District Court, Missoula. As defendants, Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Laurie Esau, Commissioner of Labor and Industry are named in the complaint.

Montana's Republican-controlled Legislature passed a law that said requiring vaccines as a condition of employment is discriminatory and violates the state's human rights laws. Montana is the only state to have such a law.

Knudsen's Office says that he will defend the law and is committed protecting Montanans' privacy rights and ability to make their own healthcare decisions.

The complaint argues that the new law prohibits medical providers to take steps to protect employees and patients with compromised immune systems. It also violates Occupational Safety and Health Act provisions, which require employers to provide safe workplaces.


LISBON (Portugal) -- Portugal has decided to remove many of its COVID-19 restrictions after it became the leader in vaccination rollout.

According to Our World in Data, Portugal has vaccinated almost 85% of its population.

According to the government, there will be no limits on the number of people allowed in cafes, restaurants, weddings, baptisms, shopping centers, concerts, and cinemas starting Oct. 1. Discos and bars will reopen but only for people who have been vaccinated and those with negative coronavirus test results.

Antonio Costa, Prime Minister, stated that some restrictions must be maintained. In hospitals, care homes and shopping malls, face masks are still required. Anyone arriving by sea or air from overseas must show a certificate of vaccination or a negative test for the virus.

He said, "The pandemic hasn't ended." "The risk remains."

The vaccine rollout was taken over by Naval Rear Adm. Henrique Gouveia e Melo and his team from all three branches of the armed force in February.

Tiago Correia is an associate professor in international health at Lisbon's New University Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She credits Portugal's traditional willingness to accept national vaccination programs. The country's measles, rubella and mumps vaccination rate is 95%. There's also no anti-vaccination movement.

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