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Council Rock North Shuts Down Athletics Amid Rising COVID Cases

NEWTOWN, PA — All athletics and activity programs for Council Rock North High School students are shut down until further notice, Principal Susan C. McCarthy told parents in an email Tuesday afternoon.

The move comes one day after the high school decided to cancel in-person classes for the week after three students reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent Robert Fraser’s decision to close the school went against the advice of Bucks County Health Director David Damsker, who did not recommend closing school.

The health department will only recommend closing a school when there is a clear indication that the district’s health and safety plan isn’t working, Damsker told Patch, and there’s no evidence at this point that transmission is happening within schools.

“School closures are very disruptive and don’t help stop people from getting sick outside of school,” Damsker said. “If people continue to have parties and gather, closing school won’t stop any of that from occurring.”

In a follow-up email sent late Tuesday afternoon, McCarthy said two people “from our Council Rock High School North community” reported testing positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases this week to five.

The district is working with the Bucks County Department of Health to identify close contacts of the individuals who tested positive as part of the contact tracing process, she added.

“As always, please continue to monitor your health and that of your children,” McCarthy said. “If you notice a fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19, please remain home and contact your medical provider. Moreover, if you feel uncomfortable, you may keep your children home, and during this time your children may continue to access the classroom and curriculum through interactive livestream.”

Between Aug. 31 and Oct. 13, there have been 131 cases of COVID-19 throughout the 13 public school districts and private schools in Bucks County, Damsker said, with many of those cases linked to activities outside of school.

Parents or guardians concerned about family members are encouraged to contact their child’s physician or the county health department, she said.

This article originally appeared on the Newtown Patch

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Amid rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, local leaders and public health experts worry of a coming surge

With 33 states reporting a rise in new Covid-19 cases and a nationwide uptick in hospitalizations, local officials worry this could be the beginning of the coming surge experts have warned about.

a person standing in a parking lot: A medic prepares to transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. - Florida has emerged as a major new epicenter of the US battle against the disease, with confirmed cases recently surpassing New York and now second only to California. The state toll has leapt over the past week and more than 6,500 people have died from the disease there, according to health officials. More than 460,000 people have been infected with the virus in Florida, which has a population of 21 million, and a quarter of the state's cases are in Miami. The US has tallied a total of 151,826 deaths from COVID-19, making it the hardest-hit country in the world. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

A medic prepares to transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. – Florida has emerged as a major new epicenter of the US battle against the disease, with confirmed cases recently surpassing New York and now second only to California. The state toll has leapt over the past week and more than 6,500 people have died from the disease there, according to health officials. More than 460,000 people have been infected with the virus in Florida, which has a population of 21 million, and a quarter of the state’s cases are in Miami. The US has tallied a total of 151,826 deaths from COVID-19, making it the hardest-hit country in the world. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

In Colorado, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said Covid-19 cases are rising at a “concerning rate,” while the city’s seven-day average daily case rates are as “high right now as they were at the height of the pandemic back in May.”

The seven-day average of hospitalizations also rose about 37% in a little more than a week, he said during a Monday news conference, and warned residents could soon see tighter Covid-19 restrictions if the city’s numbers continue to trend in the wrong direction.

Officials across the country warn of similar patterns. White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx last week warned the Northeast was seeing “early surggestions” of alarming trends. Kentucky’s governor said recently the state is seeing a third major escalation in infections. In Wisconsin, a field hospital is opening this week in response to a surge of Covid-19 patients — days after the state reported record-high numbers of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths.

The US is now averaging more than 49,000 new infections daily — up 14% from the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. And last week, the nation recorded more than 50,000 new cases for at least four days in a row. The last time that happened was in early August.

“I think we’re facing a whole lot of trouble,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Monday. “We’ve got to turn this around.”

That doesn’t have to mean another lockdown, the infectious disease expert has previously said. Instead, it means more people heeding to safety guidelines like wearing masks and social distancing.

Otherwise, the US could be in for a devastating winter. Researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation project more than 135,000 Americans could die within the next three months.

Healthcare professionals ‘deeply afraid’

Hospitalizations nationwide are also on the rise. At least 10 states have recorded record-high hospitalization

Study: Kids’ hospitalizations accompany rising unemployment rates

COVID-19 has led to widespread job loss in the United States. And now a new study reports that when unemployment rates rise, so do hospitalizations of children.

For the study, researchers analyzed 12 years of data — 2002 to 2014 — from 14 states. They found that for every 1% increase in unemployment, there was a 2% increase in child hospitalizations for all causes, among them diabetes and poisonings.

Specifically, every 1% bump in unemployment was associated with a 5% increase in hospitalizations for substance abuse and a 4% jump for diabetes. The researchers also found a 2% increase for poisoning and burns, and a 2% rise for children with medical complexity — a high need for prescriptions, medical equipment or services.

For children with diabetes and other forms of medical complexity, reduced family income could mean they’re less likely to receive medical services. This could raise their risk of hospitalizations, the study authors suggested.

It’s also possible that poor housing conditions brought on by slimmer wallets could increase children’s risk of poisonings and burns. And higher household stress due to unemployment might increase alcohol and drug use.

Further research is needed to understand how to prevent declining health in children during economic downturns, said study author Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, of Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., and his colleagues.

The U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded study was published in the October issue of the journal Health Affairs.

