health

Melrose Teachers Reveal Health, Safety Benchmarks For Return

MELROSE, MA — The union representing Melrose teachers said they want a two-week span of statewide positive test rates under 2 percent, no increase in COVID-19 cases in the city for two weeks and 48-hour test results, among other things, before returning to in-class instruction.

The Melrose Education Association said it is working with the Massachusetts Teachers Association on more specific benchmarks, and the following could change. As it stands, the requests are:

  • For educators and staff to return and remain in person, the positive test rate in Massachusetts should be no more than 2% over a 14-day period.

  • The City will have no increases in positive cases for fourteen (14) days before shifting from a full remote to a hybrid model.

  • Test results from labs must be happening within 48 hours in order for real time contact tracing and containment to occur.

  • Rate of transmission (RT) should be below

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Our Covid cohort of students will need more mental health support than ever

student looking at books - Getty Images
student looking at books – Getty Images

Going to university is a time of great transition. And while those first moments at university can be very exciting, transitions are also times when young people face an increased risk of mental health difficulties. We also know that the years between 16 and 25 are when people are most likely to experience mental health difficulties for the first time.  

Students have always experienced pressures, such as worries about their finances, including housing costs and managing the cost of living. They also need to get used to a different type of learning than at school. 

Plus, they are also leaving behind all their existing social support, the teachers, friends and family that are typically protective for young people’s mental health. 

There are specific points in students’ lives when there can be additional pressures. These might occur a few weeks into term when people

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New door-knocking contact tracers will be stretched, warns health chief

The Government's test and trace operation is being farmed out to local councils - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
The Government’s test and trace operation is being farmed out to local councils – Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A new system of contact tracers knocking on doors could be threatened by under-resourcing, a health chief has warned.

Last night it was revealed large parts of the test and trace operation will be operated by local councils, to allow contact tracers to visit people in person and convince them to self-isolate if they have been exposed to the virus.

But Jeanelle de Gruchy, the director of public health for Thameside Council and President of the Association of the Directors of Public Health, suggested there may not be enough staff to run the system effectively.

“What we are asking people is a lot, asking them to self-isolate for 14 days, so all the support we can give to them really does help make it the most effective it can be,” she told the

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Young people struggle with finding mental health support amid COVID-19 pandemic

Kathryn Boit feels “guilty for struggling so much” these past few months. 

As president of the Harvard Student Mental Health Liaisons, she has “college friends, acquaintances and strangers reach out to me for resources and advice,” she said. “I don’t know the answers anymore.”

It’s no wonder Boit, a Harvard sophomore, feels overwhelmed. Prevalence of depression among college students increased since the pandemic closed campuses this spring compared with fall 2019, according to a survey of 18,000 college students published by the Healthy Minds Network on July 9. And of the nearly 42% of students who sought mental health care during the pandemic, 60% said it was either much more or somewhat more difficult to access care.

Mental health among young people has been worsening for years. A 2019 analysis of teens reported 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said in 2017 that they had

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College students face financial strains, health concerns from pandemic ahead of fall semester

Brittany Goddard’s final semester at Howard University isn’t the dream ending she imagined in Washington, D.C. 

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the U.S. economy in March, she scrambled to pack up her belongings since she had to be out of her dorm room within 48 hours. At the same time, she lost her part-time job at a catering company and still hasn’t received unemployment after filing for jobless benefits in April. 

She was set to study abroad in Barcelona over the summer, but those plans were upended due to the pandemic. And with just weeks to go before the fall semester begins, she’s worried about how she’ll pay the remaining balance of her tuition and fees – roughly $9,000 – since her financial aid won’t cover it at the private school.

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m a low-income student. I can’t afford tuition,” Goddard, 20, says, who’s created a GoFundMe page … Read More

Young people struggle with finding mental health support amid COVID pandemic

Kathryn Boit feels “guilty for struggling so much” these past few months. 

As the president of the Harvard Student Mental Health Liaisons, she has “college friends, acquaintances, and strangers reach out to me for resources and advice,” she said. “I don’t know the answers anymore.”

It’s no wonder Boit, a Harvard sophomore, feels overwhelmed. Prevalence of depression among college students increased since the pandemic caused the closure of campuses this spring compared to fall 2019, according to a survey of 18,000 college students published by the Healthy Minds Network on July 9. And of the nearly 42% of students who sought mental health care during the pandemic, 60% said it was either much more or somewhat more difficult to access care.

Mental health among young people has been worsening for years. A 2019 analysis of teens reported 13% of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 (or 3.2 million) said in

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8 Back-to-School Mental Health Resources for BIPOC Students

Student sitting cross-legged with an open laptop in her lap against a pink background
Student sitting cross-legged with an open laptop in her lap against a pink background

Many parents and children are looking forward to back-to-school season and easing into a regular schedule once again. Student mental health was already a growing concern before COVID-19. Depression among adolescents in the U.S. has been increasing steadily over the years.

BIPOC students particularly may experience more negative circumstances such as racial/ethnic discrimination, marginalization, and lack of access to resources and services that contribute negatively to their mental health. There are many online resources that can help BIPOC students manage their mental health as back-to-school season begins.

Here are eight back-to-school mental health resources for BIPOC students:

The Steve Fund is an organization dedicated to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. The Fund works with colleges and universities, nonprofits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs

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Florida health directors reportedly told not to say whether schools should reopen

County health directors in Florida have reportedly been told not to provide a recommendation about whether schools should reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida state officials “instructed county directors to focus their advice to school boards on how best to reopen,” but the health directors have been told “not to make a recommendation” about whether to actually reopen at all, The Palm Beach Post reports. This is despite the fact that an edict from Florida Education Commission Richard Corcoran instructed schools seeking to not reopen to receive a wavier from health officials.

“We’ve been advised that our role here is to just advise as to what can we do to make the environment in schools as safe as possible with COVID-19,” one health director, Patricia Boswell, reportedly said at a school board meeting. “It is not to make a decision on whether or not to open the school.”

Former health

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Health directors told to keep quiet as Florida leaders pressed to reopen classrooms

PALM BEACH, Fla. – As Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed this summer for schools to reopen, state leaders told school boards they would need Health Department approval if they wanted to keep classrooms closed.

Then they instructed health directors not to give it.

Following a directive from DeSantis’ administration, county health directors across Florida refused to give school boards advice about one of the most wrenching public health decisions in modern history: whether to reopen schools in a worsening pandemic, a Gannett USA TODAY NETWORK review found.

In county after county the health directors’ refrain to school leaders was the same: Their role was to provide information, not recommendations.

They could not tell school boards whether they believed the risks of opening campuses were too great, they said. They could only provide suggestions on how to reopen safely.

“I don’t think any of us are in a position to balk the

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Reuters Health News Summary

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

Germany’s confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 1,147 to 214,214: RKI

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,147 to 214,214, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by eight to 9,183, the tally showed.

Global recovery will come faster if COVID vaccine available to all – WHO chief

Economic recovery around the world could comes faster if any COVID-19 vaccine is made available to all as a public good, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Thursday. He was speaking in an online panel discussion with members of the Aspen Security Forum in the United States moderated by the NBC network.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro orders $360 million to be set aside for AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree on Thursday that

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