schools

fitness

Over 620,000 students from 600 schools commit to 30 minutes of activity for 30 days for Dubai Fitness Challenge

(MENAFN – Emirates News Agency (WAM)) DUBAI, 21st November, 2020 (WAM) — Recognising the integral role that schools play in instilling fitness-focused habits in the country’s youth, Dubai Fitness Challenge, DFC, 2020 is ensuring that more than 620,000 students across 600 schools adopt healthier and happier lifestyles for 30 minutes for 30 days.

The fitness programme of free events, sports activities and family-friendly virtual sessions will continue throughout the month, while a new robust library of free online resources for parents and teachers will further, enable them to motivate children to get fit while having fun. Exciting activity calendars can be downloaded for free on the DFC website, catering to various learning models with over 80 fitness and wellbeing-focused activity templates and games for children aged two to 16 years. For an extra boost at home, kids can also join their beloved superheroes and cartoon characters in online workouts, wellness and dance sessions for free, easy-to-follow exercises and routines.

Dr. Abdulla Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, KHDA, commented, “More than any other time, this year has shown us how important it is to be fit and healthy; to have fun and to spend time with friends and family. The Dubai Fitness Challenge brings all these values together. It’s been great to see so many schools and families get together online to build on existing fitness habits and to start new ones. We are grateful to the team at Dubai Tourism for bringing us all together and for giving us a challenge we can all rise to.”

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, DFRE, commented, “For children and young people, the importance of physical activity can never be understated. Now, more than ever, sports, exercise and wellness activities are crucial to inspiring sustained shifts towards more active routines for children.”

Little ones can choose from an incredible range of free workouts that the whole family will love – be it exclusive workout videos from PJ Masks that are released each week throughout DFC; fun workouts with all the favourite characters from IMG Worlds Of Adventure; Les Mills Born To Move music workouts; FIFA and EA workouts, with drills and tricks by Kotaro Tokuda – the youngest freestyle football champion; or special song routines with Papa Smurfs, Brainy Smurf, Smurfette and Vanity Smurf at Motiongate Dubai.

To make 30 minutes of daily exercise fun for the whole family, DFC’s flagship Fitness Villages also promise something for everyone. You can head down to the Mai Dubai Fitness Village Festival City Mall and experience bag jumps, quick flights and the region’s largest mobile pump track at The Arch. Go to the DP World Fitness Village Kite Beach and try out trampoline workouts at Fitbit Rebounder; boot camps, dance classes and functional training at the Teen Fit area; or monkey bars and climbing challenges at the Kids Camp. Enjoy a day out at the park with the Emirates NBD

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medicine

Medicine Hat area Schools adapt for Remembrance ceremonies

Remembrance Day ceremonies are going to look different at schools this year.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, large gatherings of students and staff can no longer happen. This means that a school-wide Remembrance assembly is not possible.

The Catholic Board of Education and Public School Division worked with CFB Suffield to create videos to show students and staff before Nov. 11. Prairie Rose schools will also be showing videos from CFB Suffield.

The public board will play its Remembrance videos on different days at different schools, while the Catholic board will show them today.

“Since we can’t be together in a normal way, we made these videos to keep the tradition of Remembrance Day going,” said MHCBE communications co-ordinator Derrian Hallas.

The public school board will have Nov. 11, 12 and 13 off next week. This was voted on recently by the board and is meant to give a bit of a break partway through the first half of the school year. Prairie Rose has the same days off as the public system.

MHPSD initially had a PD Day booked for Nov. 20, but moved that ahead and added a non-operational day to give the extended weekend.

The Catholic board voted months ago to give the entire week off. This was also voted on to give everyone a break during a stressful time.

Both boards thanked CFB Suffield for the help this year with helping make Remembrance Day happen at local schools.

The Catholic board will be posted Remembrance videos on its social media pages.

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health

Canada keeps schools open amid coronavirus second wave

“They’re super excited, but now that the numbers go up, then I start to question my own decisions,” said McGivery. It can be hard to make sense of the local coronavirus data, never mind the broader torrent of sometimes conflicting information on children, schools and covid-19.

