George Mason University Pulls Booster Mandate After Students Fight Back

healthcare worker giving vaccination

After students at George Mason University (GMU) fought the school’s administration on mandatory booster shots for COVID-19, the school Monday announced that it has scrapped the mandate, though it did not credit the students for their efforts. 

“George Mason University announced today it will strongly encourage students who remain unvaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster, but no longer require it, in observance of Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ opinion,” the school said in a message written by President Gregory Washington. 

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Ohio National Guard Stationed at Dayton Children’s Hospital

Some members of the Ohio National Guard, part of a group of 1500 deployed last week to help hospitals handle the Omicron surge of the COVID-19 pandemic will be stationed at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Springboro campus. 

According to several reports, the Guardsmen will be working at a testing site at the hospital, where testing is in high demand. 

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Florida Signals Shift Away from Federal COVID Testing Standards

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo signaled they would be adopting procedures that would shift Florida’s COVID testing protocol away from the federal government’s standard of testing.

Both officials stressed the importance of “high-value testing” rather than blanketed testing like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends.

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Ohio State University Medical Center Opens Drive-Thru COVID Testing Site

COVID Vaccine Parking sign

Ohio State University along with CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, teamed up to open a new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility capable of administering 1000 tests per day to students at the school.

“We know that testing is an important tool in our battle against COVID-19,” said Dr. Andrew Thomas, interim co-leader and chief clinical officer at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center said in a press release. “We remain committed to supporting the central Ohio community and to meeting the increased demand for COVID-19 testing. At this point, our focus is testing individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and those with significant exposures to people known to have COVID-19. Knowing your COVID status can help prevent you from spreading this virus to family members, friends and others you come in close contact with.”

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Commentary: Omicron, a Variant of Control

Last week, I dusted off my Chinese-flu soapbox and said a word or two about (cue the scary music) the Omicron variant. It sounds like the title of a Robert Ludlum novel, doesn’t it? A friend told me about a parlor game that the journalist Christopher Hitchens and his pals used to play in which the object was to contrive names for Shakespeare’s plays that sounded like the title of a Ludlum novel. Hamlet was “The Elsinore Conundrum.” I am sorry that Hitch is not still with us to try his hand at the Omicron variant. 

So far, I have to say, it’s been pretty much of a dud—unless, that is, you’re the stock market, which has taken a beating this last week or so, in part because of this new kid on the medical block (there is also that much more toxic financial emergency, the Biden Administration, but that’s for another day). The new variant has also been a godsend for scolds, nags, bureaucrats, and meddlesome so-called public health officials nannies who are just itching for another excuse to lock down your world, introduce new travel restrictions, and impose new testing protocols.

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Analysis: More Than a Third of Unvaccinated Workers Will Quit Their Jobs If Forced to Take Weekly COVID Test

More than a third of U.S. workers who have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 say they will quit their jobs if their employer requires them to take a weekly test or get the shots as a condition of employment, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports.

The data come from the foundation’s COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, an ongoing research project that tracks the public’s attitudes and experiences with COVID-19 vaccinations. It combines surveys and qualitative research, as well as public opinion on vaccine confidence and acceptance, information needs, messages and other criteria.

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Michigan House Passes COVID-19 Recovery Plan, Would Also Limit Whitmer’s Powers

The Michigan House on Thursday approved a $3.5 billion bill that would make $2.1 billion in federal education funding contingent on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer relinquishing her power to shut down schools to local health departments.

The Republican’s COVID-19 recovery plan includes $33 million for vaccine distribution and $144 million for COVID-19 testing, allocated quarterly.

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Additional Walgreens in Virginia to Offer Free COVID-19 Antigen Testing, Health Department Says

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced on Thursday that it is expanding its partnership with Walgreens to offer Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen COVID-19 testing for free at specific locations throughout the Commonwealth, according to a press release from the agency.

Before the expanded agreement only four Walgreens in the state were providing the drive-through tests, but now that number has increased to 15 select locations, the release said.

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Minnesota Launches COVID-19 Home Saliva Test Pilot Program

Minnesota health officials announced a pilot program Thursday that will provide at-home COVID-19 saliva tests for residents in two dozen counties and tribal nations statewide in an effort to expand access to testing as the state experiences a surge in cases in recent weeks.

The program allows people to order a saliva test through the mail and perform the test in their own home with virtual help from a health care professional. The test will then be shipped to the state’s saliva lab in Oakdale, with results emailed within 24-48 hours.

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Reports: Largest Concentrations of ‘at-Risk’ Coronavirus Patients Are in States with Best Health Infrastructures

Many individuals considered to be the most at-risk for coronavirus live in states that had the best health infrastructures in place before state restrictions began in March, according to two recent analyses.

Residents of West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia were found to be the most vulnerable, according to personal-finance website WalletHub’s analysis of States with the Most Vulnerable Populations to Coronavirus.

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