Arizona governor defends school rule as virus ‘storm’ looms

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey on Thursday warned that a “storm is ahead” as coronavirus cases climb in the state, but defended new guidelines for in-person school instruction that will let students remain in class far beyond what earlier guidance would have recommended.

The Republican governor insisted that his administration consulted with public education and health officials before making the decision to ease guidance for when schools should consider ending in-person instruction and returning to online classes.

But Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, a Democrat, said in a tweet that her department did not request or recommend any changes to the state health department’s guidance.


And two major school administrator groups objected to the decision, saying it goes against months of planning done following the previous guidance. The Arizona School Administrators and the Arizona School Boards Association released a statement s aying the change was made without communicating its reason or an understanding of its impact on schools.

Ritchie Taylor, Hoffman’s spokesman, said the Health Services Department presented the change as a done deal at a regular weekly meeting earlier this month of a group of county health officials and Education Department officials. The group has been meeting since the summer to collaborate on school virus issues.

“It was not put up for a collaborative debate or input,” Taylor said. “It was put up as a policy decision.”

The Health Services Department in August issued guidance outlining how and when schools can consider reopening and when they should close again if virus cases surge. Those rules suggested a return to remote learning if at least one of a county’s three benchmarks based on COVID-19 cases, testing positivity and prevalence of COVID-19-like illness moved from moderate to substantial spread.

The new recommendations were quietly posted on the health services department website last Thursday, and went unnoticed until KNXV-TV reported on them earlier this week. They call for districts to move to remote learning when all three benchmarks move to substantial spread for two weeks.

Ducey on Wednesday dodged questions about why there was no announcement of the change and did not specifically say who requested them. The guidance covers 1.1 million public school students in district and charter schools statewide. It doesn’t cover private or parochial schools.

“These guidelines were adjusted at the request of public education leaders in coordination with public health officials,” Ducey said. “And that’s how we’ll continue to do that and we will be completely transparent.”

The governor spoke at a media briefing where he discussed current virus conditions, which he said were rising. Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said she expects a further spike in cases after Thanksgiving, when college students return home and families gather for the holidays.

“I hope that I am wrong, but what I would anticipate is to see a spike about 10 to 14 days after Thanksgiving and then potentially continue to increase over the next four to six weeks,” Christ said.

That would strain hospitals, who

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Meet Said Sergeyevich Shavershian, aka Chestbrah, who is taking the fitness industry by storm – brand post

The more we talk about how different individuals from all the parts of the world are trying their best to make a mark in their respective fields, the more we feel it is spoken less about. Similarly, the fitness world too in the past decade has given birth to some of the most high-performing and passionate bodybuilders and fitness experts who have gone ahead and created their own unique niche. One such growing name is Said Sergeyevich Shavershian, aka Chestbrah, as he is well-known across the online world. This young and passionate fitness lover and bodybuilder started with his late and legendary brother and pioneer of the aesthetic movements Aziz Sergeyevich Shavershian for creating a historical revolution in the fitness industry.

Chestbrah is a 34-year-old bodybuilder and a well-known name in the fitness world, who dived deep into bodybuilding from the age of 18. He and his family migrated from Russia and moved to Australia when he was only 6 years old. After finishing studies in high school, he earned his degree in operations in business management and used the degree to prepare himself in the fitness world and market himself and his brand to become big in the same.

Today, he is a fitness entrepreneur as well who owns two online businesses; one is ‘Aesthetic Supplements’, which sells best quality aesthetic supplements, running for the past one year successfully and the other is ‘Shavershian Fitness’, which is an online clothing brand, gaining great success from the past five years. Both of these businesses of Chestbrah are world-renowned and established. His late brother Aziz and him together started the aesthetic movements that is today in the fitness industry.

For the last 10 years, Chestbrah has been working consistently to build his legacy and create a massive movement in the fitness scene to inspire the young generation to chase their dreams, goals and fitness passion and craze. He is also excited to be sailing the WBFF pro card and win the same in the coming months as he is preparing for a big major competition, where last time he was placed at number 4. This time, he is even more excited to move ahead in the competition.

Said was also a Head judge for JEFF SEID CLASSIC international fitness show and we expecting him to see once again in 2021 along with jeff SEID and B. O. D Hamdan Pathan in India.

Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content.

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Feinstein Institutes researchers find effective COVID-19 ‘cytokine storm’ treatment

Some immune systems have responded to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections by going into overdrive, resulting in an overzealous inflammatory response referred to as a cytokine storm. In a retrospective study of nearly 6,000 patients, researchers from The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Northwell COVID-19 Research Consortium have identified the most effective immunomodulatory therapies to treat patients with evidence of this cytokine storm and improve patient survival.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201020006139/en/

Dr. Negin Hajizadeh and colleagues. (Credit: Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research)

A multidisciplinary team of investigators, led by Negin Hajizadeh, MD, a pulmonary and critical care physician, and associate professor at the Feinstein Institutes, analyzed the electronic health records of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across 12 of Northwell Health hospitals – New York State’s largest health system – between March 1 and April 24, 2020. The results were published today in CHEST, by Sonali Narain, MD, assistant professor at the Feinstein Institutes, corresponding author, and team.

Patients were divided into one of six groups; no immunomodulatory treatment (standard of care), patients who received intravenous corticosteroids, anti-interleukin 6 antibody therapy (tocilizumab) or anti-interleukin-1 therapy (anakinra) alone or in combination with corticosteroids.

The results show that the most effective treatment was the combination of corticosteroids – such as dexamethasone – with tocilizumab when compared to standard of care. Additionally, there was an improvement if corticosteroids were used alone, or in combination with tocilizumab or anakinra when compared with standard of care.

“Cytokine storms are a hallmark for many COVID-19 patients and are associated with the most severe form of this illness,” said Dr. Hajizadeh, associate professor at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and co-senior author on the paper. “Our findings suggest that with the intervention of certain drugs like corticosteroids, we can battle the cytokine storm and improve outcomes to the point that we believe we have found a new standard of care for seriously ill patients.”

Overall, there were twice as many males as females in the cohorts, and more than 65 percent had never smoked. Contradictory to previous reports, the Black population was associated with better survival compared to white patients. Additionally, the most common comorbidities across the groups of patients that experienced a cytokine storm include:

  • Hypertension (44-59 percent);

  • Diabetes (32-46 percent);

  • Cardiovascular disease (5-14 percent);

  • Chronic kidney disease (5-12 percent);

  • Cancer (5-11 percent);

  • Asthma (3-12 percent).

“Dr. Hajizadeh’s major COVID-19 research study gives timely and crucial new knowledge about using currently available anti-inflammatory drugs,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. “This information will help others save lives.”

The researchers hope that the findings are useful for frontline providers to care for severely ill COVID-19 patients and to aid in the future design of large randomized controlled clinical trials, the gold standard of medical research.

About the Feinstein Institutes

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer

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