New Mexico Governor: Revised Emergency Public Health Order; Preparation For Limited Re-entry To In-person Learning

first_imgGov. Michelle Lujan Grisham during a press conference this afternoon outlining a new emergency public health order and preparation for a limited re-entry to in-person learning next month. Screenshot/LADP  STATE News:SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health and education officials this afternoon provided a public update on the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, outlining a new emergency public health order and New Mexico’s preparation for a limited re-entry to in-person learning next month.MODELINGNew Mexico’s gating criteria – a measurement of the public health data reflecting the incidence and spread of COVID-19 – show the state has seen success in suppressing the virus while also maintaining essential virus-response and health care resources over the course of the late summer. Although the overall COVID-19 infections in the 20-29 and 30-39 age groups remain higher than other age ranges, the state’s decreasing and steadying test positivity rate, average case counts and hospitalizations reflect increased adherence to important COVID-safe behaviors like consistent mask-wearing and avoiding groups and extended periods of contact with others, said Human Services Secretary David Scrase, M.D. The secretary again issued words of caution about the devastating potential health effects of the virus and the imperative to maintain safe behavior. “COVID-19 can cause very, very serious illness in people of all ages, and we’ve got to take that seriously in all aspects of our lives,” Scrase said.PUBLIC HEALTH ORDERPursuant to the state’s sustained progress on suppressing the spread of the virus in recent weeks, New Mexico will permit certain relaxations of occupancy restrictions while maintaining the essential public health framework for mitigating and responding to the incidence and spread of COVID-19.The state’s revised emergency public health order is effective Saturday, Aug. 29 and incorporates the following adjustments:Houses of worship may operate at 40 percent of maximum occupancy of any enclosed building, an increase from 25 percent, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Houses of worship may, as before, conduct services outdoors or provide services through audiovisual means.Food and drink establishments (including restaurants, breweries, wineries, distillers, cafes, coffee shops or other similar establishments) may provide indoor dining service at 25 percent of maximum occupancy, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Food and drink establishments may continue to provide physically-distant outdoor dining options, carryout and delivery services, in accordance with COVID-Safe Practices. Tables – inside or outside – must be spaced at least six feet apart, and no more than six patrons are permitted at a single table.While museums with interactive and/or immersive displays, categorized as “close-contact recreational facilities,” must remain closed, museums with static displays may operate at 25 percent capacity. Mass gatherings of more than 10 individuals are prohibited.The order is effective through Sept. 18. A signed version of the document will be disseminated Friday, Aug. 28. “New Mexicans ought to be very proud of the progress we’ve made all together, but we’ve got to remember progress in our fight against this virus does not mean we can let our guard down,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “A sense of complacency will once again elevate the dire potential health risks for New Mexico families, neighbors and communities. We will continue to do everything we can as a state to mitigate the spread of the virus and address the awful economic consequences of this pandemic. “The virus is looking for opportunities to spread. We must continue to do everything we can to mitigate and eliminate those opportunities. We know the path to continued success by now: Wearing masks, avoiding groups, keeping physical distance and regularly washing our hands. At the end of the day, I can’t make New Mexicans stick to these safeguards. We’ve all got to make those decisions ourselves every day – and remember that our actions impact our friends, our families, workers and businesses in our communities and our entire state. More and more of us have been making those right decisions. Let’s keep it up.”PUBLIC SCHOOLSPublic Education Secretary Ryan Stewart provided an update this afternoon as the agency works alongside school districts and charter schools statewide to ensure comprehensive COVID-19 safety and response protocols are established before any district or charter can be approved to begin limited in-person learning for K-5 age groups after Labor Day.The Public Education Department has set requirements for re-entry to a “hybrid” model of in-person and remote learning – meaning rotating cohorts of students could potentially attend in-person classes in small groups after Labor Day upon approval from the PED. Those requirements include that the state meet its gating criteria; that the school’s county meet gating criteria for the rate of new daily COVID-19 cases and test positivity; and that the Public Education Department approve the district or charter school’s individual re-entry plan, which must include COVID-Safe Practices for students and educators as well as provisions of personal protective equipment, cleaning procedures and rapid response procedures in the event of a positive COVID-19 case. The Public Education Department has been receiving and reviewing re-entry proposals from districts across the state in anticipation of a possible shift to permissible limited in-person learning after Labor Day. At least 24 school districts and charter schools statewide, including Albuquerque Public Schools, have notified the Public Education Department that they plan to continue in an exclusively remote learning environment for at least the near-term future. In the interim before Labor Day, in addition to outreach to local leaders and superintendents, the Public Education Department will continue to review re-entry proposals before formally approving districts seeking to begin classes for the K-5 age groups in a hybrid model (middle school and high school age groups would follow in a similar fashion if and when health conditions warrant). The agency will provide additional training for districts to ensure all schools are fully prepared to engage in any prospective rapid responses; and will finalize cleaning and sanitation protocols for districts and establish and refine enforcement and inspection protocols with the New Mexico Department of Health and other state agencies. PED will launch an anonymous portal where violations of COVID-Safe Practices can be reported.“Our work has been to coordinate closely with school districts and local leaders to make sure we have strict and effective protocols to prevent positive cases and to make sure we can quickly respond to any positive cases that do occur,” Stewart said. “We have been preparing extensively and I’m confident we will execute. I’ve visited school districts and with educators and local stakeholders. We are all one community and our unequivocal priority – the safety and welfare of our children and school communities – is shared. We must also, to that end, ensure personal protective equipment is available. School districts across the state have already purchased more than 3.5 million masks, and PED and DHSEM will distribute another 700,000 in the next two weeks. “This is all in service of making it possible for districts to make the case for an in-person learning environment this fall,” he added. “Of course, the virus has radically altered our lives, and that includes our public education system, and it’s an enormous strain on families, educators and children. We’ve got to step up to provide the best and safest circumstance for them. Our focus has been and will continue to be that we effectively deliver high-quality education to our kids during this pandemic with the health-first imperative that in-person learning can only happen if and when every single precaution for students, families and school communities is in place.”last_img read more

