This week, thousands of teachers were absent across Pima County schools. Schools have only been back in session for a few weeks after the holiday break, and school officials are doing what they can to keep students in the classroom.
The Biden administration is threatening to recoup COVID-19 relief funds sent to Arizona over state provisions that it says discourage families and school districts from following federal guidance recommending face coverings in schools.
Just a couple of weeks after returning to school from holiday break, southern Arizona’s largest school district is seeing staff shortages due to COVID-19. This combined with a limited substitute availability is forcing some schools to combine classes.
The White House announced Wednesday that a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests will be made available to schools starting this month to ease supply shortages and promote the safe reopening of schools.
Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations.
Starting this week, fourth doses will be given to people with immunocompromising diseases who received their booster five months ago, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting another dose five months after the last vaccine dose.
Boosters already are recommended for everyone 16 and older. Earlier this week, the Food and Drug Administration authorized an extra Pfizer shot for kids ages 12 to 15 as well -- but that wasn’t the final hurdle.
The move to keep the existing definition of fully vaccinated — either two doses of the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — comes as health officials warned of waning protections from the initial doses.