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Fully Vaccinated Teacher, Junior Student In Texas Succumb To COVID-19

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As the deadly Delta variant of the coronavirus fast loses steam across the state of Texas, two deaths last week show that it will not vanish without causing more misery.

A fully vaccinated teacher, Eroletta Piascyk, at Christa McAuliffe Learning Center, and Sha’Niyah “Nienie” McGee, a junior student at Berkner High School, succumbed to the disease, officials from the Richardson Independent School District announced Monday, Daily Fort Worth reported.

Teacher Also Received A Booster Shot

According to Fox 4, Eroletta, who was a teacher for over 20 years, was following all health recommendations pertaining to COVID-19 and she even received her third shot, a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

RISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone said the teacher was admitted to the hospital and was expected to recover but her passing away came as a huge shock.

Richardson ISD issued a statement saying both Eroletta and Nienie were cherished members of the RISD family and they will be remembered and missed by their fellow teachers and classmates.

Described as being “kind and respectful”, McGee’s vaccination status isn’t known but she wasn’t attending school for a number of weeks before she passed away. She is the first student in the Dallas area to have died of COVID-19.

The RISD board of education held a meeting on Monday night and held a moment of silence for the two.

Masks Or No Masks

Mask-wearing in U.S. schools

Mask-wearing in U.S. schools. Credit: www.pixabay.com

Following the tragedies, a debate has once again started at Richardson ISD about measures needed to be taken against transmission of COVID-19, especially mask mandate. But parents still haven’t reached a consensus on whether mask mandate is the way forward or not.

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,226 breakthrough COVID-19 deaths were reported in the United States as of Sept. 27. Of the total number of deaths, 44% occurred in females, 86% in people aged 65 and older, and 17% in people who did not show symptoms or whose deaths were not related to COVID-19.

The data also states that more than 16,000 fully vaccinated Americans have been hospitalized with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of now, infection rates across the United States have been going down since mid-September. The country has been reporting an average of 105,054 new COVID-19 infections daily over the past week.

The United States has so far recorded 43,947,979 COVID-19 cases and 705,190 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

 

Covid-19

California Officials Urge State Residents To Get Flu Vaccine

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Californian state public health officials have asked residents to get flu vaccine shots, especially those who belong to the high-risk group of 65-year-olds and above.

Flu season, which starts in October and goes on till May, speeds up in November and December, the Department of Public Health, California, said.

Last year, the flu season’s impact was blunted as measures adopted by the state public health department to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic like wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and washing hands regularly also stopped its spread.

But this year, the danger of both diseases spreading is very likely, according to Dr. Tomas Aragon, California Department of Public Health Director and Public Health Officer, reported Krone4.

“In the middle of Covid-19 pandemic, a severe flu outbreak could have devastating consequences for California,” Dr. Aragon said.

“Getting vaccinated for flu is simple and safe and it will help in keeping people out of hospitals which will turn reduce strain on the public health care system,” he added.

Everyone from six months old and older is recommended to get a flu vaccine and in particular, it is very important for high-risk groups, including the aged and those who smoke or have some underlying health issues, pregnant women, children aged 5 or younger, residents of the long-term care facility and employees and workers in industries.

Public health officials have said that it is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine on the same days.

Flu Vaccine Is Free

Flu vaccines are available free of cost or low cost at almost all retail pharmacies, clinics, healthcare providers, and some health departments.

According to health officials, most insurance, including Medi-Cal, is accepted at Retail Pharmacies.

Flu is an infectious disease caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms include fever, headache, coughing, sore throat, muscle pain, fatigue, and runny nose.

A screenshot of a girl getting her flu vaccine shot.

The symptoms usually appear one to two days after contracting the virus and can last from two to eight days. In children, vomiting and diarrhea can occur, experts say.

Flu can turn into pneumonia and other complications can occur which include acute respiratory distress syndrome, encephalitis, and meningitis. Existing conditions like asthma and cardiovascular disease can get aggravated.