“It’s so stressful … I have to be a mom, an epidemiologist, a teacher — everything.”

It’s been an uncertainty-ridden time for parents across the country. As cases in Canada surge again, provinces are closing businesses, reimposing restrictions on public spaces and urging people to curb private gatherings.

Still, as in European countries that are also tightening their rules, Canada is prioritizing keeping its schools open. All 13 provinces and territories are holding classes in person; in only some are hybrid or remote learning even options.

In the United States, in contrast, nine states and territories have ordered some or all schools to hybrid or remote learning only, according to a tally kept by Education Week. Individual districts in other states are limiting or banning in-person classes.

The incidence rate of covid-19 in people under 20 has increased since schools reopened, a trend the Public Health Agency of Canada says could be tied both to a growing number of school outbreaks and an increase in testing for that age group.

Officials are responding by isolating sick pupils, quarantining classes hit by the virus and, in some cases, closing schools temporarily. But they’re resisting the blanket closures and wholesale shift to e-learning of the spring.

“On balance, it’s been as expected,” said James Kellner, head of the pediatrics department at the University of Calgary. “And how that’s been has been concerning, but not terrible so far.”

Officials say reopening schools is key to restarting the economy, and the longer they’re closed, the greater the effects on students’ education and mental health.

“I think we need to do everything we can to maintain our schools in terms of keeping them open,” Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief medical officer of health, told reporters last week.

But guidance on when to keep sick pupils home and when to send them to class has created confusion. Testing protocols have changed. Schools have closed with little notice, creating new challenges for parents, students and educators.

Some officials are revamping plans and giving parents options to change theirs. The Toronto District School Board, Ontario’s largest, said 7,500 elementary school students switched from in-person to e-learning during Thanksgiving week here, the first chance to do so. Some 3,000 went the other way.

Infectious-disease specialists consider schools a mirror of their communities. The key to safeguarding them, they say, is to control the spread of the novel coronavirus outside them. So the surge in cases here — recent daily counts are eclipsing records set in the spring — could pose a risk.

Infectious-disease specialists say that most cases detected in Canada’s schools appear to have been acquired outside them and that massive outbreaks in schools have been relatively infrequent, though they note that

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health

Cambodia reopens schools after virus shutdown

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Schools in Cambodia opened on Monday for the first time since March, but class sizes and hours were limited as a coronavirus precaution.

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron said schools might have to be reclosed if any students become infected while attending classes. He said students and teachers must observe safety measures because the virus is still raging in Europe and the United States and a vaccine is not yet available.

Some schools in the capital, Phnom Penh, and parts of eastern Cambodia opened last month in a trial phase, and Hang Chuon Naron said the good results prompted the nationwide reopenings.


“As the government has controlled the COVID situation very well, we have seen that in Cambodia the number of cases has not increased, and especially the border control is every effective,” he told reporters at a school in Phnom Penh.

“We have two objectives — number one is safety for our students, our teachers, as well as the community, and number two is to continue education for everyone,” he said.

Cambodia has reported 292 coronavirus cases with no deaths. The Health Ministry on Monday reported one new case, a Cambodian returning from abroad.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— India has added 45,230 new coronavirus infections, continuing a downturn. The Health Ministry also Monday reported 496 more fatalities, raising the death toll to 122,607. With 8.2 million cases, India is the second worst-hit country behind the U.S. But the number of new cases being diagnosed each day is falling steadily even though testing is not declining. In the last week, there have been fewer than 50,000 new cases every day. Many states have been easing restrictions on schooling and commercial activities to spur the economy, but experts fear a resurgence in the winter, particularly as people socialize in the festive season.

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Follow AP’s coronavirus pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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health

Hartford judge hears testimony on safety of masks in schools as parents seek to block face coverings rule

A Hartford judge heard hours of testimony on the safety and efficacy of masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus Friday as he decides whether to grant an emergency injunction blocking a state requirement that students wear face coverings in schools.

