eflon / Flickr / Piqsels / CC BY 2.0ALBANY — Rep. Tom Reed, State Sen. George Borrello and State Rep. Andrew Goodell are among a group of lawmakers who sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasting the state’s return to school guidelines.Reed and 12 New York State legislators sent a joint letter to Cuomo and the New York State Department of Health calling them out for what they say are confusing and potentially disastrous back-to-school guidance. The newly released New York State rules dramatically expand the criteria children or staff must meet before they can return to school.Previously, the state guidelines required students and staff to meet only one of these criteria: be quarantined for a certain number of days and be symptom-free upon return; receive approval from a primary care provider or school medical director after receiving an alternative diagnosis with similar symptoms such as ear infections, strep throat, seasonal allergies or other related illnesses or receive a negative COVID-19 test.Current guidance now requires staff and students who exhibit symptoms to meet all three criteria, which means these students and staff will require a negative COVID-19 test to return to school. This would place an undue burden on parents and families across the state, as well as cut children’s doctors out of the decision-making process. With this new policy, parents and school staff will often be responsible for the cost of COVID-19 tests. Likewise, these policies will unnecessarily overburden New York’s testing capacity, which in turn will take testing resources away from others.“We care about making sure common-sense guidelines are put into place that allow for a safe, practical return to school for students and staff alike,” said Reed. “These new state rules have introduced a tremendous amount of confusion and concern from parents, students, and staff worried about the burden of unnecessary costs and excessive classroom absences. We are committed to working together to make sure parents, students, and staff can all safely return to school and succeed in the classroom.”The letter calls for “common sense guidance that will provide clear, practical guidelines for a safe return to school that also does not overtax parents, staff, or the testing system.”In the letter, lawmakers argue the new testing levels will “dramatically curtail available testing capacity. COVID-19 has a wide array of symptoms including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms also correspond with several common illnesses children get every year. If parents are required to have their child tested for exhibiting these symptoms, it will needlessly overwhelm our current capacity and take resources away from those that truly need it.”In addition, the writers argue testing results can often be delayed for nearly a week.“A child with a simple cough or runny nose, under these new rules, would be forced to stay at home and miss a week or more of school waiting for a COVID-19 negative test. Unnecessary absences will skyrocket, which in turn will limit children’s capacity to learn.”Also, the letter charges that new requirements will take “a child’s doctor out of the picture. There are illnesses that can be ruled out by family physicians. Under the current language, a child could see their doctor, test positive for Strep throat and still need a COVID-19 test before considering returning to school. This is not only a waste of COVID-19 testing capacity; increasing the number of tests unnecessarily delays the turnaround time for others waiting for a test result.”“Most major insurers are only reimbursing the cost of a COVID-19 test if it is medically necessary. By taking the doctor out of the equation, families will be forced to burden the cost of an unnecessary COVID-19 test. This could result in parents deciding to either not seek medical care for their child for fear of being required to personally cover a COVID-19 test, or parents trying to hide a child’s symptoms.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
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Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 1, 2016 at 9:37 pm Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturco Gabriela Knutson bent over and bounced on the balls of her feet. Knutson threw the ball up and hit a serve that bounced off Anna Ulyashchenko’s racket and landed out of bounds. The next play was another ace, as Knutson won the first set 6-2.Ulyashchenko lowered her racket and kicked it, gripping the handle tightly. She walked over to the bench where her coach tried to console her. It was of no use. Ulyashchenko took her racket and smashed it over her head six times before letting out a grunt. Knutson sat on the bench waiting for the next set.The next set did not go her way, though, as multiple hits landing just off the net and missing the baseline by a couple inches led to Knutson letting out a loud moan. She began talking to herself in Czech. That’s when volunteer assistant coach Len Lopoo tried to calm her down, telling her, “Go back to playing Gabby tennis.”While she was unable to win the second set, falling 4-6, she was able to emulate “Gabby tennis” in a dominating third set victory.“I played my game, which is aggressive. (In the second set) I got nervous so I was missing my shots,” Knutson said. “(In the third set) I had the mindset to forget the second set and focus on what happened in the first.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUp 5-1, Knutson fired a forehand that landed past the outstretched hand of Ulyashchenko. The next point was a short-lived rally that resulted in Knutson taking home what would be No. 40 Syracuse’s (9-6, 3-6 Atlantic Coast) first of four points of the match, as the team defeated No. 19 Wake Forest (16-6, 5-5 ACC) 4-3.Knutson was one of the many bright spots in Syracuse’s come-from-behind win against Wake Forest. In her doubles match, her and Valeria Salazar had no trouble defeating Ulyashchenko and Kimmy Guerin, 6-3.In the last game of the No. 1 doubles match, Knutson and Salazar were up 6-2. The first two plays of the game resulted in lobs that Knutson spiked into the ground and over the heads of her opponents. The next play, Knutson hit a forehand that slowly bounced between the two. And the last was yet another spike to secure match point.“The momentum changed when we broke the lefties serve,” Salazar said. “Gabby hit some really good returns and it changed the whole momentum.”The win is the duo’s seventh, as they currently are ranked No. 33 among all doubles teams in the nation, according to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.“(Gabriela and Valeria) were huge for us. They put us in a great position,” head coach Younes Limam said. “(They were) going and getting it instead of waiting for things to happen. It’s great to see them bounce back from a couple tough losses the last couple weeks.” Comments