Online Classes Until 2021 For East Aurora Schools Due To Pandemic

AURORA, IL — Students in East Aurora District 131 will be learning from home for the rest of the year after officials again delayed their return to school amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With a “prevailing high number” of coronavirus cases in the Aurora area, district officials are now hoping to implement a hybrid learning plan in January, Superintendent Jennifer Norrell said in a letter to parents.

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The positivity rate in District 131’s main ZIP code, 60505, has often been twice or triple the statewide positivity rate, and almost half of the city’s 5,920 coronavirus cases, as of Sunday, were recorded in the same ZIP code, Norrell said.

District officials will continue to watch coronavirus trends in the area and will “certainly explore an earlier return” if it looks possible, Norrell said.

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“For now, however, we must do our share as a district to limit the spread in our area,” Norrell said.

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Though the delayed return to school is “heartbreaking,” a survey showed 70 percent of East Aurora parents support continuing with remote learning, Norrell said.

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“If there is any consolation, I am very encouraged by our overall student participation in remote learning and the high level of engagement on our learning platforms at each grade level,” Norrell said in the letter to parents. “I am also extremely grateful to our talented teaching staff. Their creativity, flexibility and ability to learn new skills to further integrate technology with instruction have made a difference.”

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District 131 will continue distributing meals at schools and bus stops, and students will be able to pick up supply kits to help them with remote learning during drive-thru events scheduled for Oct. 20-22.


This article originally appeared on the Aurora Patch

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Albany County says spike in COVID-19 cases likely tied to schools

ALBANY — Another county resident died from the coronavirus and the county is experiencing an increase in cases likely tied to the resumption of school, Albany County officials said Friday.

The victim, a man in his 70s with underlying health issues, is the county’s 135th known death from COVID-19. He was the 346th confirmed victim in the eight-county Capital Region.

At a morning briefing with reporters, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said the percentage of new cases tied to outbreaks at the University at Albany are dropping but county officials warned they were seeing a slight increase in cases potentially tied to cases that have emerged since local school districts opened their doors in September..

On Sept. 17, 84 percent of the county’s new daily diagnoses were tied to the college. The following week, it dropped to 61 percent and it stood at just over 13 percent on Thursday, he said.

The surge in local coronavirus cases in August and early September was tied to social gathering among college students, a factor in the state’s decision to implement caseload limits that could ultimately lead to an end to in-person classes at the university. SUNY Oneonta took that step after a large outbreak at the very beginning of the fall semester.

“The students had to learn, right?,” McCoy said of the UAlbany situation. “Students came, got a little freedom and some of them didn’t do the right thing so that number went up. Now, I think they’re getting it.”

Still, County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen said the county is starting to see “a little bit” of an uptick in cases. There were 28 new cases of the virus overnight, bringing the county’s five-day average of new daily cases to 14.8. That number was 8.4 at the start of September.

The uptick is likely tied to the resumption of school. At least 15 school districts in the eight-county area have announced positive cases since in-person learning began again this fall. Seven of them have suspended in-person learning to allow for tracing, testing and cleaning.

Additionally, on Tuesday, the county warned that it had seen a 12.5 percent increase in positive cases among 10- to 19-year-olds over the past week, compared to a 5.1 percent increase in 20- to 29-year-olds — who fueled much of the county’s cases over the summer.

“There was a concern that there would be a second surge of COVID in the fall,” Whalen said. “I don’t know whether what we’re seeing is constituting a surge but it is constituting a caution. So it’s important for people to know that COVID is still out there, there is still transmission in Albany County and people are still at risk.”

Earlier: An Albany elementary’s pre-k moves online after COVID-19 diagnosis

Third student tests positive for COVID-19 in East Greenbush

Hadley-Luzerne schools go all-virtual after sixth COVID-19 case

Queensbury closes two schools amid coronavirus cases

A number of test sites throughout the region offer testing for children, McCoy said. The state Department

Danbury Public Schools To Reopen With Hybrid Model

DANBURY, CT — The city’s public schools will be reopening to a hybrid in-person learning model beginning Oct. 26 for all grades K-12. Preschool is expected to return the following week.

The announcement came in a letter to parents from Superintendent Sal Pascarella on Oct. 2.

A review of the data by the district’s senior administration and medical team showed continued community spread of COVID-19, but a trending down of the numbers since the outbreak’s peak beginning Aug. 21, according to Pascarella.