For more information on annual flu, click the following link: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/Influenza.aspx.

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San Francisco, Marin County Relax Indoor Mask Rule

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As most of the Bay Area counties continue to enforce mask wearing to keep COVID-19 at bay, from Friday onwards vaccinated people in San Francisco and Marin County need not wear masks in some indoor settings with Contra Costa County slated to join on Nov. 1.

The rule applies to a gathering of not more than 100 people, who all have received certified vaccinations, and is valid for offices, college classes, religious gatherings, fitness centers, gyms, and employee commuter vehicles. This means that kids under 12 who haven’t got their shots, will have to wear masks.

MX3 Fitness Glenn Shope welcomed the new mask rule.

“It is beneficial as doing high-intensity workout without wearing a mask will become a lot less straining. It also makes task of gym owners and trainers easier who now don’t have to keep asking people to follow mask rule and put masks properly. The new rule also sends out the signal that it is safe to return to gym,” Shope said while talking to The Mercury News.

Masking To Remain In Most Counties

The change comes even as most Bay Area counties haven’t reached the thresholds they laid out last week for people to start discarding their masks in most indoor settings.

Under the criteria, which was agreed to by eight out of the nine county health officers, indoor mask requirement for the vaccinated can only be dropped after a county’s three-week COVID-19 transmission rate reaches the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s yellow “moderate” tier and at least 80% of the population is fully vaccinated. Hospitalization rates must also be low.

Only Marin County is close to meeting the criteria. On Wednesday, it achieved CDC’s moderate transmission rate criteria allowing it to drop the full mask rule in November if the transmission rate remains steady. About 77.4% of the population is fully vaccinated and hospitalizations are low, according to CDC.

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Supply Chain Jams: Avoid California, Bring Your Ships Here, Florida Tells Shipping Companies

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The Florida Ports Council is asking shipping companies to bring their ships to the state via the Panama Canal as ships pile up in California awaiting their turn to unload containers.

To untangle the snarl in California, President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced that Los Angeles port will work 24/7 along with Long Beach port and that UPS and FedEx also increasing their overnight operations. The president had earlier this year formed a Supply Chains Task Force and appointed a Port Envoy to find remedies for the disruption.

Cmdr. Stephen Bor of the U.S. Coast Guard said cargo ships are backed up all along the shore of California waiting for their turn to dock. “There are more ships there than there are parking slots,” Bor was quoted as saying by Local10.com.

Florida Ports Council’s president and chief executive officer, Mike Rubin, said the 7-day voyage through Panama Canal will benefit shipping companies as they wouldn’t have to pay a moorage fee.

The idea is supported by Jonathan Daniels, chief executive, and director of Port Everglades.

Pandemic To Blame

Megan Greene, global chief economist and senior fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, told Local10.com that the supply problem started with factory shutdowns in China during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In U.S. the issue is more to do with labor. There are shortage (sic) of longshore workers and truck drivers who take goods out of containers and transport them into stores and onto shelves,” Greene said.

As COVID-19 eases up, countries have started to reopen their economies which has again kickstarted demand, but companies haven’t been able to keep up. This has also resulted in shipping costs going up and coupled with a shortage of drivers, prices are also skyrocketing, said Greene.

All issues have their roots in the pandemic. When COVID-19 hit, everything was shut down and demand also went down. So, people like workers and drivers lost their jobs. Now, as things are opening up and demand surges, it has become difficult for everyone to cope.

According to Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics chief economist. “It is all because of the pandemic. It has disrupted all markets.”

According to a BBC report, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, known to be the main seaborne gateway to the United States, have been hit hard.

The report said that Los Angeles had to move 30% more shipping containers than usual in August. On the other hand, Long Beach moved an extra 23%.

Citing one instance in September, the report said a record number of 73 ships were forced to queue outside for a berth.

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