COVID-19 Updates August

COVID-19 Updates August

Federal

Reopening Schools During COVID-19: Lessons Learned From Around the World

  • School reopenings have been most successful in countries that have significantly outpaced the United States’ ability to test for COVID-19, trace and isolate potentially infected people, and flatten the curve of new cases and hospitalizations. 
  • Many countries that have opened have a national positive rate below 4%. In the U.S. many states that have opened schools such as Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and Texas have positivity rates between 10 and 25 percent. 
  • In Israel for example, children older than 7 are required to wear masks when they’re outside the classroom, and children in 4th grade and above are required to wear masks all day. After many students tested positive for COVID-19 at one school, the schools had to close down.  

Pennie’-Pinching States Take Over Obamacare Exchanges From Feds

  • This fall PA will be among a few states that will roll out their new state run health insurance exchange that is supposed to save residents millions of dollars on next year’s health plan premiums. 
  • Pennsylvania is one of six states shifting in the next several years from the federal insurance exchange to run their own online marketplaces, which determine eligibility, assist with enrollment and connect buyers with insurance companies. 
  • “Almost across the board, states with their own exchanges have achieved higher enrollment rates than their federal peers, along with lower premiums and better consumer education and protection,” according to a study published this month in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

New Research Suggests In-Person Voting May Be Less Risky Than Previously Thought

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with National Geographic this week that if carefully done there should be no reason why people can not safely vote at a polling location.  
  • In addition, new research suggests in-person voting may be less risky than  many thought. A peer-reviewed study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health  found that in-person voting in Wisconsin’s April 7 election by more than 400,000 electors did not produce a detectable surge there in coronavirus cases.
  • The study found that hospitalizations in Wisconsin for COVID-19 did not go up two weeks after the election.

State

PIAA gives the green light to fall high school sports in Pennsylvania

  • In defiance of a “strong recommendation” from the administration of Gov. Wolf, the PIAA said it  intended to continue to plan to sponsor sports for thousands of Pennsylvania high school students.
  • However, the ultimate decision to play sports lies with each individual school district. Several school districts in the state have postponed fall sports, as have entire leagues such as the Philadelphia Public League, the Del Val League and the Friends Schools League.

Penn State plans to screen students for COVID-19 with a scratch-and-sniff test. Scientists say it could be better than taking temperatures.

  • If students plan on being in person at Penn State in the fall, the university is planning  to send  scented scratch-and-sniff postcards to students, asking them to monitor their sense of smell. If students experience a lack of sudden lack of smell, they should self-isolate and get tested immediately. 
  • A new study has found that COVID-19 is more strongly associated with smell and taste than with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, though those are the “cardinal symptoms currently highlighted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).” The study has not been peer-reviewed.

City

Philly to resume indoor dining in Sept. with restrictions

  • Philadelphia restaurants may resume indoor dining on Sept. 8 — with several restrictions, city officials announced Thursday.
  • Restaurants will only be able to serve 25% of their seating capacity. Alcohol will only be served at tables. The city will send inspectors into restaurants — proactively and in response to complaints.

Philly announces supervised sites for families who need child care this fall

  • Philadelphia will have 31 sites this fall where families can take young children who need supervision during the day time. 
  • Parents will have to register in advance for slots at the centers and cannot drop children off on an ad hoc basis.
  • The access centers will be open for K-6 students from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. starting on Sept. 8. The 31 sites — which are open to students from public, charter and private schools — can serve up to 800 children, the city said in its announcement.

Good News of the Day

Uncle Makes Nephew’s ‘Lockdown’ Dream Come True, Building A Rollercoaster In The Backyard

Via Good News Network –
One very fun uncle made his young nephew’s dream come true by building a rollercoaster in the backyard that was based on the 11-year-old’s design.

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