Wednesday, February 22, 2023

As the Pandemic Ebbs, an Influential COVID Tracker Shuts Down; Federal Workers Not Entitled to COVID Hazard Pay -U.S. Appeals Court, and other C-Virus related stories

Samuel Corum/Getty Images
As the pandemic ebbs, an influential COVID tracker shuts down:
In another sign of the changing state of the pandemic, an invaluable source of information about the virus over the last three years is shutting down, NPR has learned.
The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center plans to cease operations March 10, officials told NPR.
"It's bittersweet," says Lauren Gardner, an engineering professor who launched the project with one of her students on March 3, 2020. "But it's an appropriate time to move on."
When the pandemic erupted, no one knew much of anything about the virus and how to respond. Was it safe to go grocery shopping? How easily could someone get infected on a bus or train? Could runners get sick just by passing another jogger in the park?
"As everyone can remember, there was very little information, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic," says Beth Blauer, an associate vice provost at Johns Hopkins who has helped run the center.
"And when we started to see the cases move out of China and in through Europe and headed toward our shores, we knew that there were going to be a series of public policy decisions that would have to be made," Blauer says.
Those decisions included where to impose dramatic but crucial public health measures. Should mayors close schools? Should governors mandate masks? Should CEOs shut down factories? Should heads of state seal borders? --->READ MORE HERE
Federal workers not entitled to COVID hazard pay -U.S. appeals court:
A divided U.S. appeals court on Tuesday said federal workers are generally not entitled to extra pay for being exposed to COVID-19 through their jobs.
In a 10-2 decision with potentially “far-reaching” ramifications, the U.S. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against 188 current and former correctional employees at a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut.
The employees said they deserved hazardous duty and environmental differential pay because they worked with or in close proximity to people, objects and surfaces infected with COVID-19, and were not wearing sufficient protective gear.
But the appeals court said the government’s Office of Personnel Management, the human resources agency for more than 2.1 million federal workers, had no regulations affording extra pay for exposure in most settings to contagious diseases.
It said exceptions covered some laboratories and tropical jungles, and that it was up to Congress or the agency to add categories.
“COVID-19 is a serious national and international health concern, and the potential ramifications of this case are far-reaching and cut across the entire federal workforce,” Circuit Judge Raymond Chen wrote. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa could face subpoena in House COVID probe

COVID-19 antigen tests recalled over potential for inaccurate results

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: