Experts warn of case surge from Thanksgiving travel

When schools closed, Black, Hispanic, poor kids took biggest hit

When the pandemic forced the closure of most U.S. schools last spring, students were thrown into new and unfamiliar ways of learning. Special education students and children learning English lost support that their schools struggled to provide online. Many students had no access to computers or internet and were completely cut off from their teachers.

The true toll these disruptions have taken on student learning won’t be known for months or years, but new reports from national education-testing organizations have begun to offer an early look at that impact.

The latest is a report from NWEA, formerly the Northwest Evaluation Association, which analyzed the results of tests given to nearly 4.4 million U.S. students in grades three through eight this fall and found that most fell short in math, scoring an average of 5 to 10 percentile points behind students who took the same test last year.

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When vaccines are ready, dentists, optometrists may give shots

With multiple Covid-19 vaccines rapidly heading toward approval, optometrists and dentists are pushing for the authority to immunize patients during routine eye exams and dental cleanings.

These medical professionals say their help will be needed to distribute the vaccines to millions of Americans — and they already have the know-how.

“When you look at what dentists do and how many injections they give day in and day out, I think they’re more than qualified,” said dentist Jim Wood, a California state Assembly member. “It’s kind of a no-brainer.”

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Moderna president: Distribution could be ‘within hours’ of approval

Third Georgia congressman contracts virus

ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia has tested positive for COVID-19. That makes him the third Georgia congressman to contract the virus.

Scott’s chief of staff Jason Lawrence confirmed the positive test result on Monday.

Scott represents Georgia’s 8th District, which stretches through the interior of south Georgia. The chief of staff’s statement did not say if Scott was experiencing any symptoms but added he was heeding his doctor’s advice.

All three Georgia congressman who’ve tested positive for the virus have been Republicans. Rep. Rick Allen announced a positive test result last week. Rep. Drew Ferguson tested positive in October.

Trudeau planning to spend tens of billions more on recovery

TORONTO — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is vowing to spend tens of billions more dollars to help the country recover from the pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says the country is facing its most severe challenge since the second World War, the worst economic shock since the Great Depression and the worse health crisis since the Spanish flu over a century ago.

The cost to date has the federal deficit reaching a record $381.6 billion Canadian (US$294 billion) this year, but the government says it could close in on $400 billion Canadian (US$308 billion) if widespread lockdowns return in the coming weeks. Toronto, Canada’s largest city, is on lockdown.

The government’s fall economic update proposes to send extra child-benefit payments to families next year. The government is proposing $25 billion Canadian (US$19 billion) in new spending.

Pandemic changes visits with Santa and kids’ Christmas wish lists

Vaccine news fuels return to lavish weddings

NBC News spoke with a half dozen wedding industry insiders who said that among the themes to emerge in 2020 are the rise of micro-weddings, the death of destination weddings, the growing popularity of Covid-19 riders in wedding contracts and the emergence of 2021 as a popular year to wed.

The promise of a vaccine, wedding experts said, has given couples a renewed sense of optimism. Still, they say, 2020 remains a year of industry setbacks.

“2020 is really just one big loss for the wedding industry,” said Steve Sendor, publisher of Sophisticated Weddings Magazine.

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Scott Atlas, Trump medical adviser who clashed with public health experts, resigns

Dr. Scott Atlas, the controversial White House coronavirus adviser, is resigning from his position tomorrow, a White House official said Monday.

Fox News, which first reported the resignation, obtained Atlas’s resignation letter, which is dated Dec. 1 and says that he was on a 130-day detail set to expire this week.

Atlas, who has no infectious disease background, has been on the outs with most of the rest of the coronavirus task force for months. He has spread misinformation about the virus and downplayed its seriousness.

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Spain village could be over 70 percent Covid positive, residents mass-tested

Ravens-Steelers game postponed a third time, now scheduled for Wednesday

The game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers that was originally scheduled as the marquee football match for Thanksgiving night has been pushed back once more.

Following a coronavirus outbreak in the Ravens organization that put more than 20 people on the Covid-19/reserve list, the game was moved from last Thursday to Sunday. Then it was moved again from Sunday to Tuesday. And now, on Monday, the NFL announced the game will be played on Wednesday afternoon at 3:40 p.m. ET.

Miami-Dade County Mayor tests positive for Covid-19

Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has tested positive for COVID-19.

Levine Cava tweeted Monday that her husband, Dr. Robert Cava, was exposed by one of his patients and also tested positive Monday. They both have mild symptoms and are in quarantine.

“Our family is no different from the thousands of other families at heightened risk of exposure due to the sacrifice of healthcare workers and first responders on the frontlines – the heroes and heroines who work to keep us safe,” Levine Cava said in a series of tweets. “I’m more grateful than ever for their bravery.”

Levine Cava said she was exposed over the Thanksgiving holiday and has not had any in-person contact with other county employees.

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