Non-vaccinated students in one New Jersey school district will be required to quarantine after traveling over Thanksgiving break, officials announced.
The South Orange-Maplewood School District confirmed the decision in a Nov. 16 letter to the community on its website.
“The District will collect information from parents/guardians of unvaccinated students who plan on traveling either domestically (outside of PA, NJ, NY, CT, DE) or outside of the United States during the Thanksgiving break,” reads the letter.
“To keep our students, staff and community safe, unvaccinated students will need to quarantine before returning to school.”
The length of quarantine ranges from seven to 10 days depending on testing: while students who test negative for COVID-19 on the third, fourth or fifth day after returning from travel may quarantine for seven days, those who choose not to test must quarantine for the full 10 days.
Quarantining students will participate in remote learning that is “commensurate with their normal school day.”
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – A group of international university students arrived in Australia from Singapore on Sunday after nearly a two-year pandemic absence, as a travel bubble between the two countries came into effect.
Fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore are now allowed into Melbourne or Sydney without the need to quarantine – part of Australia’s gradual reopening of its borders that began this month. Australia closed its international borders in March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Catriona Jackson, chief executive of Universities Australia, which represents 39 universities, said the flights from Singapore saw the first international students enter Australia since small numbers returned in November last year.
“We understand these initial numbers are small, but they are a clear signal of the intent to allow many more students to return to classes and our communities soon,” Jackson said.
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There are about 130,000 international students remaining outside Australia, she added.
Before the pandemic, international students made up 21% of Australia’s tertiary education students, compared to 6% on average across countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Australia’s closed borders have also intensified a skills shortage across sectors, forcing firms to start offering sign-on bonuses for the first time in years.
The closed borders, however, together with quick lockdowns, strict health measures and public compliances with the rules, have made Australia one of the most successful countries in managing the pandemic.
Despite the Delta outbreaks that led to months of lockdown in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia has had only about 760 confirmed cases and 7.5 deaths per 100,000 people, according to data from the World Health Organisation, far lower than many other developed nations.
On Sunday, there were 1,460 new infections across Australia, most of them in the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital. Six more people have died. A cluster in Northern Territories grew to 31 cases after nine infections were reported in some of the Territory’s remote communities.
As of Saturday, 85% of eligible Australians over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, health data showed.
There were 149 new community cases reported in nneighbouring New Zealand, which is also learning to live with the coronavirus through high vaccination rates. Some 83% of the Pacific nation’s eligible population have been fully vaccinated.
($1 = 1.3824 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Michael Perry)
Michigan is dealing with its first flu outbreak, local and state health departments report. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are is investigating the nearly 530 influenza cases reported at the University of Michigan—77% of them among the unvaccinated.
While 98% of their student population has been vaccinated against COVID-19, only about a third have had the flu shot.
Dr. Lindsey Mortenson, the university’s medical director, blamed those numbers on “vaccine hesitancy or people just not making time to get it done.”
“There’s vaccine fatigue and they think the COVID vaccine protects against the flu virus, which it doesn’t. So I think there’s a lot of work we can do to keep our campus educated,” Mortenson said.
Another concern for University of Michigan officials is the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
They are worried students traveling back home for the holiday will become potentially more vulnerable to contracting the virus and spreading it once they come back.
“Michigan is also seeing some other viruses like RSV and influenza, which the state hasn’t seen in more than a year,” said Dr. David Donaldson, chief of emergency medicine at Beaumont Hospital.
“That is a big difference as well,” Donaldson said.
The state is also seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases among unvaccinated people, health officials say.
The Food and Drug Administration moved to expand its emergency authorization of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to all adults on Friday.
In Royal Oak, 73-year-old Twyilla Harrelson has been hospitalized for two months with COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated.
“If you’re not vaccinated, I tell you flat out you are a fool because that’s the worst thing that you can do is get out and spread this disease,” Harrelson told “CBS Mornings” lead national correspondent David Begnaud.
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Since learning that Yalies cannot host Harvard students the night before the Yale-Harvard game, students are navigating a host of considerations to travel to New Haven and take in the sporting event.
For the 2021 Yale-Harvard football game on Nov. 20, the first since the pandemic, Harvard students will not be permitted to stay in Yale dorms due to COVID-19 restrictions. Harvard students have been encouraged to leave Cambridge for Yale on Saturday morning. For this reason, Harvard’s shuttles that are usually offered on both the Friday and Saturday of the weekend of the game are only being offered on Saturday, and at minimal capacity. Previously, Harvard students would often come to Yale on the Friday before the game and stay in Yale dorms. With restrictions in place, many Harvard students told the News they are searching for alternate lodging.
“I think this new plan disadvantages students who cannot afford rides [or] places to stay overnight and people who do not know individuals at Yale especially since students from Ivy League feeder schools have more friends at Yale,” Harvard junior Andrea Liu said.
Liu said she has friends who attend Yale, and has friends from Harvard who live in New Haven. She plans to come to Yale on Friday afternoon and stay at her Harvard friend’s New Haven house. Liu believes going on Friday is a “better plan” than taking one of the Harvard shuttles on Saturday; she was worried about not arriving at The Game on time.