The study relied on data from Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more on children’s health.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Czech COVID-19 Cases Rising at Fastest Rate in Europe | World News

PRAGUE (Reuters) – The Czech Republic reported a record 4,457 new coronavirus cases in a single day, Health Ministry data showed on Wednesday, as a spike in infections over the past month is now rising at Europe’s fastest pace.

The daily rise in new COVID-19 cases, recorded on Tuesday, surpassed a previous record of 3,794 to bring the total number of cases recorded since March to 90,022 – a fourfold increase since Aug. 25.

Hospitalisations have soared tenfold in that period to add strain on the healthcare system.

Over the past two weeks, the Czech Republic has reported 326.8 cases per 100,000, surpassing for the first time Spain, which has seen 302.4 cases per 100,000, according to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data collected by Oct. 6.

Graphic: Czech rise in COVID-19 cases fastest in Europe Czech rise in COVID-19 cases fastest in Europe –

The Czech government, like others in Europe, is struggling to contain a rise in infections that is stronger than in March and April.

But the country is looking to avoid the same strict lockdowns that shut shops, restaurants and schools and prompted many factories to go idle, hammering the economy in the second quarter.

Health Minister Roman Prymula said that a tightening of existing measures will be announced on Friday, focusing on past-time activities.

“Let’s assume that just about everything will be tighter for the next 14 days,” he said.

The state has introduced stricter face mask rules and limited bar opening hours and the number of people to a table in restaurants. It has also banned musical performances since Monday for two weeks.

The government wants to avoid putting too much strain on its hospitals and has said enough beds are still available but further increases in infections could require the reorganisation of care and the postponing of non-urgent procedures.

The number of people hospitalised with COVID-19 has climbed to 1,387, of which 326 are in intensive care – more than three times the peak seen when the outbreak first hit.

For interactive graphics, please click on:

(Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Rising Temperatures Undermine Academic Success and Equity

Hotter daytimes are thwarting students’ academic progress and exacerbating long-standing educational inequities for people of color, according to researchers who examined the issue in more than 50 countries.

The report, published yesterday in the journal Nature Human Behavior, used two major datasets to track the relationship between students’ exposure to soaring temperatures and their learning outcomes. The data revealed that additional days above 80 degrees Fahrenheit inhibit students’ performance on standardized tests that are meant to measure educational achievement and cognitive ability.

“Temperature has been shown to affect working memory, stamina and cognitive performance, and to lead individuals to reduce time spent engaging in labour activities,” the researchers wrote. “This suggests that, in addition to the channels above, heat may directly affect students’ capacity to learn or teachers’ ability and willingness to teach.”

Co-author Joshua Goodman, a professor of education and economics at Boston University, said the findings have major implications for students who attend classes in buildings that lack proper ventilation and air conditioning. Both in the United States and abroad, he underscored, those schools disproportionately serve low-income families and people of color.

So while it’s already important to ensure school facilities are safe and comfortable, as climate impacts intensify, it will only become more important that older facilities are updated or replaced altogether.

“The returns of doing that,” Goodman said, “are going to get higher over time.”

The researchers worked with two datasets to study academic achievement and temperature across a range of age groups, economies and international borders.

The first dataset examined the test scores of more than 144 million students in nearly 60 countries who took a standardized international exam between 2000 and 2015. The test at issue is administered every three years by the Programme for International Student Assessment and aims to provide comparative, international data on 15-year-olds’ academic performance in reading, math and science.

The second analysis, meanwhile, comprised more than 270 million exam scores of U.S. students between the third and eighth grades. The researchers pulled the exam results from the Stanford Education Data Archive, which standardizes different states’ required annual exams to provide national comparability.

The research revealed that students who went to school during years with additional hot days demonstrated “reduced learning”—and lower test scores. Of particular importance to Goodman was that in the United States, “basically all of the impact of heat on these test score outcomes was driven by Black and Hispanic students, and not by white students. Similarly, by low-income school districts and not by high-income school districts.”

In this way, the two datasets yielded the same conclusion, Goodman said. The learning damage associated with hotter temperatures appear to be larger for low-income populations around the world. That likely means that heat exposure—which is intensifying in step with global warming—will have a more direct and persistent impact on economic growth and development than previously anticipated.

“There are countries where students [already] experience 200 days a year where the temperature is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Goodman.


Coronavirus cases are rising in half the United States

Coronavirus cases increased over the last week in half of the United States as the country is averaging about 43,000 new COVID-19 infections per day, according to an analysis by Axios

The number of daily new cases increased in 25 states in every region of the country. New Mexico saw the biggest rise, with a more than 50 percent increase over the past week, according to the news outlet. 

Our country is in a historic fight against the Coronavirus. Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.

At least eight states saw the number of new cases drop over the past week, including Arizona, Florida, Texas and Virginia. 

The U.S. has a seven-day average of about 43,000 new cases per day after the number of infections had been falling steadily. 

Wisconsin this week reported its highest number of coronavirus hospitalizations on record days as the White House coronavirus task force warned of a rapid worsening in the state last week. Meanwhile, President Trump is set to hold large-scale campaign rallies in the battleground state over the weekend as cases and hospitalizations rise. 

The increase in new infections across the country comes as health officials worry the fall and winter months could bring more devastation when the flu season kicks off and people begin to move indoors in tighter spaces because of cooler temperatures. 

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in August warned the U.S. would need to bring its daily coronavirus case count down to 10,000 by September to get a hold on the outbreak. 

More than 7.1 million coronavirus cases and 206,000 deaths have been reported in the U.S. since February.








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