The public schools pivoted from their original reopening plan in August, after a significant increase in coronavirus cases prompted the State Department of Public Health to issue a COVID-19 advisory for the city. The infection rate in Danbury was 7 percent at the time of the advisory; it now hovers around 5 percent.

All busses will be operating according to all applicable federal, state, local guidelines, Pascarella said. Students are required to wear a mask for the duration of their ride to school, and must be wearing a mask to board the bus.

The district and medical team will continue to monitor the ongoing community spread of COVID-19 and will advise if adjustments to our learning model is necessary, Pascarella said in the letter.

This article originally appeared on the Danbury Patch

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Quebec sees most new infections since early May, with 126 in schools; Manitoba reports record-high for active cases

On Thursday, Oct. 1, Quebec reported 933 new cases of COVID-19, the most in a 24-hour stretch since early May.

The update by Canada’s worst-hit province also included 126 new cases in schools that were identified among students and staff. Meanwhile in Ontario, 64 new infections in K-12 schools were reported, as its total province-wide case count increased by 538, which is part of a worrisome trend for the nation’s most populous jurisdiction.

In Manitoba, the province once again hit a new record-high for active cases, as those in its epicentre express their concern about long wait-times for testing. In Alberta, there are now 11 schools that have seen likely transmission within the learning facility. However, health officials are reminding the public that it’s a low percentage considering how many schools have had cases since they opened a month ago.

For more on Thursday’s top stories, and on how the novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country, please refer to our live updates below, as well as our COVID-19 news hub and our live blog on the latest updates across Canada.

14,866 active COVID-19 cases in Canada: 160,535 diagnoses, 9,319 deaths and 136,350 recoveries (as of Oct. 1, 6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Alberta – 1,596 active cases (18,235 total cases, including 269 deaths, 16,370 resolved)

  • British Columbia – 1,261 active cases (9,220 total cases, 235 deaths, 7,695 resolved)

  • Manitoba – 621 active cases (2,029 total cases, 20 deaths, 1,388 resolved)

  • New Brunswick – 6 active cases (200 cases, 2 deaths, 192 resolved)

  • Newfoundland and Labrador – 3 active case (275 total cases, 3 deaths, 269 resolved)

  • Northwest Territories – 0 active cases (5 total cases, 5 resolved)

  • Nova Scotia – 2 active cases (1,088 total cases, 65 deaths 1,021 resolved)

  • Ontario – 4,975 active cases (52,248 total cases, 2,851 deaths, 44,422 resolved)

  • Prince Edward Island – 2 active case (59 total cases, 57 resolved)

  • Quebec –  6,227 active cases (75,221 total cases, 5,850 deaths, 63,144 resolved)

  • Saskatchewan – 144 active cases (1,927 total cases, 24 deaths, 1,759 resolved)

  • Yukon – 0 active cases (15 total cases, 15 resolved)

  • Nunavut – 0 active cases (7 presumptive positive cases)

  • CFB Trenton – 0 active cases (13 total cases, 13 resolved)

Quebec reports largest spike since early May, 126 new cases in schools

Quebec reported 933 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the most in a 24-hour stretch since May 2, when 1,109 cases were identified. 

On May 3, the province did announce 2,209 cases, but that was in part due to a data error that missed 1,317 positive cases in April. 

This latest update marks the seventh straight day that the province has recorded at least 600 cases. Before the recent stretch, it had not hit that mark since May 26. Since then, it has also experienced multiple stretches where the province consistently reported fewer than 100 daily cases as it contained the spread of COVID-19.

Of the latest 933 cases, 319 were identified in Montreal, 128 in Quebec City,

Coronavirus Infection Rate Among Children Surges as Schools Reopen | Health News

The number of children infected with the coronavirus rose dramatically between April and September, according to new research by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, and by more than 14% in the last two weeks alone – a surge that coincides with schools reopening across the country.

“These rising numbers concern us greatly, as the children’s cases reflect the increasing virus spread in our communities,” Sally Goza, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement. “While children generally don’t get as sick with the coronavirus as adults, they are not immune and there is much to learn about how easily they can transmit it to others.”

Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted

TOPSHOT - A passenger in an outfit (R) poses for a picture as a security guard wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus stands nearby on a last century-style boat, featuring a theatrical drama set between the 1920s and 1930s in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Drawing on data from state health departments, researchers analyzed trends over five months in reported COVID-19 cases and found that the number of children infected rose from 2.2% of all cumulative reported cases nationwide in April to 10% of all cases in September.