In a daylong hearing on the injunction, Judge Thomas G. Moukawsher heard from both those downplaying the effectiveness of masks as well as those who said face coverings do not negatively impact children and slow the spread of the virus.

The hearing came several weeks after a group of parents and the CT Freedom Alliance sued the state’s education department and top officials to lift the requirement that children wear masks in schools out of fear of the harms they pose to children both mentally and physically.

The assertions in the lawsuit are in direct conflict with scientific evidence that shows that mask-wearing slows the spread of COVID-19. Lawyers for the state have argued there is no evidence to support the claim that masks are dangerous and that in fact masks are protecting students as they attend in-person classes.

Quick to send students home for virtual learning in the spring, Connecticut education officials outlined extensive measures to safely return students to school this fall. Key among those measures was a requirement that students and staff wear masks in school.

Moukawsher set Friday’s hearing to get testimony from two expert witnesses called by the plaintiffs, as well as the state’s witnesses, before ruling on the request for an injunction. The state has filed a motion to dismiss the case, which Moukawsher will address after the injunction.

Lawyers for the parents and CT Freedom Alliance first called on a Los Angeles-based psychiatrist, who said that masks can inhibit development, cause stress and led to other complications for children.

“I am greatly concerned by what I am seeing … children who are forced to wear masks in a school settings as well as outside the school settings are in imminent harm,” said Dr. Mark McDonald. McDonald also noted that the risk of oxygen deprivation can led to “permanent neurological damage in children, which we will not be able to address because the window will have passed.”

The state questioned McDonald’s beliefs in masks and the government response to the pandemic. McDonald said he believes that a healthy person confers no benefits to others when wearing a mask.

The plaintiff’s second witness, Knut Whittkowski, a New York-based epidemiologist with 35 years in the field, said he reviewed scores of studies and could not find evidence that masks were effective outside a health care setting.

“I went through all the literature I could find, and all the literature I was presented and I could not find convincing evidence on the effectiveness of surgery masks or bandannas or other masks worn in non-health care settings in general,” Whittkowski said. “And in particular, I couldn’t find evidence for the effectiveness of mask wearing by children.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

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health

Why Is Europe Keeping Its Schools Open, Despite New Lockdowns?

BERLIN — When Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the latest round of restrictions on public life, she named bars, restaurants, theaters, concert halls, gyms and tattoo parlors as institutions that would be forced to close. But missing from the list released on Wednesday were schools and day care centers — among the first to be shuttered in the spring lockdown.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron also said on Wednesday that schools would be exempt from wide-reaching nationwide restrictions that are to take effect beginning Friday. Ireland also allowed schools to remain open despite a nationwide lockdown that went into effect earlier this month.

Not everyone is happy with the decisions, but policymakers are taking extra precautions to reduce the risk in schools, from mask requirements for teachers and pupils, to regular airing of classrooms, to split use of schoolyards during breaks. They say they are applying hard-learned lessons from months of fighting the pandemic, and are prepared to change directions if things take a turn for the worse.

Micheal Martin, the Irish prime minister, said that while his country could no longer avoid restrictions, despite the detrimental impact on the economy, it was vital that schools remained open.

“We cannot and will not allow our children and young people’s futures to be another victim of this disease,” Mr. Martin said in a national address. “They need their education.”

Around the world, there is mounting concern that the pandemic is doing lasting harm to the academic and emotional development of an entire generation of children.

Earlier this month, the German conference of ministers of culture, who are responsible for coordinating education policy, stressed children’s right to an education, which they said is best served among peers, in classrooms. “This must take highest priority in making all decisions about restrictive measures that need to be taken,” the minister said.

In making her announcement, Ms. Merkel cited another reason that maintaining access to schools was important, pointing to the “dramatic social consequences” that closing schools and day care centers had on families during the lockdown in March and April.

“To name it clearly: Violent assaults against women and children increased dramatically,” Ms. Merkel said, justifying her government’s decision to halt sports, cultural events and close restaurants instead. “It is important to bear in mind the social consequences if we have to intervene in these issues.”

