COVID-19

COVID-19

COVID-19 Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID-19 infections could peak at 1,650 per day at UNC-Chapel Hill

Planning document written by UNC epidemiologists shows alarming numbers

UNC epidemiologists project there could be 1,400 to 2,900 positive COVID-19 tests within the first 30 days of classes at the Chapel Hill campus, according to a Jan. 4 brief obtained by Policy Watch.

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Congress COVID-19 News Top Story

Biden pick to lead FDA fields questions over pharma ties, abortion pill, COVID tests

With support from Richard Burr, Duke University professor seeks to return to position he held during the Obama years WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration drew praise from a top Senate Republican, as well as critical questions from conservatives and others during a Tuesday confirmation hearing.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

Immunologist: Vaccination against COVID-19 supports a healthy pregnancy by protecting both mother and child

The CDC issued an urgent health advisory for those currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding on Sept. 29, 2021. The statement reiterated the importance of vaccination in preventing severe illness and death resulting from COVID-19. It also highlighted the wide gap in vaccination rates with pregnant people who are less than half as likely to have been vaccinated than a member of the general public.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Amid our fellow citizens’ foolish choices, how do we maintain our empathy?

A distant cousin of mine recently died of COVID-19. We had long ago lost touch when we both moved from our North Dakota hometown, me to Minnesota by way of stops in Florida and Georgia, and she to Texas, where she worked as a teacher, got married and raised a family for more than 30 years.

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COVID-19 Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Increased demand for COVID-19 testing swamps NC pediatricians

The medical team at Goldsboro Pediatrics sees a steady stream of patients from 8 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, their appointment schedules swelled by parents seeking COVID-19 tests for their children.   Slots for the walk-in hour of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. are usually filled by 8:30, said Dr. Teague Horton, a partner in the practice.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing and causing lasting harm to children

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Wake Forest prof: the links between politics, science denial and the pandemic

Vaccine refusal is a major reason COVID-19 infections continue to surge in the U.S. Safe and effective vaccines have been available for months, but as of mid-September 2021, only 65% of eligible American adults are fully vaccinated. In many areas, a majority of eligible adults haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated. In the U.S., polling on intent to get vaccinated shows a massive political divide.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

Cawthorn, conservatives urge Johnston County school board to end mask mandate

With nearly 200 active COVID cases among students and staff, board will revisit mask mandate Monday

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn was more than 300 miles from his congressional district on Tuesday, arriving in Smithfield to ostensibly speak against the school district's mask mandate.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

COVID-19 vaccines or weekly tests to be mandated for millions of U.S. workers

President Biden unveils new plan to speed mass vaccination, strengthen school safety, aid states in need WASHINGTON — More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Sobering test results confirm pandemic’s toll on state’s schoolchildren

State test results show that student learning suffered greatly last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer than half of students – 45.4% – in grades K-12 passed state reading, math and science exams during the 2020-21 school year.  The much-anticipated scores were released this week during the State Board of Education’s regular meeting.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: A treatment for COVID-19…and a giant information gap 

Many North Carolinians who could benefit from a COVID-19 therapy lack information and access Treatment with special proteins called monoclonal antibodies is keeping some COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and is likely saving some lives. But North Carolina has huge information and delivery gaps to fill before many people who might qualify for the therapy know about it and can get it.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC System faculty push for more flexibility as pandemic semester unfolds

Two weeks into in-person instruction at UNC System campuses, faculty members at universities small and large are pushing for more flexibility to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including, in some cases, a temporary shift back to online classes. On Tuesday, Duke University announced new protocols as its campus deals with a spike in infections, largely among vaccinated students. These include giving professors the ability to shift to online-only classes for the next two weeks.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

As new school year gets underway, educators grapple with the COVID mask mandates

Tuesday morning was warm and muggy. Eyeglasses above tightly fitted masks fogged over with each breath.  At Bethesda Elementary School in Durham, students, teachers and staff members all complied with the district’s mandate to wear masks while indoors. It was the first day of classes for thousands of Durham Public Schools students who attend schools operating on a traditional calendar. Most of the state’s 1.5 million students started classes this week. 

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COVID-19 News Top Story

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, now known as ‘Comirnaty’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. has its first fully approved vaccine against COVID-19, with federal health officials announcing Monday the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. The green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move Pfizer’s vaccine from emergency use to full approval is a milestone in the national pandemic response, and one that comes as the country battles another surge in infections and hospitalizations due to the Delta variant.

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