Notably, in the last eight weeks, children represented between 12% and 16% of newly reported cases each week, according to the study. In the two-week span of Sept. 10 to Sept. 24, more than 75,000 new child cases were reported – a 14% increase in child cases over two weeks.

As of Sept. 24, officials reported 624,890 cases of COVID-19 in children, which represents 10.5% of all cases.

The new figures come on the heels of reporting by the New York Times that found top White House officials pressured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to play down the risk of sending children back to school and pushed public health experts there to use alternate data showing that the pandemic posed little danger to children.

Hospitalizations and serious infections among children are still rare, despite the surge in cases: As of Sept. 10, children represented 1.7% of total hospitalizations and 0.07% of total deaths. Just 0.01% of child cases resulted in death.

The study found substantial variation in case growth by region: In April, a preponderance of cases were in the Northeast. In June, cases surged in the South and West, followed by mid-July increases in the Midwest.

Researchers underscored that the data is limited because states differ in how they report it, and it is unknown how many children have been infected but not tested. In addition, they said, it’s unclear how much of the increase in cases among children is due to increased testing capacity – though CDC data from public and commercial labs shows the share of all tests administered to children, about 5% to 7%, has remained stable since late April.

“We will continue to closely monitor children’s cases, with hopes of seeing the upward trend turn around,” Goza said. “We encourage parents to call their pediatricians and get their children into the office for well visits and vaccinations, especially now that some schools are reopening and flu season has arrived.”

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New York City Schools Hit Last Step for Reopening Thursday

Students in hundreds of New York City middle and high schools start in-person classes Thursday, as the system gears up for its first effort at random testing for the new coronavirus.

In the third—and if all goes well—final phase of school reopenings for the nation’s largest district, roughly 1,600 traditional public schools will be open Thursday. On Tuesday, about 870 schools welcomed children in elementary grades, including schools serving children in kindergarten through fifth grade and K-8. Preschool and some special-education students returned to school last week.

“A really extraordinary number of schools will be open and ready to serve, and they’re doing it the right way,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press briefing Wednesday. He said virus testing in schools will start next week.

The mayor has pushed to be one of the few major districts nationwide to offer in-person classes, despite resistance from many teachers and parents concerned that gathering large numbers of people in aging buildings might spread the coronavirus.

An Edward R. Murrow High School student attended remotely from Brooklyn, N.Y., Sept. 21.


caitlin ochs/Reuters

About half of the district’s one million students have chosen to study online full time, by city data. Many teachers have gotten permission to teach from home because they have medical conditions or live with someone who does.

The mayor has said schools will close if the share of people tested in New York City who are positive for Covid-19 hits 3% on a seven-day rolling average, and his administration was boosting testing and enforcement of mask wearing and other safety rules in areas seeing increases.

The daily share of people tested in New York City who were positive for Covid-19 hit 3.25% for the first time since June, Mr. de Blasio said Tuesday, just as most public schools began reopening. Despite the uptick, on Wednesday the mayor reported a positivity rate of 1.46% on a seven-day rolling average.

The in-school testing is a result of a deal the city negotiated in September with the teachers union to avert a strike vote. As part of a reopening deal with the union, City Hall promised random monthly testing of 10% to 20% of students and staff showing up in person at each school.

School staff members wore protective masks as they waited for students to arrive for in-person classes at Public School 188 Tuesday.


John Minchillo/Associated Press

In correspondence with families, the city described its virus-surveillance program as free, quick and painless.

The city Department of Education asked parents this week to sign consent forms for testing. It said consent isn’t mandatory, but students who don’t have consent forms on file might be required to learn remotely if a school has too few permissions.


Get a coronavirus briefing six days a week, and a weekly Health newsletter once the crisis abates: Sign up here.

City officials said the test isn’t a long swab, but a short, small one that only goes in the nostril. “We are

West Orange-Cove schools to require virtual learning students with failing grades, too many absences to return to campus

The West Orange-Cove Consolidated Independent School District amended its virtual learning policy, and the changes may force dozens of students to return to campus. 

West Orange-Cove CCISD changes virtual learning criteria



It’s a move that isn’t sitting well with some parents as they weigh the dangers of face to face learning during a pandemic. 