Keeping children at home often made it hard for parents — especially mothers — to devote their divided attention to work.

Medical experts point to many things they now know that were unknown back in the spring: with proper precautions, the rate of coronavirus transmission in schools is relatively low, especially among the youngest students; children who do get infected tend to have mild symptoms; and measures like mask-wearing, social distancing and air circulation are more effective than they had predicted.

But that does not mean open schools are risk-free. While schools are not known to have been a major

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health

Quarantines vex some Georgia schools as infections spread

ROME, Ga. (AP) — A northwest Georgia school system is sending all its students home to take classes virtually for 10 days because of coronavirus infections and quarantines.

The Rome school system said Tuesday that with more than 600 students, faculty and staff members isolated with infections or quarantined because of exposure, the district of 6,400 students will switch to all-online instruction Wednesday through Nov. 6, assuming cases have declined by then.

Rome and surrounding Floyd County are among Georgia’s high transmission areas as infections and hospitalizations for COVID-19 rise for a third time.


Athletics and extracurricular activities will continue. Students are being sent home with three days’ worth of meals, and parents can pick up meals for next week. Officials say they will clean affected areas meanwhile.

Superintendents have said quarantine rules are making in-person learning difficult to sustain. But Gov. Brian Kemp has refused their request to have teachers declared “critical infrastructure workers,” which would allow superintendents to order exposed teachers to keep providing face-to-face instruction, as long as they wear masks and don’t show symptoms of the respiratory illness.

Georgia’s Department of Public Health countermanded a move by Bulloch County schools this month to change quarantine rules to allow exposed students to avoid the quarantines that have kept nearly 1,000 students and employees in that 11,000-student district out of class at various times.

The Statesboro Herald reported that district leaders said exposed students could return as long as they’re asymptomatic and masked. But Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey told the district to rescind the move days later, calling it “out of compliance.” She noted that violating the department’s standing quarantine order is a misdemeanor under state law.

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health

Parents in so-called ‘mom code’ allegedly refuse to get kids tested for COVID-19 to help keep schools open

The so-called “mom code” is allegedly being shared by some parents in Utah.

Health officials are sounding the alarm about a group of parents in Utah who are allegedly pledging to not have their children tested for COVID-19 in order to make infection numbers artificially appear lower.

The alleged push to avoid getting kids tested, dubbed the “mom code,” is seen in messages shared on Facebook urging parents to keep their child at home if they show COVID-19 symptoms, but to not get tested.

The messages are reportedly being shared among parents in Utah’s Davis School District, which oversees more than 73,000 students in Davis County, Utah.

“If there is a quarantine with a sports team or with any of the classrooms, they are encouraging each other not to have their children tested,” said Genevra Prothero, a parent in the school district, who fears community spread if the “mom code” is encouraged. “This is a time where we need to really focus on tracing the virus so we can be able to stop the spread.”

State health officials say it’s unknown how many parents are actually taking part in the alleged “mom code,” but warn that those who do could be contributing to the spread of COVID-19.

PHOTO: Facebook screenshots allegedly show parents discouraging testing for COVID-19.

Facebook screenshots allegedly show parents discouraging testing for COVID-19.

“Testing is a critical element of our response,” health officials told “Good Morning America” in a statement, in part. “Identifying cases …is a key strategy to limiting the spread of disease in our communities.”

Davis County currently has more than 8,000 reported cases of COVID-19. The state of Utah has more than 104,000 cases of COVID-19, according to state health data.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 8.6 million diagnosed cases of COVID-19 and at least 225,230 deaths.

Emilie Daly, a mother of four young children, is running for the school board in Davis County. She told “GMA” that while she is not participating in the reported “mom code,” she can understand why some parents would.

“It’s not mandated to get tested, that’s the thing,” she said. “And so we need to remember that it is a choice and you need to make decisions based off of what you feel.”

The Davis School District did not reply to ABC News’ request for comment. ABC News also reached out to some of the parents allegedly involved in the so-called “mom code” and they also did not reply.

