The Wider World

School re-openings in New York

SCHOOLS IN NEW YORK STATE may re-open under a new plan (Shutterstock).

The State of New York, once the biggest hot spot in the nation for COVID-19 infections, is planning to reopen schools in some areas of the Empire State under certain conditions.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Friday that school districts can go back to on-campus instruction after all 10 regions of the state have a test-positive rate over seven days that meet state standards. If the rate rises to 9 percent, schools could be shut down again. New York City schools would have a threshold of 3 percent.

“We are probably in the best situation in the country,” Cuomo said.

While California is not in the same situation, the state Department of Public Health is offering applications to school systems for waivers for elementary schools in counties on the state watch list. If they keep their campuses closed and have “virtual” instruction until the county is off the list for 14 days or more, they may be granted the waiver.

More jobs added; unemployment now at 10.2%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday announced on Friday that the U.S. economy had added 1.8 million jobs in July, and that the national unemployment rate had fallen to 10.2 percent, similar to the percentage of people jobless in the Great Recession in 2009.

Friday’s results showed three consecutive months of improvement in the labor market, but the economy is still 12.9 million jobs short of the level in place when the coronavirus pandemic started to hit in force in March 2020.

In a related story, with Congress unable to agree on extension of unemployment benefits, President Donald Trump threatened to use an executive order to create his own program of a payroll tax cut, eviction protections, unemployment extensions and student loan repayment options. Such features may raise constitutional issues about the power of the president regarding taxes.

Coronavirus stats for OC, world, U.S.

Daily coronavirus cases reported to the Orange County Health Care Agency on Friday were at 43, down from 580 on Thursday. Seven deaths were reported, compared to 32 on Thursday. The total number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County is put at 38,754, with 704 deaths.

Internationally, total cases are at 19,282,972, according to Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads with 4,937,441. Global deaths are at 719,805, led by the U.S. with 161,248.

In the News: Jerry Falwell Jr. takes a leave

  • Jerry Falwell, Jr., president and chancellor of Liberty University in Virginia, will take an “indefinite leave of absence” after a photo surfaced of him with his pants unzipped and his arm around a young woman in a similar pose.
  • A 10-day motorcycle rally expected to attract over 250,000 people is underway in Sturgis, South Dakota. The 80th annual event may be largely maskless, as wearing a face covering is “encouraged” but not required.
  • An intelligence assessment from the National Counter-Intelligence and Security Center claimed on Friday that Russia is seeking to oppose the election of Democrat Joe Biden to the presidency, while China and Iran are seeking to undermine Republican Donald Trump’s bid for a second term.

Sports Final

Friday’s schedule for area professional sports teams.

    • MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Giants 2.
    • MLB: Texas Rangers 4, Los Angeles Angels 3.
    • WNBA: Las Vegas Aces 86, Los Angeles Sparks 82.

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