Coronavirus update: Schools unlikely to bring back masks

Photo (c) Jena Ardell - Getty Images

China’s recent outbreak will likely continue to affect U.S. consumers

COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

firmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 80,269,527 (80,251,517)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 984,573 (983,869)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 496,455,668 (495,296,881)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,171,601 (6,167,708)‌

Few schools consider return of mask mandates

Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in some parts of the country, but schools in those areas have shown no signs of reimposing mask mandates. The Wall Street Journal reports that school officials are counting on vaccinations and less severe variants to keep students and teachers safe.

Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, told the Journal that risks are perceived as relatively low. But another factor is that school boards don’t want to face angry parents.

“Over the last couple of years, school boards and superintendents have gotten beaten up to the point that they’re damned if they do and they’re damned if they don’t,” Mr. Domenech said. “They’re afraid to change course.”

China lockdown affects more consumer products

China has extended and increased its lockdown of Shanghai, and economists say the country will likely curb the production of more consumer goods that are popular in the U.S. In particular, automobiles and parts have been adversely affected.

Tesla shut down its Shanghai plant at the end of March and has yet to set a date for reopening it. Volkswagen said two of its plants in China remain closed.

Electronics manufacturers are also being affected. The Wall Street Journal reports that the amount of exports moving through the port of Shanghai has been reduced to about 40% of pre-lockdown levels.

Mayo Clinic offers advice for treating ‘long COVID’

Some people who recover from COVID-19 find that some symptoms continue for weeks, even months – a condition known as “long COVID.” After extensive research, specialists at the Mayo Clinic are now offering advice that they say will lead to a speedier recovery.

The advice includes staying hydrated and eating healthy food, getting plenty of sleep, performing light resistance exercise instead of cardio activities, and giving yourself plenty of time to recover.

“The fastest way to recover is to take things slow and easy at first, then try to gradually increase your activities,” said Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, director of Mayo Clinic's COVID Activity Rehabilitation Program.

Around the nation

  • Utah: Most metrics show that the coronavirus is declining across the state. The virus is decreasing in Vernal, Tooele, and Lehi, and state health officials say levels have remained steady along the Wasatch Front and Wasatch Back. COVID-19 ER visits declined this week.

  • New Mexico: The New Mexico Department of Health at midweek reported 18 additional COVID-19-related deaths and 126 new COVID-19 cases. The numbers are in line with recent trends in the state. There are currently 63 patients hospitalized in New Mexico with COVID-19.

  • Pennsylvania: Despite fears that the Omicron subvariant would cause a spike in U.S. infections, state health officials say that hasn’t happened so far in Pennsylvania. The latest data shows that the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Pennsylvania plunged by 67% during March.

  • Oregon: Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has filed a lawsuit against the Center for Covid Control (CCC) and its testing partner, Doctors Clinical Laboratory (DCL), over claims that the pair deceptively marketed testing services and violated Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act. The lawsuit alleges that the CCC and DCL produced questionable test results.

  • Georgia: Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) says he took a COVID-19 test on Thursday and tested positive for the virus. “I’m so thankful to be both vaccinated & boosted, and at the advice of the Attending Physician I plan to isolate," Warnock posted on Twitter. "If you haven’t gotten your shot yet, I encourage you to do so."

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