News Scan for Dec 16, 2020

Survey: 2 of 10 faculty districts mulling protecting e-learning after COVID-19

About 2 in 10 US faculty districts have mentioned they are going to proceed, or are contemplating persevering with, distance studying after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, citing pupil and guardian demand, based on a Rand Corporation research launched yesterday.

In the autumn, directors on the brand new American School District Panel (ASDP) mentioned that the most important challenges going through them within the 2020-21 faculty yr have been disparities in college students’ entry to studying alternatives in the course of the pandemic. Rand, the Center on Reinventing Public Education, Chiefs for Change, and Kitamba developed the ASDP, a nationally consultant panel of US conventional faculty districts and constitution administration organizations, to assist inform faculty coverage and follow.

Of the 379 panelists, 319 accomplished the survey. The ensuing report mentioned localized approaches to schooling and pandemic-related points, in addition to variations in group COVID-19 case charges, factored into the choice whether or not to proceed the web studying choice.

While districts during which at the least 50% of scholars are black or Hispanic or qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch mentioned Internet and expertise entry are the best wants for on-line studying, these within the remaining districts reported pupil psychological well being and high-quality instruction (because of funding-related understaffing) as essentially the most important wants.

“We found three common concerns: disparities in students’ opportunities to learn, students’ social and emotional learning needs, and insufficient funding to cover staff,” lead writer Heather Schwartz, PhD, mentioned in a Rand information launch. “But just as reopening plans differ based on local approaches to both schooling and the pandemic, district leaders’ opinions differed on the degree to which they prioritized these needs and concerns.”

School district directors mentioned that state and native well being departments had essentially the most affect on their COVID-19 plans, adopted by the US Department of Education.

“Public education will never be the same post–COVID-19,” a superintendent of a giant suburban faculty district mentioned within the survey. “The pandemic has forced public education to adopt new practices on the fly, and many will become lasting changes to the way we do business. Flexible scheduling and virtual instruction are just two practices that will become a part of how we educate children.”
Dec 15 Rand Corp study and news release


Close contacts, gatherings could enhance youngsters’ COVID-19 danger

Data from a University of Mississippi Medical Center research revealed yesterday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) present that social gatherings and shut contacts with different contaminated individuals are related to the next danger of COVID-19 infections in kids and adolescents, however not attending faculty or little one care.

Researchers in contrast parent- or guardian-reported exposures of 154 SARS-CoV-2–optimistic kids and adolescents below age 18 with 243 SARS-CoV-2–unfavourable kids—all of whom have been examined at outpatient testing facilities or emergency departments related to the University of Mississippi Medical Center from Sep 1 to Nov 5.

In the two weeks earlier than testing, SARS-CoV-2–optimistic kids have been extra prone to have had shut contact with an individual who had a confirmed an infection in contrast with management members (odds ratio [OR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.0 to five.0). They have been additionally extra prone to have attended gatherings with folks exterior their family, together with social features, actions with different kids, and guests of their house (OR vary, 1.9 to three.3).

Attending in-person faculty or childcare in the course of the 2 weeks earlier than testing was not related to higher danger of an infection, however publicity information was not damaged down by age-group (OR, 0.8; 95% CI, 0.5 to 1.3).

Children who examined optimistic for SARS-CoV-2 have been much less prone to have reported constant masks use by college students and workers members of their faculty facility (OR, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2 to 0.8).

“Consistent use of masks, social distancing, isolation of infected persons, and quarantine of those who are exposed to the virus continue to be important to prevent COVID-19 spread,” the authors concluded.
Dec 15 MMWR study


Officials affirm 3 new MERS instances in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) just lately reported three new MERS-CoV instances, together with two in individuals who had contact with camels, in accordance two separate notifications.

The nation had reported its most up-to-date MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) case in early November, which concerned a 51-year-old man from Riyadh. In a report dated Dec 1, the MOH famous one other case in Riyadh, which concerned a 62-year-old man who did not have a historical past of contact with camels, just isn’t a well being employee, and whose supply of the virus is listed as main, which means it seemingly did not contract it from one other recognized affected person.

Also, in a Dec 10 report, the MOH famous two instances in numerous elements of the nation, each involving camel contact. One affected person is a 53-year-old man from Al Ahsa governorate within the east and the opposite is a 40-year-old man from Taif governorate within the west.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) mentioned that, as of the tip of November, the WHO has obtained stories of two,562 instances, together with 881 deaths, for the reason that virus was first detected in people in 2012.
Dec 1 Saudi MOH update
Dec 10 Saudi MOH update

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