The policy has sparked outrage among some students and parents of WOCCISD, and many feel like they’re having to choose between health and an education. 

Virtual learning has become a way of life during the pandemic. The prospect of it not being available concerns parent Ryan Melancon. 

“This decision doesn’t just affect money, it doesn’t just affect kids’ education, it affects the lives of parents and the grandparents these students will come and contact with,” Melancon said. 

RELATED: State health department takes down COVID-19 school tracker after reports of errors

He has two children in WOCCISD. The district recently announced that students who aren’t passing and who have more than 5 absences can no longer participate in virtual learning. 

A district spokesperson said a number of students simply aren’t showing up and aren’t completing coursework, which led to the change in policy. 

Rayne Keith, Melancon’s daughter, said her biggest concern is potentially bringing the virus home. 

“My dad could die and I just don’t want that to happen so I take it very seriously and there are a bunch of parents that their parents could die from COVID and the school just doesn’t seem to care,” Keith said. 

She feels that the school should handle things differently. 

“The school has made a situation that they could have managed a lot worse,” Keith said.

WOCCISD will allow a few exceptions. Some of those who are passing classes, have health conditions, or have been exposed to the virus will be exempt. Melancon said it’s not enough, and is willing to do whatever it takes to protect his kids. 

“If I have to pull them from the district I will. They will not be going back. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when they will catch COVID at these schools,” Melancon said. 

Students who meet the criteria that the district has set are expected to return to campus on Monday, October 5. For anyone with concerns about the policy, you’re encouraged to contact the district. 

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Paris Hilton calls for Utah boarding school’s closure following her abuse allegations, starts petition

Paris Hilton is calling for the Provo Canyon School (PCS) — where the socialite alleges she was abused while she was enrolled as a teen — to be shut down.

The former “Simple Life” star shared never-before-heard details of what she allegedly endured in her new documentary “This is Paris,” as well as in an interview with People magazine last month. Hilton claimed she was traumatized daily at the Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she was enrolled for 11 months at age 17.

Provo Canyon School previously responded to People magazine’s original report, telling Fox News in a statement at the time: “Originally opened in 1971, Provo Canyon School was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time.”

Provo Canyon School did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request seeking additional comment.


Now, the hotel heiress and pop culture phenomenon is calling for the facility to be shut down in a new video shared on her YouTube Channel on Monday.

“I was abused at Provo Canyon School,” Hilton, dressed in a sharp white blazer, claimed in the video, which is titled: “SHUT DOWN PROVO CANYON SCHOOL.”

Paris Hilton previously alleged she was traumatized daily at the Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she was enrolled for 11 months at age 17. The boarding school has said that it was 'originally opened in 1971' and 'was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time.' (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

Paris Hilton previously alleged she was traumatized daily at the Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she was enrolled for 11 months at age 17. The boarding school has said that it was ‘originally opened in 1971’ and ‘was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on the operations or patient experience prior to this time.’ (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)

Below the video, Hilton alleges that “Provo took away my childhood among thousands of other survivors, as early as 9 years old.” She added that “while this movement is so personal to me, it is much bigger than just my experience.”

The 39-year-old further maintained in the clip that she plans to “put all my effort into reforming the industry.”


In addition, Hilton plugged a petition, which had over 40,000 signatures at the time of publishing. She has been pushing for reform on her Twitter account as well.

“This Is Paris,” a recent documentary centered on Hilton’s upbringing and wild teenage years which aired on YouTube earlier this month, put the Utah school on notice and shed light on the #BreakingCodeSilence initiative Hilton and her former Provo classmates launched to expose the industry.

Paris Hilton. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

Paris Hilton. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

A memorandum has since been placed on the boarding school’s website just below the masthead, referencing the Hilton’s documentary.


“We are aware of a new documentary referencing Provo Canyon School (PCS),” the note reads. “Please note that PCS was sold by its previous ownership in August 2000. We therefore cannot comment on

Rapid coronavirus tests to go to nursing homes, schools


Florida has 704,568 cases with 14,313 deaths; Palm Beach County has 46,485 cases with 1,371 deaths.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks July 11 during a COVID-19 press conference at Blake Medical Center in Bradenton. (Photo: HERALD-TRIBUNE STAFF PHOTO / THOMAS BENDER)

Seniors and school children will be the beneficiaries of more than 6.4 million rapid-result coronavirus tests that will soon be arriving in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a press conference Tuesday.

