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Pre-Christmas lockdown considered for English universities

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first_imgThe government isconsidering a two-week lockdown for universities in England from 8th-22ndDecember, it has been reported. Image Credit: Jiahui Huang. Licence: CC-BY-SA-2.0. Larissa Kennedy,president of the National Union of Students, told LBC radio, “students justaren’t the homogeneous group that the government seems to think they are” andthat they should not be treated differently. She spoke of the “horrendousconditions” that isolating students are already living in, with food packagesand toilet roll failing to be delivered. Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union, criticised the “highly undesirable” suggestion, which has had no input from university students or staff, as “impossible to deliver or oversee”. She tweeted: “This perverse obsession with Christmas is dangerous. Government must focus on the here and now!” SAGE has advised for all non-essential teaching to be online. However, there are concerns that the plan will come into force too late to be successful. Dr Brooks Pollock told the Today programme that if infection is already prevalent, then “having this quiet period at the end of term is unlikely to prevent outbreaks within halls of residence.” Boris Johnson has vowed to “get students home for Christmas”. The aim of the lockdown would be to control the spread of coronavirus as close to a million students return to their families. Students would be required to isolate for this period, with all teaching taking place online. One Oxford student told Cherwell: “I would be happy enough to stay in Oxford during a Christmas lockdown – I trust that I’d be provided for and it would be cool to see my college all festively decorated.” However, another called the plan “frustrating”, saying that, after a term where “mental health has already taken a sharp decline”, a pre-Christmas lockdown would “take away the light at the end of the tunnel.” The proposal will cause complications for those universities whose teaching will have finished before the specified end date. Michaelmas term at Oxford ends on 5th December, and on 4th December at Cambridge, so it is unclear whether students would need to isolate. Some university cities are seeing a much higher infection rate within the student population than in the general public, while cases at Oxford University tripled in the week 10-16th October compared to the previous week. Dr Ellen Brooks Pollock, a participant in the Independent Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) said in an interview with Radio 4’s Today programme: “Our analysis suggests that reducing face-to-face teaching to essential teaching only does have the impact of slowing down the rate of spread and preventing more disseminated outbreaks.” last_img read more

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Health Dept Confirms Some Labs Were Not Reporting Negative Tests

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first_imgThe Florida Department of Health confirmed Wednesday that some private labs were not reporting negative COVID-19 test results to them, as required by the state.That ended up leading to 100 percent positivity rates being reported for those labs.Department of Health spokeswoman Olga Connor told Miami television station WPLG in an email that public and private labs are required to report all of their COVID-19 test results to the state, regardless of whether the tests are positive or negative. “In recent days, the Florida Department of Health noticed that some smaller, private labs weren’t reporting negative test result data to the state,” Connor wrote. “The Department immediately began working with those labs to ensure that all results were being reported in order to provide comprehensive and transparent data.”She went on to say that the Department of Health will continue to educate labs “on the proper protocol for reporting COVID-19 test results.”So far, state health officials have not disclosed how many labs reported incomplete data.last_img read more

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Regional swimmers of ‘TRAX’ program at CHRISTMAS CRACKER meet

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first_imgTop clubs from Canada and the USA attend this officially sanctioned event with over 800 athletes competing.The TWSC’s Internationally Certified head coach “Bill Park” will be inspiring the following talented TRAX swimmers who reside throughout the West Kootenay area — Trail, Castlegar, Nelson, Rossland, Fruitvale, Montrose, and Pass Creek.The swimmers include, Kira Konkin (12), Kayla Fraser(12), Cyan Ross-VanMierlo(12), Johnny Ekinci(9), Dylan Kormendy(10), Brianne Mager(9), Ian Markus(12), Jackson Konkin(13), Eden Kormendy(13), Aby Elwood(13), Riley Mager(14), Tenysha Ross-Van Meirlo(14), Ella Conliffe(14), Tess Markus(14), Sharman Thomas(14), Samuel Matthew(14) and Martin Gonzalez(15).The Academy swimmers train vigorously at the “Home of Champions” Trail Aquatic and Leisure center with dreams to compete competitively in Provincial, National and International swim meets.The TRAX to future champions academy program successfully prepared many of the junior Academy swimmers to qualify this year for the CHRISTMAS CRACKER meet and the program is well on its way to ensuring more young swimmers get the Quality Fundamental swimming skills that they need to participate at this and higher level meets in the sport of competitive swimming in Canada.For anyone interested in joining the Trail Winter Swim Club please email: [email protected] Trail Regional Academy of EXcellence (TRAX) aquatic program is currently at the Eleventh Annual Pacific Coast Swimming CHRISTMAS CRACKER Invitational Short Course Swim Meet from Thursday to Sunday in Victoria.The TWSC competitive swimmers are registered with Swim Canada and have obtained official qualifying time standards to attend this prestigious event held at the Commonwealth Games Pool.The CHRISTMAS CRACKER swim meet provides the opportunity for swimmers from the West Kootenay area to experience racing against top athletes in the sport of competitive swimming.last_img read more

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Robertson-Weir, Holitzki, Cowan pace Neptunes medal parade in Creston

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first_imgDivision 6 girls 200 medley relay (Sage Cowan, Nava Sachs, Hannah Malenfant, Olivia Cowan) old: 2:46.84 new: 2:41.76Division 8 girls 200 medley relay: (Cynthia Pfeiffer, Rebecca Afford, Ohia Wintraub, Madeline Holtizki) old: 2:29.64 new: 2:28.63Division 1 girls 200 freestyle relay (Kallie Badry, Chloe Malenfant, Ella Chouinard, Imogen Cowan) old: 4:00.36 new: 3:54.63Other highlights included swims by: Matthew Holitzki – 100m breaststrokeElla Chouinard – 100m freestyleOhia Wintraub – 50m butterflyHannah Malenfant – 100m freestyleKallie Badry – 100m freestyleArjun Bhabra – 100m freestyleMorgan Roberton-Weir – 100m freestyle “We had four heats of swimmers in a row put up some amazing times that made for some very exciting races,” said coach Rebecca Afford.”All of our new swimmers who attended the meet blew us away: Arjun Bhabra took off 1:00 in his 100m freestyle, Ella Chouinard’s strokes looks like she has been swimming for years, and Keira Badry, at four years old, swam a relay with coaches Cynthia Pfeiffer and Rebecca Afford and Enna Cowan; Keira swam 50m of freestyle all on her own.”The Neptunes return to the pool for training this week before heading south of the border for the annual Colville meet.”This coming weekend for the “highlight” meet of the summer that all the swimmers and families look forward to,” Afford said. Morgan Robertson-Weir, Matthew Holitzki and Olivia Cowan each won silver medals highlighting the Nelson Neptunes results during a weekend Kootenay Summer Swim Association meet in Creston.Robertson-Weir won the medal in Division on girls while Holitzki and Cowan captured medals in Division four boys and Division five girls, respectively.”We are so pleased with how well the swimmers did this weekend,” said head coach Cynthia Pfeiffe.”Despite the pool being almost too cold to even dive into, the swimmers all toughed it out and some were able to get some best times, namely in the 100m freestyle.”Madeline Holitzki took home bronze in Division four boys while coaches Rebecca Afford and Cynthia Pfeiffer won silver and gold in Division eight women’s category.Neptune swimmers set a host of meet records:Ohia Wintraub – 50m butterfly old: 35.51 new: 35.15Cynthia Pfeiffer  – 100m backstroke old: 1:14.14 new: 1:13.04last_img read more

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