safe

When is it safe to open schools? States have varying answers

As schools across the U.S. decide whether to reopen this fall, many are left wondering how to know if it’s safe. Public health experts say virus rates in the community should be low, but there’s little agreement on a specific threshold or even a measurement.

The federal government has largely left it to state and local governments to decide when it’s safe to bring students back to the classroom. The result is a patchwork of policies that vary widely by state and county. Minnesota, for example, suggests fully in-person classes if a county’s two-week case rate is no higher than 10 per 10,000 people. In Pennsylvania, it’s considered safe if a county’s positive virus tests average lower than 5% for a week.

The uncertainty has become a source of tension among school leaders who say they are being pressured to reopen without clear guidelines on how to do it safely.

Read More

Trump says open schools. Teachers say not until they’re safe. As cases rise, unions may win.

Chicago teachers piled into hundreds of cars on the first Monday of August and rolled their way to City Hall.

No strangers to large demonstrations, the teachers spent hours protesting Chicago Public Schools’ plan to mix in-school and at-home learning this fall to reduce crowding in buildings amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Staff didn’t feel safe teaching in person, the educators said, especially given rising rates of positive COVID-19 cases in Illinois. The demonstration had hallmarks of the massive strike the Chicago Teachers Union waged 10 months prior during a contract dispute with the city.

As union members murmured about potentially striking again for their safety, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Chicago’s near 400,000 students would start the year online-only on Sept. 8. That means almost all of America’s biggest districts will start the school year with online learning — a move largely driven by local teachers unions.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, joined by Chicago Public Schools CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson, right rear, announce a preliminary reopening framework for public schools during a press conference, Friday, July 17, 2020, at CPS Headquarters in Chicago.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot,
Read More

Is It Safe To Go Boating During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Recreational boating has become a popular activity amid the pandemic. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)
Recreational boating has become a popular activity amid the pandemic. (Photo: Cliff Hawkins via Getty Images)

With traditional summer activities and travel plans largely on hold, people are seeking safe ways to enjoy the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One popular approach is recreational boating. 

It’s not just your Instagram feed suggesting that boat trips are all the rage this summer. The data backs it up.

“We’ve seen a huge surge in boat rentals,” Jackie Baumgarten, founder and CEO of peer-to-peer boat rental marketplace Boatsetter, told HuffPost. “Without increasing our marketing, Boatsetter recorded our highest ever booking numbers for the month of June. Peer-to-peer rentals were up 74% compared to the same time last year.”

She also noted that Boatsetter listings have increased 40% as people seek to offset the coast of boat ownership during the recession. Meanwhile, demand has spread beyond traditional boating markets like Florida and Southern California

Read More

Is it safe to reopen schools during the pandemic?

Is it safe for schools to reopen during the pandemic?

It depends on how widespread COVID-19 infections are in the community and the safety measures the school takes. In areas where the virus is poorly controlled, public health experts say in-person education would be too risky.

In areas where the virus appears to be under control, experts say schools still need to make adjustments to minimize risk when reopening. A sustained decline in cases and a positive case rate of less than 2% are among the signs the virus is under control, some experts say.

But given the many lingering unknowns about the virus, school districts are approaching the school year in a variety of ways.

Evidence suggests young children don’t spread the disease very easily, while kids aged 10 and up may transmit as easily as adults. But experts say more conclusive proof is needed.

And even though children

Read More

Here’s how to stay safe in the water, according to a former lifeguard

According to the CDC, an average of 3,536 people unintentionally drown every year — that’s roughly ten per day.

As a former lifeguard, swim and CPR instructor, I’ve been schooled in the nuances of water safety. Here’s what you need to know to keep your family safe at the lake, beach, and pool this summer.

What does drowning look like?

Unlike what you might see on TV, drowning may not involve screams, thrashing or hand signals. Look for a weak or inefficient kick, attempts to reach for the edge, and neutral or negative buoyancy.

What can you do if you think someone may be drowning? Experts recommend throwing anything that floats to the person. It could be a life jacket, swim noodle, or even an empty cooler with the top closed. 