Scientists leave labs, take to streets to defend research

first_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. SHARE WASHINGTON (AP) Scientists worldwide left their labs to take to the streets Saturday along with students and reseAsAarch advocates in pushing back against what they say are mounting attacks on science.The March for Science, coinciding with Earth Day, was set for more than 500 cities, anchored in Washington and to be joined by dozens of nonpartisan scientific professional societies in a turnout intended to combine political and how-to science demonstrations.Marchers in Geneva carried signs that said, “Science – A Candle in the Dark” and “Science is the Answer.” In Berlin, several thousand people participated in a march from the one of the city’s universities to the Brandenburg Gate landmark. “We need to make more of our decision based on facts again and less on emotions,” said Meike Weltin, a doctorate student at an environmental institute near the capital.In London, physicists, astronomers, biologists and celebrities gathered for a march past the city’s most celebrated research institutions. Supporters carried signs showing images of a double helix and chemical symbols.The protest was putting scientists, who generally shy away from advocacy and whose work depends on objective experimentation, into a more public position.Organizers portrayed the march as political but not partisan, promoting the understanding of science as well as defending it from various attacks, including proposed U.S. government budget cuts under President Donald Trump, such as a 20 percent slice of the National Institute of Health.Signs and banners readied for the Washington rally reflected anger, humor and obscure scientific references, such as a 7-year-old’s “No Taxation Without Taxonomy.” Taxonomy is the science of classifying animals, plants and other organisms.The sign that 9-year-old Sam Klimas held was red, handmade and personal: “Science saved my life.” He had a form of brain cancer and has been healthy for eight years now. His mother, grandmother and brother traveled with him from Parkersburg, West Virginia. “I have to do everything I can to oppose the policies of this administration,” said his grandmother, Susan Sharp.Scientists involved in the march said they were anxious about political and public rejection of established science such as climate change and the safety of vaccine immunizations.“Scientists find it appalling that evidence has been crowded out by ideological assertions,” said Rush Holt, a former physicist and Democratic congressman who runs the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “It is not just about Donald Trump, but there is also no question that marchers are saying ‘when the shoe fits.”Judy Twigg, a public health professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, was aiming one of her signs at the president. The sign showed the periodic table of chemical elements and said: “You’re out of your element Donny (Trump).” For Twigg, who was wearing a T-shirt that said “Science is not a liberal conspiracy,” research is a matter of life and death on issues such as polio and child mortality.Despite saying the march was not partisan, Holt acknowledged it was only dreamed up at the Women’s March on Washington, a day after Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.“It’s not about the current administration. The truth is we should have been marching for science 30 years ago, 20 years, 10 years ago,” said co-organizer and public health researcher Caroline Weinberg. “The current (political) situation took us from kind of ignoring science to blatantly attacking it. And that seems to be galvanizing people in a way it never has before. … It’s just sort of relentless attacks on science.”“The scientific method was developed to be nonpartisan and objective,” Weinberg said. “It should be embraced by both parties.”Christine McEntee, executive director of the American Geophysical Union, a global professional organization of earth and space scientists, cited concerns by scientists and threats to research as a result of elections in the U.S. and other countries.Threats to science are heightened in Turkey and elsewhere in Europe, said McEntee, who planned to march with geophysical scientists in Vienna, Austria.Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, who exposed the dangerous lead levels in the drinking water and children’s blood in Flint, Michigan, planned to march in Washington and speak to the crowd.“It’s risky, but that’s when we make advancements when we take risks … for our heart rates to go up, to be a little anxious and scared and uncomfortable,” she said before the event. Author: Associated Press center_img Published: April 22, 2017 8:22 AM EDT Updated: April 22, 2017 12:44 PM EDT Scientists leave labs, take to streets to defend research last_img read more