Students in the district are currently attending school on a varied, hybrid model of in-person and remote learning, according to the school district’s website.

The school district’s Board of Education last week released its quarantine protocols for students and staff, noting that in the case of a school outbreak, the classroom or school would enter a “14-day quarantine with students moving to remote learning.”

“The longer

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health

2 More Coronavirus Cases Confirmed In Wallingford Schools

WALLINGFORD, CT — Two more cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the Wallingford Public School District, according to officials.

Officials notified families Sunday night that one person associated Pond Hill Elementary School tested positive for the coronavirus. The person was determined to be in “close contact with one or more people while in a school setting,” according to a message sent to parents.

A contact tracing investigation was launched and everyone who was identified as a close contact has already been notified by school officials.

Officials were also notified Sunday night that another person associated with the school district tested positive for the virus.

“In working with the Wallingford Health Department, it has been determined that this individual was in close contact with one or more people while in the school setting,” according to a message sent to parents. “The Wallingford Public School District, in collaboration with the Wallingford Health Department, initiated a case investigation and contact tracing activities to identify all individuals who may have been in close contact with the case. All individuals identified as close contacts have already been notified by the building administration or the school nurse.”

See also: Coronavirus Cases Reported At 3 Schools In Wallingford

This article originally appeared on the Wallingford Patch

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health

Quarantine List, Dorchester To Close Schools

MARYLAND — This week Maryland saw an increase in coronavirus cases as testing ramped up. Results from more than 30,000 tests were reported by state health officials Sunday, capping off a week in which one school system closed its buildings, citing increasing coronavirus positivity rates, and three states added Maryland to their quarantine lists because of the number of new cases.

Nearly 800 cases of coronavirus were added to Maryland’s tally Sunday morning, marking the fourth consecutive day of at least 700 cases reported in the state.

The state’s coronavirus positivity rate is 3.17 percent on a seven-day rolling average, according to the Maryland Department of Health, which is comparable to last week’s 3.14 percent positivity rate. It remains under 5 percent, which is the recommended benchmark positivity rate for reopening established by the World Health Organization.

Cases Reported This Week

  • Sunday, Oct. 25 — 792 cases

  • Saturday, Oct. 24 — 796 cases

  • Friday, Oct. 23 — 712 cases

  • Thursday, Oct. 22 — 743 cases

  • Wednesday, Oct. 21 — 492 cases

  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 — 590 cases

  • Monday, Oct. 19 — 497 cases

More than 140,200 people in Maryland have tested positive for the virus, state health officials reported Sunday.

Prince George’s County has the most cases in Maryland, with 32,225 overall as of Sunday, according to the Maryland Department of Health. Next is Montgomery County with 25,147 total cases of the virus, followed by Baltimore County with 20,208 and Baltimore City with 17,440.

Montgomery County added over 100 new cases daily 10 times in two weeks, according to state health officials.

On the Eastern Shore, Dorchester County Public Schools closed its school buildings after an increase in coronavirus positivity in the district. The positivity rate was 6.1 percent in Dorchester County, according to the school system’s superintendent, who reported Wednesday, Oct. 21, the district had reassessed its plans.

“Over the last six days the Dorchester County community has seen an increase in its COVID-19 positivity rate,” Superintendent Dave Bromwell said in a statement Oct. 21. “The positivity rate has increased exponentially to make Dorchester County the 3rd highest in the state of Maryland over this short period of time.”

As a result of the metrics, Dorchester County was returning to phase one of its reopening effective Tuesday, Oct. 27.

A recent spike in coronavirus infections prompted three states to put Maryland on its list of state with quarantine orders.

When travelers from Maryland head to Connecticut, New Jersey or New York, they will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

As long as Maryland averages more than 604 coronavirus cases a day in a seven-day period, it will remain on the list of troubled states. Those on the list have a positive case rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents in the last seven days.

Here is data on coronavirus in Maryland for Sunday, Oct. 25, from the state health department:

Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.
Courtesy of Maryland Department of Health.

Related:

Jacob Baugmart contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared

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