Texas COVID-19 Surge: How Texas Schools With Mask Mandate Compare With Those Without It
After Texas Governor Gregg Abbot passed executive order GA-38, prohibiting government institutions from enforcing mask-wearing, 102 independent school districts — out of more than 1,200 districts in Texas — defied his order and instructed staff and students to wear masks.
Six out of 10 largest school districts in the state are among those which have made masks mandatory.
In a survey conducted in 20 Central Texas school districts where masks were compulsory, it was found that there were fewer cases of COVID-19. Further investigation was carried out in 10 of the largest school districts in the state to see if there was a link between wearing masks and the number of coronavirus cases, KXAN reported.
Schools With Mask Mandate Fare Better
The analysis found that in six districts where masks were mandatory, there were 1.8% cases among students compared to 3.5% in the four districts where mask-wearing was not compulsory. However, it was found that not all districts where masks were mandatory had a lower rate of infections.
Three districts — Fort Worth ISD, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, and Katy ISD — without mask mandates had a lower number of cases than North East ISD which mandates mask-wearing.
Across 10 large districts, Austin ISD had the lowest number of COVID-19 cases, while Fort Bend ISD had the highest rate of cases. Research shows that wearing masks, indeed, helps in reducing COVID-19 transmission.
The controversy generated by GA-38 and whether districts need to obey the order or defy it has given rise to lawsuits from both sides of the fence. Non-compliance by a government official or entity carries a fine of up to $1,000.
But since the order was enforced, more than a dozen school districts in the state are staring at much more than just fine.
Texas Attorney General’s office has filed lawsuits or is in litigation against 15 school districts in the state for compliance with GA-38.
A letter from the attorney general’s office issued to the rest of the districts not complying with the order states that schools will stop the policy of requiring masks and not enforce it pending the decision of the Supreme Court which is hearing cases in the matter. The letter further states that if the schools don’t comply with the order, legal action will be taken against them.
A large number of lawsuits have also been filed against the order, stating that Governor Abbott’s move is against the Constitution and a danger to the health and safety of the public.
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Prince William and Kate Middleton Appeared as the Prince and Princess of Wales for the First Time
It has been two years since the United Kingdom’s royal family celebrated Christmas publicly. The COVID-19 concerns restricted the royal family members from spending the festive season together. However, this year King Charles III observed Christmas along with his family members addressing holiday services at the Church of St. Mary Magdalene situated in Norfolk.
In the celebrations, Prince William and Kate Middleton were provided with the title of Prince and Princess of Wales by the king. It marked their debut in the holiday service with their new positions. The couple appeared at the Norfolk-based church with their kids- Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. It was also the debut of Prince Louis at the holiday walk of the royal family.
Prince William and Kate Middleton attended their traditional holiday walk-
Prince William and Kate Middleton have returned to the Christmas walk of the royal family after two years but this time with new titles as Prince and Princess of Wales. They appeared at the occasion alongside King Charles III and Queen Camilla. The Prince and Princess were also accompanied by their kids 9-year old Prince George, 7-year-old Princess Charlotte, and 4-year-old Prince Louis.
The event took place at St. Mary Magdalene Church located in Norfolk. The event also marked William and Kate Middleton’s third kid Prince Louis’s first appearance in the royal holiday service. Their other two kids Prince George and Princess Charlotte first attended the occasion in 2019.
The event couldn’t be celebrated in the last two years for the pandemic. Nevertheless, it didn’t lose its essence as the royal family attended it with all smiles. The announcement of the family occasion was made by King Charles and Queen Camilla way before as they wanted to organize the event at the favourite space of the departed Queen Elizabeth.
Prince William debuted at the Christmas outing at the age of five in 1987. On the other hand, Princess Kate Middleton first appeared at the event in 2011 after her marriage. The death of Queen Elizabeth will be a great sadness for the royal family members this festive season.
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The traditional activities at the Royal Christmas outing-
The royal family of the UK has followed the prevailing traditions of the holiday service in their recent Christmas celebrations. Along with that, the family members organized a gag gifts exchange tradition for Christmas. After the Christmas walk at the church, the members had a family lunch at Sandringham. The traditional food items at the lunch are roasted turkey and fruit pudding.
