Home News Coronavirus Update: Schools Nationwide Face Shortages of Laptops

Coronavirus Update: Schools Nationwide Face Shortages of Laptops

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As the fall semester begins, schools across the country are battling shortages and delays of laptops and other supplies needed for online learning, sometimes up to several months.

According to an Associated Press investigation of over two dozen school and districts in 15 states, suppliers and industry analysts, computer companies Lenovo, HP and Dell have told school districts they have a shortage of nearly 5 million laptops due to sanctions on Chinese suppliers by the Trump administration. Schools are also reporting difficulty in securing cleaning supplies needed to prevent the spread of the virus.

“This is going to be like asking an artist to paint a picture without paint. You can’t have a kid do distance learning without a computer,” said Tom Baumgarten, superintendent of the Morongo Unified School District in California’s Mojave Desert.

School districts are pleading with the Trump administration to help fix the issue, arguing that distance learning without laptops will result in no learning for some of the country’s most vulnerable students.

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At least 25 states in the U.S. are seeing a decline in the number of new coronavirus cases compared to the previous week. At least 11 states are reporting an increase in new cases while 14 states report no change in the number of new cases.

So far, the U.S. has reported more than 5.7 million coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 180,000 Americans have already succumbed to the virus.

In an announcement over the weekend, Trump said his administration was providing an emergency authorization for the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19. The treatment, which takes antibody-rich blood plasma from recovered coronavirus patients and injects it into current patients, has shown some promise but questions remain about its effectiveness. Clinical trials have faced challenges with delays and finding willing participants.

The World Health Organization is recommending children aged 6 to 11 wear masks in some cases to help stop the spread of Covid-19. As children worldwide return to the classroom, WHO says school officials should consider local virus transmission rates as well as children’s ability to safely use a mask when implementing mask mandates in schools.

Children in general face less severe virus symptoms than do adults, but in some cases, may develop serious conditions that could lead to death.

Even as health protocols have been established on campuses, colleges and universities in at least 19 states have reported coronavirus outbreaks. Many outbreaks are being attributed to large parties. Some schools have suspended students and organizations for violating social distancing rules on and off campus.

Covid-19 cases at the University of Alabama have increased on its campus, prompting the monitoring of bars, restaurants and off-campus housing to stop the spread. Notre Dame has begun remote instruction after an uptick in cases among its student body.

Travelers entering New York City via flight will soon see coronavirus testing sites at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave no further details on the new testing sites as the state continues to enforce a 14-day quarantine for all visitors traveling from Covid-19 hotspots.

NFL team Miami Dolphins will allow up to 13,000 fans at its opening game against the Buffalo Bills on September 20. All fans entering the Hard Rock Stadium will be required to wear masks when not actively eating or drinking. Other safety measures implemented include socially distanced seating, ungraded air conditioning filters, staggered entry times and cashless food service, parking and retail. No tailgating will be allowed for the 2020 season.

As millions of people continue to work, learn and celebrate milestones from home during the pandemic, the video conferencing app Zoom went down on Monday in some parts of the world. In the U.S., those on the East Coast are experiencing the problem. Users had difficulty visiting the Zoom website and were unable to start or join meetings and webinars.

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