Advocates Call on Comcast to Expand Internet Access for Low-Income City Residents

Baltimore City Council Members and the Students Organizing a Multicultural & Open Society (SOMOS) are urging Comcast to expand internet access to low-income residents amid the pandemic.  The advocates assert that Comcast falls short on the current offerings of its Internet Essentials plan to low-income residents and should expand the timeline for free service and increase the download/upload speeds to help children continue to learn while no longer in the classrooms. As reported in The…

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Harford County Uses Humor to Promote 2020 Census

The 2020 Census is happening now, and Harford County has created a few short video ads to remind residents that everyone counts when it comes to improved funding for counties. From Harford County's YouTube page:   https://youtu.be/ojd7X8J02E0 https://youtu.be/cfSzw9kPGO4 A Spanish version of this video can be viewed here. Data from the decennial census is used to determine everything from the distribution of federal funds to states and local governments for social service programs, to government…

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New Polls Show 20% of Teachers Unlikely to Return to School this Fall

New USA Today and Ipsos polls show that while the majority of educators believe school buildings will reopen this fall, 20% of teachers say they are unlikely to return to the classroom if the decision to reopen is made. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, almost every school district in the United States shuttered their doors and implemented some form of distance learning. Two polls conducted at the same time by USA Today and global research…

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Harford to Offer Free Outdoor Wi-Fi

Harford County announced the expansion of free Wi-Fi for residents outside of five county buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Harford County Office of Information & Communication Technology installed Wi-Fi access points at the Agricultural Center in Street, Churchville Recreational Center’s Level Building, Fallston Activity Center, McFaul Activities Center in Bel Air, and the Havre de Grace Senior Center. From the press release: “For our residents who need or want Internet connectivity during this…

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USDA Extends Flexibilities for Continued Meals for Students
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USDA Extends Flexibilities for Continued Meals for Students

The United States Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service recently announced the extension of three waivers giving child nutrition program operators continue flexibility through the summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Waivers will extend school disticts' grab-and-go meal sites through the summer, allow parents to pick up meals for their children, and provide flexibility in when meals are serve in order to provide multiple meals at one pick-up- minimizing how many times families will need…

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School Nurses in Anne Arundel Become an ‘Army’ of COVID-19 Contact Tracers

Ahead of state-led efforts, Anne Arundel has reassigned school nurses to perform COVID-19 contract tracing to help identify how far the virus has potentially spread from an identified patient.  While the state works to start a pilot program with the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC) to hire tracers, Anne Arundel already has employed 100 people, including 86 school nurses, to work as contact tracers. The Washington Post reports on the contract tracing…

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Hopkins Launches Free Online Contact Tracing Course

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health recently launched a free online course to train contact tracers in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19. From JHU's website: A long-used public health tool, contact tracing aims to break the chain of transmission of infectious diseases. The new Coursera class, "COVID-19 Contact Tracing," teaches the basics of interviewing people diagnosed with the virus, identifying their close contacts who might have been exposed, and providing…

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Queen Anne’s to Add Outdoor Wi-Fi at Four Schools

Queen Anne's County Public School (QACPS) added outdoor internet access points for the main parking lots of Sudlersville Middle, Church Hill Elementary, Queen Anne's County High, and Grasonville Elementary schools. Students and employees are able to connect to the network and their devices have been programmed to automatically connect to the "MAC" Wi-Fi once in range of the wireless access points. QACPS also have purchased mobile hotspots to increase connectivity for students and educators who…

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CDC Issues “Re-Opening” Guidelines

The US Centers for Disease Control has issues a 60-page document, outlining guidelines for "re-opening" of businesses and activities amidst coronavirus concerns. The CDC document, released this week, spells out steps for schools, businesses and other facilities - both public and private - to take as they contemplate opening in the wake of virus-driven closures. Its release follows some widely reported back-and-forth about its specifics. See CNN coverage. Read the full CDC Document online.

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Anne Arundel Forms Joint Family Assistance Collaboration

Anne Arundel County officials, in partnership with school officials, will form a new collaboration to continue to address growing needs for students and residents. The Family Assistance Collaboration will help address needs like mental health services, childcare, and housing and income support as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. County Executive Steuart Pittman stated that he wants to get Anne Arundel staff from both the county government and school system working together to identify  needs and think…

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