Prince William wore a blue suit with a tie at the event whereas his wife was wearing a long green coat. Princess Charlotte was seen wearing a red coat, on the other hand, Prince George resembled his father wearing a blue suit with a tie. The youngest, Prince Louis wore a navy coat to attend the holiday service.
Post lunch, every member gathered to witness King Charles’ speech on Christmas. Before the Christmas outing, Kate Middleton organized another event at Westminster Abbey on December 15th. It was a concert dedicated to Christmas celebrations that was attended by the family members of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
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Many US Residents Migrated From The High-Tax States During The Pandemic
Rising living costs and increased inflation forced US residents to leave their homes and settle in low-cost areas. The individuals moved to states with low-income tax rates; many decided to shift for professional reasons. Yahoo Money reports that states with high-income tax witnessed a decrease in population in the past several months. Low tax states such as Florida, Texas, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Nevada, and Tennessee have recorded the most significant surge in population recently. Families can adjust their monthly budget in cheap areas and have a broader scope for financial growth.
People Move Because Of Several Factors
Yahoo Money quoted Jared Walczak, vice president of state projects with the Center for State Tax Policy at the Tax Foundation; he said, “People move to states with low-income tax for a multitude of reasons, sometimes it’s the most direct and obvious reason that it reduces the tax liability. Especially now that people have more capacity to move where they want, that will be a higher priority for some. There are also second-order effects, states with lower tax burdens and with more pro-growth and higher economic opportunity- and people will move to seek out those things even beyond their tax burdens.”
Low Tax States Present Higher Financial Security
Several US citizens can now efficiently manage their expenses and enhance their lifestyle after moving to new places. The migration has increased inflation in the low-tax areas. However, the living costs are still meager compared to their home states despite the price rise. Yahoo Money quoted Ramona Cedeno, CPA and founder of FiBrick; she said, “I’m one of the people that’s trying to leave New York City to minimize tax burdens. Just up north of New York in the county of Westchester. New York can also be expensive. Before COVID, we stayed in these high-tax states because there was another reason too. My office was based in New York City, and I had clients in California, which required me to be there physically; now that we can work remotely, you don’t have to see clients all the time. You can live anywhere.”
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California Workers Could Get Up To 2 Weeks Of Paid Time Off If They Or Their Family Members Are Covid Positive
Some respite for workers in California who are battling economic woes during another wave of Omicron Covid surge. California workers could be getting two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from COVID reports abc7.com.
California State had put in place a similar law last year. However, it expired in September after the COVID-19 situation stabilized and the spread of the virus slowed considerably.
Businesses would get up to $6 billion in tax cuts and other assistance
California workers will get up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the coronavirus. In the same way, businesses would get up to $6 billion in tax cuts and other assistance. The above measures are a part of a proposal endorsed on Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s top legislative leaders.
The new law had to be proposed after spreading a more viral and contagious form of the virus, the Omicron variant, which spread like wildfire in California State. Significant donors to Democratic politicians in California, labour unions have pressured state officials to bring the paid sick leave law back.
California Business Groups oppose the latest proposals.
However, the latest move to provide extra sick leave has been opposed by Business Groups as many industries are already struggling to retain workers during the pandemic. Last year businesses could avail themselves of the federal tax credit, which helped provide some relief. However, Tax Credit is not available this year.
However, Newsom and legislative leaders have agreed to end some tax increases on businesses. The taxes were imposed in 2020 when state officials feared that the pandemic could precipitate a significant budget deficit. Instead, state revenues have soared during the pandemic. The taxes were supposed to end at the end of 2022.
However, state officials have decided to end it Newsom, and legislative leaders have agreed to end them one year early. Additionally, more money will be spent on a state grant program for businesses and not charge state taxes on some federal grants. It all adds up to about $6 billion for businesses.
Proposals must have the support of Democrats in California State Chambers.
The proposals were declared by Newsom and the state’s top two legislative leaders: Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on Tuesday. However, Democrats hold large majorities in both chambers, and it would also require their support for the approval of the projects.
The proposal envisages workers getting one week of paid time off if their family members test positive for the virus. The companies will have to provide the coronavirus test and pay for it. Workers who don’t undergo these tests refuse to be tested will be barred from the scheme.
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