Month: July 2020

As Maryland public schools go online this fall, private and parochial schools ready to welcome students on campus

As Maryland’s public schools announced their decisions to keep their doors closed at least for the beginning of the school year, private schools have done just the reverse — arguing they have the ability to give families the in-person classes they want while keeping students safe.

Because of their small size, some experts say private and Catholic schools, are better able to make quick adjustments to their curriculum and often have more physical space to spread students out. But financial forces and teachers unions are also shaping public and private school decisions.

“The driver has been meeting the needs of our students,” said Donna Hargens, the superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Baltimore Archdiocese. “The interpersonal interaction is essential to the learning process and we know that some of our students struggled with remote learning especially those with learning needs.”

Public schools, meanwhile, often have to cope with tightly-packed classrooms

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North Penn To Begin School Year Fully Online

LANSDALE, PA — The North Penn School Board of Directors voted on Thursday evening to begin the school year fully online, with no in-person instruction through early November.

The board unanimously passed the motion, 9-0. The board will consider a possible shift to a hybrid model, with students learning partially online and partially in-person, on Nov. 6, which is the end of the marking period for older students.

>>Coronavirus Spreading Among Youth Sports Teams In Montco

“As we learn more, we can adjust accordingly,” board member Jonathan Kassa said during the meeting.

Both the board and members of the school community who participated in the public meeting cited the numerous risks and the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic and its course in the county.

“Unfortunately, given the current environment as our community addresses a crisis which has not stabilized, the unpredictable nature of this pandemic has forced us to prioritize

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Conspiracy theories around COVID-19 continue to spread. Experts weigh in on why people believe them.

More than 200 people gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest the face mask mandate that multiple counties are under in the state. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
More than 200 people gathered at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus to protest the face mask mandate that multiple counties are under in the state. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

When Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican who has publicly shunned face masks, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, the news sparked a chain reaction. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced new rules that required lawmakers to wear masks on the House floor, and several members of the House revealed that they were planning to go into quarantine. 

Soon after, Gohmert released a video on Twitter, revealing that he is asymptomatic. He then shared a conspiracy theory about wearing masks that, apparently, he also believes. Gohmert said he “can’t help but wonder” if he contracted COVID-19 from adjusting his mask with his hands. “It is interesting, and I don’t know about everybody, but when I have a mask

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Christian Siriano Granted New York State Funding to Make PPE for Nonmedical Public Service Workers

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Designer Christian Siriano.

Christian Siriano’s getting the government support he needs to continue producing PPE.

Early on at the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in March, Siriano, 34, became the first fashion designer to step up and announce he would be using his manufacturing resources to create protective masks for frontline workers. Now, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan to award a total of $6.9 million in incentives to companies to continue making equipment, Siriano’s fashion firm was one of the 12 selected.

Per Cuomo’s announcement, one of Siriano’s companies, CJ Designs, is receiving $352,590, according to a report from Women’s Wear Daily. The money will be put towards manufacturing more face masks for nonmedical public service employees as the state prepares for a potential second wave of coronavirus in the fall.

“Siriano quickly changed the scope of his high fashion Manhattan

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How many COVID-19 virus mutations are there?

The quick answer is a lot, but only one strain is concerning doctors right now: The science world has been buzzing with troubling news that the virus that causes COVID-19 may have mutated in such a way to make it more transmissible. A preliminary study from April 30 and another on June 12 suggested that the virus variant, called G614, harbors a feature that allows the virus to more easily infect cells and therefore spread more rapidly. The concern rose even more last week when Anthony Fauci, MD, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), broached the idea during an online chat. Here are 13 ways this coronavirus pandemic is different from all epidemics in history.

A mutation that speeds up COVID-19’s spread might explain why the virus—known as SARS-CoV-2—has so rapidly moved through North America and Europe, where the G614 mutated version is predominant. The

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Medford Expands Online Transaction Options

MEDFORD, MA — The city announced this month it is moving its purchasing and bid processes online to increase efficiency, create a more user-friendly interface and update some of the city’s operating systems.