Liu says many other students at Harvard are also coming on the Friday before The Game. Some are planning to rent AirBnBs, and others are looking to stay with off-campus students, she said.
“[We] are not sure about the consequences and are not worried about them, but rather our larger fear is, what if Yale doesn’t let us in [to dorms],” Liu said in regards to her decision to avoid staying with friends on campus at Yale.
Kalyan Palepu, a Harvard junior, has a similar plan. He plans to come on Friday and stay with the family of a friend who lives in New Haven.
“I have to believe that Yale won’t force Harvard students who come on Friday hoping to sleep at Yale to not have a place to sleep for the night,” Palepu wrote in an email to the News.
This is especially worrisome for students on financial aid, Harvard junior Diana Meza said. Meza is a student on financial aid and is planning to stay with friends at Yale. She said Harvard offered free round-trip transportation on Saturday to students eligible through the Harvard Student Events Fund––a program at Harvard that offers qualifying students free tickets to student events, according to Harvard’s website––but those tickets were sold out by the time Meza tried to purchase them.
Tickets for the Yale-Harvard game were available for pickup at various athletic events throughout the past week and at Payne Whitney Gym.
Penn Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel will co-teach a new course this spring that will require students to travel to Washington every Friday.
The course, PSCI 398: How Washington Really Works, will include an equal number of students from Penn and George Mason University, and will be co-taught by Emanuel and George Mason University professor Steve Pearlstein, a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist for The Washington Post. Students from each university will be required to travel from their respective campuses to the Penn Biden Center in Washington each Friday for class from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
While George Mason’s campus is about 40 minutes from the Penn Biden Center, it takes about two and a half hours to arrive from Penn’s campus, thus taking up the majority of the day on Friday. Still, Emanuel said he hopes that a high number of students are interested in the course.
“The reason we really want to do this course actually in D.C. is the sense of that if you’re not inside Washington, you really have no idea how Washington actually works,” he said.
The course will feature a number of high profile speakers, with potential speakers listed on the course summary including renowned infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci, former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and former liberal think tank president Neera Tanden, who advises President Joe Biden.
Emanuel said that given the unique nature of the class, students who want to enroll must write a paragraph explaining their interest before registering. He said the paragraph, the prioritization of older students, and his goal of having a “diversity of opinions” in the class will decide the 24 students from Penn.
The course will study how policy decisions are made in Washington through a series of eight policy case studies ranging from the 1957 Civil Rights Act to Obamacare. After working at the intersection of health care and policy for a number of years, Emanuel said he found many people lack knowledge about how policy is actually made.
The course will also teach students how to read the news, something Emanuel said he finds many people do not truly understand.
“When you read an article in the newspaper there are so many motives to consider. Who is quoted in the article? Who tipped it? Why did they tip it?” Emanuel said. “If you’re not in Washington, you just don’t understand this stuff.”
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Each class will be split into three one-hour sections: one hour of lecture and presentation by Emanuel and Pearlstein, one hour of lunch — provided by the universities — with the guest speaker, and a final hour for group discussion.
Emanuel said he and Pearlstein have long wanted to co-teach a course, particularly one that would bring the Penn and George Mason student bodies together to learn from one another. Pearlstein is a decorated journalist and someone who “knows all there is to know about how things work in D.C,” making him a great person to teach the course with, Emanuel said.
“Steve [Pearlstein] and I have a lot of experience combined. He knows Washington in a way very few others really do. So for us, it is sort of exciting to bring all of this experience together to teach this course,” Emanuel said.
If you drive about half an hour north of Williams Lake during the summer months, you will see highway signs directing you to a popular U-Pick farm called Soda Creek Corn. In the summer and early fall, people venture to the farm from all around to pick everything from corn to cauliflower.
Locally grown veggies are fast becoming a high value item in households, for their nutritious and delicious quality, as well as their limited travel which makes them both health conscious and eco-friendly.
After the farm closes to the public for the season, a different type of visitor arrives, armed with shovels and pitchforks. This crew of volunteers turns up to dig through the soil and rummage through the plants for remaining veggie treasures. This is an annual event, referred to as “gleaning” and it allows the farm and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society (CCCS) to harvest and donate fresh and healthy produce to local food banks, while also reducing food waste.
Soda Creek Corn, owned by Linda and Mike Kaufman, includes 15 acres of corn fields, and a 10 acre U-Pick vegetable garden. It is challenging for farmers to predict how much to plant from year to year, for a number of reasons. Unpredictable weather patterns have an effect on crop growth and consumer demand often fluctuates, so at the end of each season, varying amounts of crops are left behind. Since 2017, the Kaufmans have generously allowed CCCS to gather what they can from what is left for the benefit of the community. In past years we have also been able to glean potatoes at Earl Wilson’s Silver Birch Farm.