Sidetrack

first_imgCAPTION: To raise between A$700m and A$1bn for refurbishing run-down parts of the rail network in New South Wales, State Transport Minister Michael Costa, who also holds the Forestry portfolio, has persuaded his government colleagues to sell off state-owned forestry reserves. Around 230000ha stretching from Lithgow and Oberon to the west of Sydney as far as Tumut and Adelong in the south will be sold to the private sector. The state Treasury is already negotiating with at least one bidder, believed to be an overseas pension fund. Dieter feels that the railways might be able to earn further profits when the time comes to harvest the timberlast_img

Double track to Chittagong

first_imgBANGLADESH: The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese contractors to regauge and double-track the Dhaka – Chittagong main line via Akhaura and Comilla.According to Railways Minister M Mazibul Hoque, the work is to be undertaken by China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group, which last year was awarded the contract to develop the Padma bridge rail link. The upgrading is expected to be completed by the end of 2019, at an estimated cost of 3·1bn taka, of which approximately 2·5bn taka is to be provided by China under a project assistance agreement.At present the Bangladesh Railways network east of the capital is entirely 1 000 mm gauge, although 1 676 mm gauge and dual-gauge routes have been developed to connect with the broad gauge network in the west of the country. However, a broad-gauge cross-border link between Agartala and Akhaura is being developed under a co-operation accord with Indian Railways. Work is expected to start in August on a 100 km dual-gauge extension running south from Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar, which is being partially funded by the Asian Development Bank.The minister confirmed that proposals for upgrading the Dhaka – Chittagong main line had been approved by the Ministry of Planning following discussions with the Ministry of Railways Ministry last year, while the Economic Relations Division had recommended implementation of the project using Chinese government finance.last_img read more

State Championship Preview: St. Ignatius vs. University School

first_imgThe Ohio High School Athletic Association State Championship faces off Saturday afternoon at Nationwide Arena, as the two best hockey teams in the Buckeye State, St. Ignatius and University School play for the title.The puck drops at 2 PM.This championship is a little different from usual, as both programs represent the Greater Cleveland Area. Ignatius represents the West. University School represents the far eastside.The two teams both played in the Great Lakes Hockey League, (GLHL) meeting twice in the 2015-2016 regular season and then squared off in the Cleveland Cup Final. Ignatius won all three times.Ignatius won the first meeting 3-1, the second meeting 4-0, and the Cleveland Cup Championship Game 5-3.St. Ignatius went undefeated in nine games against conference opponents and is 37-2-1 overall. They have won 25 straight games.University School finished third in the GLHL, going 7-3 in conference play, and owns an overall record of 26-11-2.Both teams are coming off of exciting Semi-Final matchups on Thursday night in Day 1 of the Frozen Four in Columbus.University School won a double overtime thriller 3-2, thanks to a game-winning goal from Robbie Engoglia.The other Semi-Final matchup between St. Ignatius and Toledo St. Francis de Sales was not as close of a game, but was every bit as exciting.The Wildcats stunned St. Francis de Sales, scoring two early goals back-to-back in the first period, and would go on to win 5-1.Both of these schools are rich in hockey history.The University School Preppers have won two State Championships in school history, their first title coming in 2003, and their most recent championship in 2009.Ignatius has won three State Championships in school history, most recently having to share a title in the 2014 Title Game against Sylvania Northview, which was declared a tie after seven overtimes. It was the longest game in state hockey history.Prior to that, the Wildcats won the State Championship in 2000 and 2010.Wildcats Head Coach Pat O’Rourke told reporters following the State Semi-Final win over Toledo St. Francis de Sales that having to share the 2014 title still eats at him and it has been motivation ever since.Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s Final, Northeast Ohio has two great teams to be proud of and one of these teams will come home from Columbus a champion.I’ll be live at the game from Nationwide Arena, so keep up with all the action by following @NEOSportsInside on Twitter. Related Topics Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio.Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games.center_img Matt Medleylast_img read more