Earlier this year, the Building Department launched an online permitting platform that has streamlined the permitting process for applicants, decreases walk-in traffic and wait times and creates greater efficiencies for both staff and customers.

As of Monday, July 27, the online platform for bid opportunities is available at www.medfordma.org. The city joined BidNet’s Massachusetts Purchasing Group this month and will utilize the system to streamline their purchasing process, including bid management, bid distribution, electronic bid submissions and vendor relations.

BidNet’s Massachusetts Purchasing Group connects participating agencies from across the state to a large vendor pool and streamlines the bid and vendor management process. BidNet’s purchasing group provides notifications to registered vendors of new relevant solicitations, as well

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What to Know Before You Go to the Dentist During COVID-19

A visit to the dentist has always been a nerve-wracking experience for many people. But going to the dentist during COVID-19, elicits a new kind of fear. Social distancing and mask-wearing—the two most important actions you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19—are impossible when you’re in the dentist’s chair.

The good news: To date, there have not been any clusters of COVID-19 cases reported in dental settings or among dental healthcare personnel, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The caveat: We don’t yet have any data to assess the risk of transmitting coronavirus during a dentist visit.

So what should you do with that information (or lack thereof), especially if you’re due for a cleaning?

We asked the experts—American Dental Association (ADA) spokesperson Cheryl Watson-Lowry, DDS, owner of Watson and Watson Dental Association in Chicago, and Pia Lieb, DDS, founder of Cosmetic Dentistry Center NYC—whether

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Fauci ‘cautiously optimistic’ of safe vaccine by early winter; Hong Kong delays elections

Dr. Anthony Fauci returns to Capitol Hill on Friday to testify before a special House panel. His testimony comes at a time when early progress on combating COVID-19 seems to have been lost and uncertainty clouds the nation’s path forward.

Also in Washington, the extra $600 in federal unemployment aid that helped many Americans stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic is expiring as plans for additional stimulus stalled in a deadlocked Senate.

A new survey shows fewer Americans want to resume daily activities like going to restaurants or sending children to school as cases spike. But as the school year approaches, state officials are releasing guidelines for schools to reopen. Increasingly, teachers are worried about their students’ mental health.

Here are some significant developments:

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 152,000 deaths and over 4.4 million cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there have

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Maryland colleges are planning for students to return to campus. But that could all change.

The incoming freshmen had barely taken their first tentative steps onto the campus of McDaniel College in Westminster when it became clear this would be no ordinary orientation.

Among the swag they received: face masks in McDaniel’s signature green. The setting: the Gill Center, normally home to the school’s Green Terror basketball team, where blue painter’s tape marked safe distances on the bleachers and hallways. The message: Welcome, and please stay 6 feet apart.

This wasn’t quite what Shakia McKinnon expected college would be like when as a student at Green Street Academy in Baltimore she plotted her next educational step.

But with the coronavirus looming overhead, students will find campus life upended: Much of class time will transfer from in-person to online. Many students will reside in single dormitory rooms rather than with roommates. And sports, concerts and other events have been canceled.

McKinnon is not deterred but rather

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COVID or no COVID, bikers flocking to massive rally. That stirs ‘super-spreader’ concern

Darreld Pearce has loaded his 2012 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited onto a trailer for the past three summers and road-tripped from Florida to meet up with fellow Air Force veterans at the gathering of hundreds of thousands of bikers in Sturgis, South Dakota.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the famed Sturgis event, which some epidemiologists fear could become a coronavirus super-spreader. Think crowded beaches and packed bars, just at an order of magnitude far larger.

All five of the friends Pearce planned to meet canceled because of the pandemic. Pearce did not. He’ll make the trip from Pensacola with his girlfriend early next week, shrugging off the risks.

“When I was in the Air Force, I specialized in chemical, biological warfare, so I’m familiar with viruses and masks,” Pearce said. “I’m not concerned.”

But, just to be safe, he’ll bring hand sanitizer and cloth masks, he said.

The

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