TUCSON, AZ — Whether or not University of Arizona students will be forced to take a coronavirus test before the holidays remains up in the air following Tuesday’s meeting of the Tucson City Council.
A motion to table the vote for a later date passed 5-1. The resolution would have required the university to test all students prior to travel for Thanksgiving break and after returning as part of their enrollment. The school has over 40,000 students enrolled.
In a statement, Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik said he recognized the short period of time between now and Thanksgiving break would make a rule like this difficult to implement but he still believes in the resolution’s importance to public health.
“Nobody disagrees with the goal,” he wrote. “The challenge is in how the policy is put into effect. Let’s begin work on the mandatory testing policy together now, and implement it as soon as the details can be developed. At the very least however I believe all students should be required to test negative prior to returning to Tucson and being readmitted to classes in January.”
The plan would require coordination between the city, the university and the Pima County Health Department. The university, for one, does not believe that requiring testing as a factor in enrollment is the way to go.
“Our primary goal is to minimize the impact of student travel on community spread of COVID-19,” President Robert C. Robbins said in a statement Monday.
To help battle a potential uptick in cases resulting from holiday breaks, the university is ramping up its testing as Thanksgiving break approaches in late November. Testing will be done on an appointment basis starting Nov. 9; it is still free and open to walk-ins currently.
The university has also opted to cancel spring break in 2021, instead offering five “reading days” so students can get some time off. The spring semester is still due to start Jan. 13 and end on May 5.
This article originally appeared on the Tucson Patch
WALLINGFORD, CT — A “large portion” of Wallingford’s coronavirus cases in October came from a single event in town, according to Health Director Stephen Civitelli.
In an update to the Town Council this week, Civitelli said health officials were able to contact trace the confirmed COVID-19 cases to the event and found there were relationships with multiple people that also ended up impacting schools.
Civitelli provided the update at Tuesday night’s meeting, which was the first in-person Town Council meeting since April because of the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to resume in-person council meetings was criticized by several people on the Wallingford Patch Neighbor Post page and a speaker at the meeting.
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Wallingford in October. There were 20 confirmed cases as of Oct. 13, compared to 33 cases in September, 24 in August and 18 in July.
There were 1,928 tests conducted from Sept. 26 to Oct. 3 with a positive test rate of .7 percent, according to Civitelli.
Phase 3 of the state’s reopening, which increased indoor restaurant and personal service capacity from 50 to 75 percent, began Oct. 8 and Civitelli said health officials are trying to monitor reopenings with the cases and “how we react to that as a community.”
“We’re trying to monitor everything as best we can to try and get a grasp on where cases are and get to those quickly, so that we can identify the situation and try to isolate the people before it becomes a greater issue,” Civitelli said.
Civitelli, who was appointed this week to Gov. Ned Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group, compared Wallingford’s case rate to two cities that were recently assigned a “Red” alert level for the state’s coronavirus warning system. Towns in the red threshold have the option to scale back to the state’s second reopening phase.
Based on a new case rate per 100,000 population, New London had a 14-day rolling average of 30.5, Norwich was 46.9 and Wallingford was at 3.7, according to Civitelli.
The school district notified parents several times within the past week of confirmed COVID-19 cases at five different schools. Councilor Chris Shortell asked Civitelli if there is a concern about the school system.
Civitelli said “not at this point” because contact tracing showed the cases originated from within the community and were not spread from students in the same cohort at school.
“If we’re identifying where everything is coming from, that’s a good thing,” Civitelli said. “It’s when I can’t wrap my arms around it, and there’s no way where I can trace it back, then that’s where we’re back in April and early May where it was just so widespread. At that point, then you have true community spread. As of right now, it seems like it’s fairly steady.”
In-person meetings resume in Wallingford
Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni opened the meeting saying it was “appropriate” for the council to resume in-person meetings.
“In the past month, children of Wallingford have returned
Florida Cancer Specialists Oncologist Michael Diaz, MD Appointed to Florida Cancer Control & Research Advisory Council (CCRAB)
Council Advises State on Ways to Reduce the Burden of Cancer in Florida
Vice President & Assistant Managing Physician Michael Diaz, MD
Fort Myers, Fla., Oct. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Michael Diaz, MD, Assistant Managing Physician of Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), has been appointed to a two-year term on the prestigious Florida Cancer Control & Research Advisory Council (CCRAB). Established in 1979 by the Florida Legislature, CCRAB is an advisory body that concentrates on the study of cancer and advises the Legislature, Governor and Surgeon General on ways to reduce Florida’s cancer burden. There are 15 members of the Council, each representing a specific group of stakeholders. Dr. Diaz will serve as the new Association of Community Cancer Centers appointee.
“I am truly honored by this appointment,” Dr. Diaz said. “The Council has a significant leadership role in statewide efforts to improve patient participation in research and to reduce cancer health disparities, two objectives I consider vitally important. I look forward to working with the Council to reduce Florida’s cancer burden and promote healthier lives and communities across the state.”
CCRAB’s top goals for 2020 – 2025 include increasing collaboration among cancer control stakeholders, ensuring collection of comprehensive and high-quality cancer-related date, reducing the incidence and mortality from tobacco-related cancers, eliminating cervical cancer by increasing vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV), decreasing the incidence of skin cancer and increasing the use of genomic cancer risk assessments, including genetic counseling and appropriate genetic testing.
The Florida Cancer Control & Research Advisory Council traditionally meets twice a year and all meetings are open to the public. The next meeting will be held virtually on Friday, October 23rd from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Additional meeting information will be posted online at CCRAB.org/events.
About Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC: (FLCancer.com)
Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. Over the past 5 years, the majority of new cancer drugs approved for use in the U.S. were studied in clinical trials with Florida Cancer Specialists participation.* Trained in such prestigious medical schools and research institutes as Duke, Stanford, Harvard, Emory, MD Anderson, and Memorial Sloan Kettering, our physicians are consistently ranked nationally as Top Doctors by U.S. News & World Report.
Florida Cancer Specialists has built a national reputation for excellence that is reflected in exceptional and compassionate patient care, driven by innovative clinical research, cutting-edge technologies, and advanced treatments, including targeted therapies, genomic-based treatment, and immunotherapy. Our values are embodied by our outstanding team of highly trained and dedicated physicians, clinicians, and staff.
*Prior to approval
CONTACT: Shelly Glenn Florida Cancer Specialists (770) 365.6168 [email protected] Michelle Robey Florida Cancer Specialists (813) 767-9398 [email protected]