In a development the state’s emergency manager heralded as “a game-changer” in the fight against the deadly virus, the federal government has begun delivering the tests to the state’s roughly 4,000 long-term care facilities, DeSantis said.

On top of that, the state by Friday will get its first shipment of 400,000 of the antigen tests. They are similar to pregnancy tests and can deliver results in about 15 minutes.

More: Coronavirus Florida: Latest charts and case counts

With nursing homes being taken care of by the federal government, DeSantis said he plans to send the state’s share of the tests to senior centers, large retirement communities and schools.

Keith Myers, president and CEO of Morselife Health System, said the West Palm Beach nursing home and assisted living center already received 200 of the test kits and expects another 200 will arrive soon so he can test his entire staff.

“This is like a gift,” he said, “It’s made it a much easier process and you don’t have to wait 48 hours for the results.” 

The only rub for some in line to get the tests is that under current guidelines they have to be administered by a nurse. DeSantis said he’s hoping to get a waiver from federal health officials so the tests can be given by other trained personnel.

“Quite frankly, this isn’t a good use of a nurse’s time,” DeSantis said, holding up one of the credit-card-sized tests that can fit into a pocket.

The Palm Beach County Health Care District, which provides nurses at 167 public schools in the county, said they have been preparing since June for the release of the rapid tests.

School nurses are being trained to administer them, said Robin Kish, spokeswoman for the tax-funded district.

The announcement of the looming arrival of millions of rapid-result tests came as the Florida Health Department reported that the number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths spiked again after a two-day drop that often occurs over the weekend.

More: Coronavirus: What happens if your child gets sick? School nurses face Herculean task

Statewide, an additional 3,266 people were diagnosed with the highly contagious respiratory disease, bringing the state’s total case count to 704,568.

An additional 106 deaths were reported, pushing the state’s death toll to 14,313. Late Monday, the number of deaths worldwide passed the 1 million mark, according to a coronavirus tracker operated by Johns Hopkins University.

Palm Beach County notched an additional 175 cases and seven deaths of people ranging in age from 70 to 94. That means 46,485 people

Florida schools reopened en masse; feared COVID surge hasn’t followed


The U.S. has reached 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus. Now experts are looking ahead, and the forecast for the fall and winter isn’t good.


Many teachers and families feared a spike in COVID-19 cases when Florida made the controversial push to reopen schools in August with in-person instruction.

A USA TODAY analysis shows the state’s positive case count among kids ages 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July. Among the counties seeing surges in overall cases, it’s college-age adults – not schoolchildren – driving the trend, the analysis found.

The early results in Florida show the success of rigorous mask wearing, social distancing, isolating contacts and quick contact tracing when necessary, health experts said.

“Many of the schools that have been able to successfully open have also been implementing control measures that are an important part of managing spread in these schools,” said Dr. Nathaniel Beers, who serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on School Health.

Although things went well early, the experts cautioned that schools could still be the source of future problems. They warned against reading the data as a reason to reopen all schools or abandon safety measures.

Hundreds of students and staffers contracted the novel coronavirus despite the precautionary measures. The Florida Department of Health published a report last month showing 559 COVID-19 cases related to elementary, middle and high schools logged from Aug. 10 to 23. State health officials quickly retracted the report, saying it was a draft and “inadvertently made available.” 

Despite the bright spots in the data showing school-age cases declining from their summertime peak, there was one troubling trend: The rate of decline slowed in many places after schools reopened. 

That might mean cases have plateaued and schools have not fueled new, large outbreaks. Or it might mean those counties are at the bottom of a U and could soon turn upward again.

“It’s one of those things where it’s not a problem until there is a problem,” said Dr. Katherine Auger, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine who studied the lives saved by spring school closures.

All eyes on Florida

Health researchers and educational experts watch Florida for cues about what works to keep students, staff and the broader community safe amid a pandemic.

Most of the largest school districts around the country – including those in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas – reopened with virtual learning plans. Florida mandated that public schools offer face-to-face instruction and that campuses reopen no later than Aug. 31, a decision that drew an unsuccessful lawsuit from the state teachers union.

More than half of Florida families returned their children to school in-person, state education officials said. The rest chose remote learning.

As weeks ticked by and a surge of school-linked cases did not materialize, requests to return remote learners to the classroom have surged in some places.

In Martin County, along the