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Reopenings Lead to Quarantine, Testing Recommendations, Research on Workplace Bias

By Net Assets posted 08-04-2020 09:04 AM


(from the Washington Post and New York Times) Last week Georgia's largest school district reopened on a Wednesday and the following day hundreds of students and employees were required to quarantine due to exposure to someone with COVID-19. In this case, exposure was blamed on community spread. Other school districts in Indiana and Mississippi that have reopened have seen cases in the first week back. Questions remain about when schools should close and what precautions are sufficient to ensure a safe learning environment.

More from the Washington Post and the New York Times

(from Inside Higher Ed) A new modeling study published Friday by researchers at Harvard and Yale Universities concluded that a safe way to bring college students back to campus this fall would be to test them for COVID-19 every two days using "a rapid, inexpensive, and even poorly sensitive" test, and to couple this testing with strict behavioral strategies to keep the virus’s rate of transmission (Rt) -- the average number of individuals infected by a single contagious person -- below 2.5. Such a strategy, the authors wrote, “was estimated to yield a modest number of containable infections and to be cost-effective.” They added, “This sets a very high bar -- logistically, financially, and behaviorally -- that may be beyond the reach of many university administrators and the students in their care.”

More from Inside Higher Ed

(from Inside Higher Ed) Researchers at Siena College who did a "dry run" of a socially distanced classroom at the college level found the following barriers: 

  • Masks and spacing make it difficult to hear and be heard. 
  • People rely on visual communication cues more than they realize. 
  • In-person students had difficulty interacting with Zoom students and vice versa.
  • Lectures go more smoothly than group work.
  • Outdoor classes work but require more structure than indoors.
  • Transitions between classes will cause traffic jams and lapses in social distancing. 
  • The workload of faculty members and IT professionals will be substantially higher than usual.
More from Inside Higher Ed

(from SHRM) U.S. workers and HR professionals say racial discrimination exists in the workplace, but there is a vast difference in perception of how widespread it is, depending on the race of the person you talk to, according to a new report the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). 49% of Black HR professionals think race- or ethnicity-based discrimination exists in their workplaces; only 13% of white HR professionals agree. The findings from the report, The Journey to Equity and Inclusion, also show that 35% of Black workers say such discrimination is part of their workplace, but only 7% of white workers say that is the case. 

More from SHRM

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