Our main activities at CCCS are geared toward sustainable living education, including Water and Waste Wise content. Every program we deliver has some kind of educational component to it, whether it is intended for students or residents. We often invite students to join our volunteers on gleaning day, which allows us to yield even more produce for donation, while students get to learn more about where their food comes from. This year, 22 students from Mr. Wilson’s grade 7 class participated with their dedicated substitute teacher, Mrs. Glanville. The students were energetic and seemed to enjoy spending the day outside, digging in the dirt, and horsing around. When asked what their favorite part of the day was, some of the kids had this to say: Kenny, “Fun! Love the carrots!”, Trey, “I do not enjoy jalapeño peppers,” and Micah “enjoyed picking veggies.”
The gleaning process is hard work, and we couldn’t do it without the help of the students and volunteers, including staff from nearby Puddle Produce farm, and members of our own board of directors. By the end of the day, our team had gleaned over 200 pounds of potatoes, carrots, beets, cauliflower, and a variety of squash. Produce has already begun to be delivered to Williams Lake food banks at various locations to be distributed to those in need. What could be better than spending a day at a beautiful farm, enjoying the company of others outside, and the feeling of doing something that helps your community?
Waste Wise tip: Use an “eat me first” bin to reduce food waste, and keep the fridge looking tidy and clean. On average, British Columbians toss out 25 per cent of all groceries we purchase.
For more information on Water Wise or Waste Wise and any of our programs, contact the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at conservationsociety.ca
Amber Gregg is the program coordinator for the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.
TOKYO — Japan announced it will ease border controls beginning Monday for fully vaccinated travelers excluding tourists, responding to requests from the business community following a rapid decline in infections.
Everyone entering Japan must be fully inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines that are recognized by the Japanese authorities.
Those eligible include travelers on short-term business visits of less than three months, as well as longer term visitors including foreign students and workers on so-called technical internship programs, with a 14-day quarantine requirement.
Schools and companies sponsoring them are required to submit documents detailing their activities and how they will be monitored.
About 73% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Tokyo on Friday reported 25 cases, below 30 for the ninth straight day. Nationwide, Japan had 158 confirmed cases Thursday for an accumulated total of 1.72 million, with about 18,300 deaths.
The easing of border controls is part of Japan’s move to gradually resume social and economic activity. The government is experimenting with package tours, at restaurants and sports events before further resumption of daily activities.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said Japan is to consider a possibility of allowing foreign tour groups by the end of the year after studying ways to control and monitor their activities.
With the pandemic surging nationally, UC San Diego implored students to get tested for COVID-19 last November before they left for the Thanksgiving holiday to avoid unwittingly spreading the virus during family get-togethers.
Infection rates are now declining in much of the country and the message is far different at San Diego County’s largest university.
“We’re going to be a bit more permissive this time since we have our students pushing 96-percent vaxxed and are merely having them test on return and 5 days later — or for symptoms,” said Dr. Robert “Chip” Schooley, director of the school’s Return to Learn campaign.
The University of California system requires all students, faculty and staff who access its campuses to get vaccinated against the virus.
UCSD was among the first major universities in the country last year to broadly test students, faculty and staff for COVID-19. That helped to produce an infection rate that has remained low. As of October 31, the rate among students was 0.23 percent.
The university has managed to keep the rate low even though enrollment rose by nearly 2,400 this fall, hitting a record 42,875.
Unvaccinated Montclair public schools staff and students who travel during the upcoming holiday season will be required to undergo at least seven days of quarantine, in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control.
Unvaccinated students who travel domestically or internationally will “automatically be set up with virtual learning due to their need to quarantine,” schools Superintendent Jonathan Ponds said in an Oct. 21 message to the community.
“We value you as a partner and ask that you provide your children’s teachers/principals your travel plans a week in advance, which will assist us in preparing virtual learning upon your return, allowing us to best serve your children,” Ponds said in the message.
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“While there is no statewide travel advisory or mandate in place at this time, schools are encouraged to have a policy for exclusion for students and staff that is consistent with CDC COVID-19 travel recommendations,” the document states.
The CDC recommends travel be delayed for those who are unvaccinated, but also recommends 10 days of quarantine after travel without testing or seven days of quarantine, with a negative test taken three to five days after travel.
“The holidays are right around the corner, and we wanted you to have travel guidance with enough time to plan for the Thanksgiving and December holiday breaks,” Ponds said in the message. “We understand this is often a time when families visit relatives and gather together.”
Ponds has not yet responded to an email sent to his district address Monday with questions about the vacation policy.
Fully vaccinated students and staff are not required to quarantine, but are recommended to test three to five days after travel and monitor for symptoms.
The district’s plan seems “a little arbitrary” parent Danielle Neff said in a Facebook comment responding to a post by Montclair Local.
“I think it’s great and appropriate that they are offering a virtual option,” parent Danielle Neff said. “My question is this: What about those who host family/visitors from other states?”
Voluntary pooled testing began in Montclair schools Monday, but staffing issues with provider Concentric by Gingko, a service provided by Ginkgo Bioworks, meant only three schools — Glenfield Middle School, Nishuane School and Bradford School — underwent testing, according to an update on pooled testing on the district’s website.
“Schools that did not test [Monday], will begin their testing next week, aligned with the schedule,” the district’s update said. “As with any new program, ‘glitches’ can occur, and we are confident, moving forward, that the process will be streamlined.”