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IJCSA Updates & Industry News
California School District Asks Parents to Help With Janitorial Duties Amid Staff Shortage
As the Omicron variant of the coronavirus leads to staff shortages nationwide, one school district is asking for parents to volunteer to help with custodial duties and COVID testing.
The highly transmissible variant spread rapidly across the United States, infecting millions of people in the past month. The soaring number of cases forced many schools to shut to return to remote learning and left those that stayed open with staff shortages.
But California's Palo Alto Unified School District—located in Silicon Valley—opted to turn to parents for help keeping their schools open.
More at source: Newsweek
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The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies, but allowed a vaccine mandate to stand for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments.
The rulings came three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measure for businesses started to take effect.
The mandate required that workers at businesses with 100 or more employees get vaccinated or submit a negative Covid test weekly to enter the workplace. It also required unvaccinated workers to wear masks indoors at work.
“Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion.
“Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,” the court wrote.
More at source: CNBC
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The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also hit an all-time high, having doubled in three weeks, according to a Reuters tally.
There were more than 136,604 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.
While the Omicron variant is potentially less severe, health officials have warned that the sheer number of infections could strain hospital systems, some of which have already suspended elective procedures as they struggle to handle the increase in patients and staff shortages.
The surge in cases has disrupted schools, which are struggling with absences of staff, teachers and bus drivers.
More at source: Reuters
The new daily tally brings the total number of cases confirmed in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic to 56,189,547. In total, the virus has caused 827,748 deaths across the country.
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With more than 580,000 cases, the United States shattered its own record for new daily coronavirus cases — beating a milestone it already broke just the day before.
Thursday’s count, according to The New York Times’s database, toppled the 488,000 new cases on Wednesday, which was nearly double the highest numbers from last winter. The back-to-back record-breaking days are a growing sign of the virus’s fast spread and come as the world enters its third year of the pandemic.
More at source: NY TIMES
CDC revealed that fully vaccinated people can spread the coronavirus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that anyone — regardless of vaccination status — can likely spread the omicron variant of the coronavirus to other people.
More at source: CDC
In this most joyous of seasons we want to extend a very Merry Christmas to all IJCSA Members and their families & staff. Also in this season of reflection and looking forward to a prosperous NEW YEAR 2022!! Offices will be closed through the 27th and reopening on the 28th. For New Years closed on the 31st & open on the 3rd. All automated online services will be open. Be caring! Be kind! Be safe! Enjoy the holidays!
The Omicron variant’s aggressive advance is the latest twist in the course of a disease that public-health experts say is on a path toward becoming endemic in the U.S.
In other words, the Covid-19 pandemic won’t have an end date. Rather, a crisis that engulfed the world within months of the coronavirus’s discovery in China will dissipate in fits and starts into something that feels more like normal over the course of years, infectious-disease experts say.
“I don’t think there’s going to be a day where the whole thing feels over,” said Joshua Schiffer, an associate professor in the vaccine and infectious disease division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
How quickly an endemic, steady-state arrives and how disruptive the virus remains will depend on what level of disease officials and individuals decide to tolerate, the precautions they are willing to adopt, and how the virus evolves.
“It’s a tug of war between society and the virus,” said Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco...
More at source: WSJ
The Omicron Plan: “Circuit breakers” and other short-term strategies to get us through the next wave.
Are we back to square one? Unlikely. We are seeing an alarming increase in case counts, but I’ve yet to see data suggesting that our vaccines fail to provide protection against severe disease which, fortunately, matches my recent frontline experience. Due to high vaccination rates here in Massachusetts, mostly we’ve been seeing mild cases, with some serious cases among the unvaccinated.
But it’s a very dangerous time. Because many parts of the country remain under-vaccinated, Omicron may stretch hospitals well beyond their limits. That could mean a horror show in some places, especially where hospitals are already full of patients receiving care for “usual” (non-Covid) conditions.
More at source: Inside Medicine
Omicron variant has now been detected in 30 U.S. states, with over 150 confirmed cases.
The Omicron variant is continuing its spread across the U.S., now being confirmed over 150 times in 30 U.S. states.
Over the weekend, five U.S. states - Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Tennessee - joined the growing list of states to detect the variant within its borders.
Texas also took over as the nation's leader in sequenced cases, overtaking New York, with 36 cases sequenced.
In total, 159 cases of Omicron have been confirmed by U.S. health officials, though the total number of cases nationwide is much higher, including 43 cases reported by the CDC on Saturday.
In the wake of this new threat, health officials are urging Americans to receive COVID-19 booster shots, as initial data is showing the new variant has the ability to evade protection provided by the vaccines.
The nation also approaches another dark milestone in the pandemic, as it will likely eclipse 800,000 deaths caused by the virus at some point this week.
An analysis by the New York Times finds that Americans over the age of 65 have been struck especially hard by the virus, with one of every 100 people in the age group succumbing to Covid.
Across the pond, the UK has recorded its first death caused by the strain, as the nation suffers a massive outbreak of the new strain.
The UK leads the world in confirmed cases of the variant, approaching the 5,000 mark on Monday morning.
More at source: Daily Mail ...
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