Cy-Fair ISD school board approves additional desk shields for second half of semester

With more students returning for the second half of the fall semester, the Cy-Fair ISD board of trustees approved the purchase of additional desk and tabletop protective dividers for protection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After Trustee Tom Jackson asked about the desk shields’ effectiveness, Chief of Staff Teresa Hull said the shields have been approved by Memorial Hermann doctors collaborating with the school district and advising the district on precautionary COVID-19 measures.

“When we started looking at the number of students that we anticipated would be returning to campus, especially the second marking period, we reached out to Memorial Hermann and asked that very question,” Hull said. “They felt very strongly that that absolutely was a layer of protection; when you couple it with the mask, it definitely is helping us minimize the number students that may be identified as a close contact (during contact tracing).”

Previously, Chief Financial Officer Karen Smith said the district is working on recovering funds used on COVID-19 precautions and online learning.

“Because we didn’t have face to face (instruction) in the building there are costs we simply did not incur,” Smith said. “But if you recall we have instructional packets that we delivered. We purchased PPE when we were planning for this before COVID actually hit so bad that the schools were closed.”

Cy-Fair ISD has lost $2.2 million in revenue from food services, $16.1 million is expected to be spent from the general fund for the 2020-2021 school year, $500,000 was spent on personal protective equipment and $5.2 million for social distancing measures and more according to the presentation from Oct. 8.

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No Additional Deaths; 46 New Cases

WASHINGTON, DC — D.C Department of Health confirmed 46 new positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. That’s up from the 38 reported on Monday. This brings the District’s total number of positive cases to date to 16,068.

D.C. Health reported no additional deaths due to COVID-19 on Tuesday. The total number of deaths in the District stands at 637.

According to D.C. Health, 443,081 coronavirus tests have been administered in the District, 233,450 residents have been tested, and 12,583 have been cleared from isolation.

The District currently has 50 intensive care unit beds available out of 345 total intensive care unit beds. There are currently 169 in-use ventilators out of a total of 440 available. Also, there are 25 COVID-19-positive ICU patients.

Get the latest updates on the new coronavirus in D.C. as they happen. Sign up for free news alerts and a newsletter in your Patch town.

Globally, more than 37.9 million people have been infected by COVID-19, and over 1 million people have died, Johns Hopkins University reported Tuesday morning. In the United States, more than 7.7 million people have been infected and over 214,000 people have died from COVID-19.

Total of Positive COVID-19 Cases By Age and Gender

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Total of Positive COVID-19 Cases By Ward

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Total COVID-19 Deaths By Ward

D.C. Health
D.C. Health

Total of Positive COVID-19 Cases By Race

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Total of Positive COVID-19 Deaths By Race

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District residents should take the following actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


This article originally appeared on the Washington DC Patch

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11 New Coronavirus Deaths, 694 Additional Cases In Washington

SEATTLE, WA — State health officials reported 11 additional deaths and 694 new coronavirus cases in Washington on Friday, amid a recent pattern of growth reported both locally and nationally.

Per the latest available information, 88,810 patients have tested positive in the state since the crisis began, and 2,143 people have died from complications linked to COVID-19. At least 3,878 new illnesses have been confirmed in Washington over the last seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s case tracker.

Many of Washington’s counties still show a rate of cases by population higher than the target threshold of 25 cases per 100,000 residents over 14 days. At least 14 of the state’s counties remain in the highest transmission bracket, and seven counties are in the moderate range.

As of Friday, health labs had processed more than 1.9 million tests in Washington since the public health crisis began.

Recent data indicates a surge in coronavirus cases

Coronavirus case counts rose in nearly three dozen states since late August, the Washington Post reported Friday. According to federal data, approximately 40,000 illnesses and 700 deaths are reported across the country each day.

The upward trend is also true in parts of Washington, including in King County, where public health officials said recent spikes should serve as a “wake-up call” heading into the colder months.

“We are entering a very challenging time, both locally and nationally, with respect to COVID,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for King County. “I implore people to step back for a minute, to remember what works and to rededicate themselves to doing everything they can do as individuals — and that we can do as a community — to minimize the potential for a great degree of illness and suffering this fall and winter.”

Following a steady decline in coronavirus activity since late-July, the state’s most populous county has seen a concerning increase both in case counts and testing positive rates in recent weeks. As more people head indoors as the weather cools, Duchin said there is a potential for a “significantly larger outbreak” than previously seen, unless more people change their behavior and fully commit to public health precautions.

Read more: Coronavirus Activity Is Increasing In King County, Officials Warn

State health officials share Halloween health tips, safe alternatives

As the pandemic remains in full swing, Halloween is likely to look a lot different this year. On Friday, the Washington State Department of Health shared a few tips for safe celebrations and a few ways to stay healthy while having fun.

General ways to stay safe during the holiday:

  • Wear a cloth face covering anytime you are with people not from your household, whether indoors or outside.

  • Avoid confined spaces. Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, but if you’re indoors, make sure to have proper ventilation, and even open doors and windows to the extent possible.

  • Avoid close contact with people outside of your household. Stay at least 6 feet away

New coronavirus testing site coming to Elkridge; additional locations announced at churches through October

A new coronavirus testing site in Elkridge will open later this month, Howard County announced this week.

Quality First Urgent Care is opening a drive-thru testing site at the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department, 5700 Rowanberry Drive, according to a county news release.

The site will open Oct. 12 and will be operated from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“As part of the public safety team in Howard County, it is imperative that we support the response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” fire Chief William Anuszewski said in a statement. “The ability to assist with a feasible location for COVID-19 testing without impacting our ability to continue providing quality emergency service is a win-win for the community we serve.”

A doctor’s order will not be required at the site. Appointments can be made ahead of time, but they are not required.

“Opening a testing site in the northern part of the county allows more residents to conveniently obtain testing near them,” Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman said in a statement. “The more people who are tested and are aware of their COVID status, the more effective we can be at controlling the spread of the virus.”

The announcement comes a week after the closing of the COVID-19 testing site at the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program location in Columbia. The VEIP site stopped serving as a testing site in order to allow the emissions location to resume regular operations, according to the county.

Howard County General Hospital also released additional community testing sites for the month of October:

8 a.m. to noon Saturday — First Baptist Church of Guilford, 7504 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia

8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 10 — Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4100 St. John’s Lane, Ellicott City

8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 25 — Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6020 Ten Oaks Road, Clarksville

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 31 — Celebration Church, 7101 Riverwood Drive, Columbia

Advance registration is encouraged at

Other testing sites in Howard County include:

Howard County General Hospital (drive-thru, appointment/doctor’s order required), 5755 Cedar Lane, Columbia: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Quality First Urgent Care (drive-thru), Savage Volunteer Fire Company, 8521 Corridor Road: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Quality First Urgent Care (drive-thru), Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department, 5700 Rowanberry Drive: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, starting Oct. 12

OUCH! Urgent Care, 6020 Meadowridge Center Drive, Suite F, Elkridge: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday

Righttime Medical Care Urgent Care, 6334 Cedar Lane, Columbia: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday

First Call Urgent Care Center/Centennial Medical Group, 10981 Johns Hopkins Road, Laurel: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday

All Care Urgent Care (drive-thru, appointment required), 9396 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to