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Live updates: Schools grapple with return to classrooms amid mounting coronavirus infections among children


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SOURCE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/08/17/coronavirus-covid-live-updates-us/#link-EEOFMI4GORCCXPPU5IDSYB5WNM
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Summary

Share your story with The Washington Post.Amid a rise in infection levels among young Europeans, Italy and Spain are temporarily closing nightclubs.Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa said Friday the new measures — which apply to nightclubs and some bars — are set to take effect this week, according to Bloomberg.In Italy, Health Minister Roberto Speranza cited the importance of schools being able to reopen safely in September as justification for similar new measures.“We cannot nullify the sacrifices made in past months,” he wrote on Facebook. In addition to nightclub closures, he announced, it would become mandatory for people to wear face masks in some outdoor areas close to nightlife and other hot spots from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.The new measures take effect Monday, after Italian authorities reported 629 new infections on Saturday and 479 new cases on Sunday.Italy has recorded at least 35,000 deaths from the coronavirus and more than 253,000 infections since the pandemic began.Life in the country appeared to be returning to a degree of normality this summer, as shops and businesses reopened in a bid to repair the shattered economy. Many bars, restaurants and nightclubs welcomed customers, and lockdown restrictions were eased — despite concerns from medical experts that a lack of social distancing and a return to nightlife activities may increase infection levels.Blame also fell on the younger generation in Ireland over the weekend, after video footage emerged of a packed bar in Dublin, where customers danced in proximity and without face masks.Irish Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said people were “rightly sickened at these scenes.” Local media reported police were reviewing footage of the brunch event on Saturday following the apparent breach of covid-19 guidelines.SEOUL — South Korea is on high alert amid a rising number of coronavirus cases. Jun, a far-right pastor and a vocal critic of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, was arrested earlier this year on charges of violating election laws at his rallies.He was seen speaking onstage in front of thousands of anti-Moon protesters on Saturday, which health authorities said was “in violation of quarantine rules.” South Korea’s semiofficial Yonhap news agency reported Monday that Jun has tested positive for the coronavirus, citing a health official who wasn’t named.Alisha Morris usually spends early August preparing lesson plans and getting her classroom set up at Olathe West High School in Olathe, Kan. But this year she was stuck at home, anxiously scrolling through an endless stream of stories about schools that have opened up only to quickly shutter or send hundreds of students home to quarantine because of exposure to the novel coronavirus.“I was feeling overwhelmed by all the articles I was seeing online,” Morris, 29, told The Washington Post. Lebanon’s health-care system has been stretched thin for weeks, having been overwhelmed first by the thousands of people who were injured in the explosion, then flooded with dozens of protesters who were wounded in clashes with police while expressing anger at the government.Last week, the World Health Organization said more than half of Beirut’s medical centers were out of commission as a result of the explosion, leading to a shortage of as many as 600 beds.Los Angeles Unified, the second-largest school district in the nation, plans to periodically test nearly 700,000 students and 75,000 employees for the novel coronavirus in an ambitious attempt to gain clarity on when in-person instruction can resume safely.The district was one of the first nationwide to announce that students would not be returning to classrooms in the fall and that it will start the school year with online instruction on Tuesday. Virtually no one wore a mask.The huge party in Dahlonega, Ga., captured in a viral Twitter video, was one of a number of mass gatherings around the country over the weekend as tens of thousands of students returned to college towns already on edge amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.Local officials from Georgia to Alabama to Oklahoma reacted with horror and anger on Sunday, warning that unless students take social distancing and mask rules seriously, the fall semester could come to a swift end.Read more here.Japan’s economy suffered a major hit between April and June, as the coronavirus pandemic took a heavy toll on consumer spending and exports.The country’s gross domestic product decreased by a seasonally adjusted 7.8 percent in the second quarter of 2020, representing an annualized drop of 27.8 percent, according to government data. Georgia’s Cherokee County School District said Sunday that it was closing a third high school where 25 people had tested positive and 500 students were placed in “precautionary quarantine.” And an Oklahoma high school said that an asymptomatic student tested positive for the coronavirus but showed up for the first day of class last week anyway because the student’s parents believed it would be safe to do so, KFOR reported.

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