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COVID-19 cases steady in schools as state lawmakers reject requiring COVID-19 vaccine for Louisiana students – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-12-06 18:19:31 –

According to the district’s weekly report published Monday afternoon, the NOLA Public School District is tracking 22 “active” COVID-19 cases associated with district staff and students, with 94 known positive cases. Quarantine after being exposed to.

It’s slightly higher than the 19 cases Reported last week 199 people in quarantine — District officials warned that these numbers may not fully represent the case, as most schools were reported following a week-long Thanksgiving vacation. ..

Meanwhile, Governor John Bel Edwards’ administration is in the process of adding the COVID vaccine to the state schedule of vaccines needed for students from kindergarten to high school in Louisiana. Parents can opt out of the mandate by simply proving their philosophical opposition to the vaccine, but the move has caused anger among Republican-led legislatures. On Monday, the State Assembly Committee met to discuss the proposal and voted to disapprove it. However, Edwards can disable voting and proceed.

Before the holidays, there were about 50 municipal school cases and more than 400 people were quarantined. Last holiday season, the number of incidents surged in the state as people traveled and gathered with friends and family.At travel and rallies, the introduction of the vaccine was expected to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading this year, but new variants are Cause some concerns, Europe and some travel bans Cancellation of year-end events..

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 was identified in the New Orleans region. State health authorities announce Friday night. Second possible case An employee of Norwegian Cruise Line was found in a total of 17 known incidents that dropped thousands of passengers in the city on Sunday. According to a city press release, the crew did not leave the ship and passengers with confirmed cases were told to quarantine.

The city showed a slight increase in the average 22 new cases per day, with its test positive rate falling below 1% after surpassing the mark in late November for the first time since early October. According to city data.. Tests were significantly reduced during Thanksgiving holidays, but almost restored to pre-holiday levels.

“We now know that Omicron is here in Louisiana. This is a source of concern, but it doesn’t panic,” State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Canter said in a statement on Friday. rice field. “We have been expecting and preparing for this moment. For all Louisianas, the only best action we can take to protect ourselves and our families is to be ourselves and our loved ones if qualified. Is to be vaccinated against and boosted. “

No vaccination events are currently planned for the NOLA Public School District, but information about health institutions is available. Providing vaccinations The district continues to offer COVID-19 testing, district spokeswoman Taslin Alfonzo wrote in an email Friday afternoon.

“The health and safety of our students is our number one priority. To that end, as the pandemic continues to evolve, NOLA Public Schools will continue to coordinate with medical and government leaders and follow guidelines recommended by health authorities. We will adjust. Currently, our guidance is in line with the CDC recommendations, “Alfonzo wrote.

“Our health partners are looking at the data, discussing it, and providing their recommendations as the virus continues to evolve,” she wrote in response to a question about the Omicron mutant.

“We strongly recommend that parents vaccinate children over the age of five, undergo regular tests, and keep up with the CDC recommendations,” she wrote. increase.

Vaccinations required for students

Whether school children need COVID-19 vaccination was discussed at Baton Rouge on Monday.

The House Committee on Health and Welfare recommends that the Department of Health of Louisiana add the COVID-19 vaccine to the state’s “immunity schedule” for children attending school and day care, eventually voting 13-2. , We conducted an hour-long hearing about refusing to add. list.

NS The state needs some vaccinesMeasles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, etc. Parents can opt out of their requirements not only for religious or medical reasons, but also for philosophical reasons. This is a broader exemption compared to other states.

Republicans questioned both vaccine safety and sectoral recommendations, and dozens of people opposed adding vaccines to the list they needed.

But unless Governor John Bel Edwards agrees to vote, the rules can move forward. His spokeswoman Christina Stevens said she intends to move forward by asking students for shots.

“As the governor said on Friday, he favored the addition of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to the immune schedule, and his opinion remains unchanged, except for recommendations from public health experts. Probably, “Stevens wrote. “Also, as LDH testified at today’s hearing, despite the false information presented today in Congress, the department absolutely has the authority to add this vaccine to the immune schedule. It’s safe, effective, and easily available throughout the state. ”

Stevens also pointed out Louisiana’s wide range of opt-out options. “Even if this vaccine is added to the immune schedule, none of them will change.”

She repeated what Canter said earlier in the day.

“Children are certainly not immune. During September nationally, COVID-19 is the sixth leading cause of death for children aged 5-14 years and the fourth leading cause of death for individuals aged 15-24 years. It was the leading cause of death. ” Canter said At the hearing on Monday. “Vaccines are the only best tool we have to fight back.”

In addition to the law allowing the state to request vaccination, state health officials quoted State law for hygiene law, And pointed out a section that allows departments to set requirements to prevent infectious diseases.

Dozens of public commentators objected to adding shots to the list.

With Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy Well-known vaccine skeptics One of them was often accused of using his platform to disseminate false information.

During his presentation to the Commission, he called the COVID-19 shot “the most deadly vaccine ever made.” According to advocate reporter Blake Patterson..

Kennedy was invited to testify on Monday by Louisiana Attorney General Geoff Landry. Jeff Landry is a Republican and is considered a candidate for the 2023 governor’s election. Laundry has spent much of its nation’s mitigation efforts in the fight against the pandemic.

When asked about Kennedy’s testimony, Canter rejected it.

“In the midst of a pandemic, I realized that such false information was extremely dangerous,” Canter said.



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