“This is why ocean lifeguards use rescue buoys and tubes,” explains B. Chris Brewster, Chair of the National Certification

Read More

A safe alternative to school?

“The 360” shows you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.

What’s happening

The debate over whether to reopen schools in the fall centers around the choice between two bad options. Either children attend school in-person and risk catching the virus and infecting those around them or kids, once again, suffer through an extended period of substandard online learning.

Faced with these two choices, some parents are banding together to create an alternative: Small in-home group education settings known as learning pods. Homeschooling is, of course, nothing new. But the realities of the pandemic have pushed more families to consider temporarily taking their kids’ education into their own hands. One Facebook group designed to help parents meet and coordinate with potential pod-mates has gained more than 30,000 members since it was created three weeks ago.

Individual pods can look very different. In some pods, parents split teaching duties

Read More

How to stay safe on vacation during the COVID-19 pandemic

How to stay safe on vacation during the pandemic
How to stay safe on vacation during the pandemic

— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.

Summer is often the time for road trips, beach vacations, and camping getaways. But amid the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, people are understandably hesitant to travel, even as many states start to lift stay-at-home orders. Despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stresses that staying home is the best way to protect both yourself and others from getting sick, more and more people are choosing to get away this season after months in quarantine.

Over the last month, there’s been a surge in rental home reservations, campsite bookings, and even RV rentals. Airbnb says it’s received more bookings from May 17 to June 3 than it did in 2019 while campsites across the country continue to report

Read More

“We Want To Make Sure It’s Safe For Them & For Us”

TAMPA, FL – JULY 16: Middle school teacher Brittany Myers, stands in protest in front of the Hillsborough County Schools District Office on July 16, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Teachers and administrators from Hillsborough County Schools rallied against the reopening of schools due to health and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL – JULY 16: Middle school teacher Brittany Myers, stands in protest in front of the Hillsborough County Schools District Office on July 16, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Teachers and administrators from Hillsborough County Schools rallied against the reopening of schools due to health and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

It’s late July and across the country, tense conversations are taking place between teachers, parents, politicians, and state officials about reopening public schools. Coronavirus cases are spiking across the country, especially in states like Arizona, Florida, Texas, California, and Mississippi, and as reopening plans nevertheless push forward, there’s real fear that it’s only going to get worse. For teachers, this means coming to grips with the reality that they may be forced to re-enter the classroom before case numbers significantly decrease in their cities and states. Some are so scared of this that

Read More

Is it safe to stay in a hotel amid the coronavirus pandemic?

As travelers slowly begin to get back on the road and in the air amid the coronavirus pandemic, they may be wondering if it’s safe to stay in a hotel. 

Hotels have rolled out a slew of cleaning and safety programs, and last week the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), the hotel industry’s major trade group, released a checklist for guests who plan to stay in hotels.

“Utilizing these best practices, including requiring face coverings and practicing social distancing in public spaces, will create an even safer environment for all our guests and employees,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in a statement. “We applaud governors who have standardized the use of face coverings in all indoor public spaces and we urge all lawmakers to help make this a national standard by implementing this requirement in their states.” 

3 nights, 3 hotels: What it’s really like to

Read More

As kids go off to college, what’s safe and unsafe?

No one knows what the new academic year will look like at colleges. <span class="copyright">(Simone Noronha / For The Times)</span>
No one knows what the new academic year will look like at colleges. (Simone Noronha / For The Times)

When civil engineering student Itzel Zapata returned to Cal Poly last month, her mother, Rebecca, sent her to San Luis Obispo prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I packed face masks, gloves and sanitizing wipes,” the Palmdale food services manager said. “We have to be prepared. I’m making sure both my daughters can identify the signs and know to quarantine themselves. I told them, ‘Let’s stay safe, healthy and make sure we stay alive.’”

As coronavirus cases have skyrocketed in California and across the country, Zapata said she is admittedly relieved Itzel is only three hours away and younger daughter Mariah, 18, who missed out on many milestones marking her senior year in high school, will be living at home when her fall classes start at the College of the Canyons in

Read More