Journal Times editorial: Don’t rush COVID-positive kids back to school | Editorial

We recognize that there is disagreement and controversy over managing K-12 education in a pandemic.

But we’ve found something that shouldn’t be in dispute: Kids who’ve tested positive for COVID and been sent home for quarantine should not be sent back to school until their quarantine period is over.

The Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department is asking schools in Washington and Ozaukee counties to use attendance software to track students with the coronavirus.

Why, you may ask? Well, some parents knowingly sent their children to school even after they tested positive for COVID-19, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sept. 22.

In one instance, a student was so ill that the student went to the nurse’s office, said Health Department director Kirsten Johnson. The nurse discovered the student was on the list of those who had tested positive and should not have been in class.

“We’ve been trying hard to work

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Journal Times editorial: Busing prep athletes outside city doesn’t protect anyone | Editorial

A lot of wacky rules have emerged in the name of preventing the spread of COVID-19. One of the strangest involves local schools and sports.

Students at St. Catherine’s and Racine Lutheran high schools are able to play soccer, football and volleyball. But they cannot play or practice in the city.

Those two schools, unlike their Racine Unified counterparts, are allowing those sports to be played. But under the City of Racine’s Safer at Home ordinance, those “high-risk” sports cannot be played within city limits.

So to practice, Lutheran and St. Catherine’s athletes need to be transported to fields or facilities outside city limits. Likewise, there are no home games, just away games.

“If the sport/activity is not permissible under the ordinance, it doesn’t matter whose facility is used, it’s not permitted,” Racine Communications Director Shannon Powell said in early September, explaining the decision.

The list of “high-risk” activities includes

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Journal Times editorial: Kenosha needs to be able to move forward | Editorial

As a consultant, retired Madison Police Chief Noble Wray seems like an excellent choice to review the state’s investigation into the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha on August 23.

Wray was introduced in Kenosha on Monday, just as the ongoing probe was marking one month.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul gave no timetable but said the probe is “in the final stages” and the file would be “turned over soon.”

Wray, who retired from the Madison post in 2013, will review and analyze the final Department of Justice report and then give his findings to Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley.

Graveley will make the final decision on whether criminal charges should be brought against Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey or the two other officers involved in the shooting — Vincent Arenas and Brittany Meronek.

All three officers have been on administrative leave since the shooting, which set

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Journal Times editorial: Put politics aside and help Kenosha | Editorial

“The administration acted quickly by bringing initial assistance to Kenosha, and going forward I will continue working with the administration to provide additional resources to help our community come together and rebuild.”

So we really still don’t know whether the points made in the letter are valid and under review, but what we do know is Kenosha businesses and the Kenosha community need money. And fast.

And we also know that it’s well past time that Evers, Baldwin, Steil and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., worked in a bipartisan manner for Kenosha. That should have started the day after the riots and fires left millions of dollars in damage.

Instead, we’ve had partisan statements and now letters, visits by Evers and Steil, and not much from either senator.

These four should begin today working for Kenosha in a bipartisan manner that is so absent in politics today. They can start

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Journal Times editorial — Good news: Teen vaping shows a significant decline | Editorial

Lost in the never-ending reports of COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations and new cases was a nugget of good news: vaping by U.S. teenagers fell dramatically, especially among middle schoolers.

The national survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that just under 20 percent of high schoolers and 5 percent of middle schoolers said they were recent users of electronic cigarettes and other vaping products.

That’s a significant decline from last year when the survey posted numbers of 28 percent for high schoolers and 11 percent for middle schoolers.

By any mark, that’s progress. The CDC said the survey suggests that nationwide the number of school-age children who vape fell by 1.8 million – from 5.4 million to 3.6 million – which indicates there is still work to do.

While teen use declined, experts said there appears to be a bump in the use of disposable e-cigarettes. According to

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Murphy said this test could be our ‘salvation.’ So why isn’t it in nursing homes? | Editorial

Gov. Phil Murphy has done well steering our state through this pandemic, but one big stain on his record is nursing homes.

He blundered in numerous ways: Putting hospitals first, even as the death toll exploded in the nursing homes, failing to get them protective equipment and test kits quickly, and forcing them to take COVID patients from hospital wards.

Now it looks like another misstep is in the works. Rutgers has developed an excellent COVID test that is faster and easier – you just spit in a tube, and it’s analyzed by a lab in 24 to 48 hours.

Nursing homes need it, desperately. It’s not easy to shove a swab down the nasal cavity of an 80-year-old dementia patient, let alone get the results back in a timely manner. Yet they still don’t have it, as we face the threat of a possible resurgence.

Neither do veteran’s homes,

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Journal Times editorial: Take steps to prevent the next Kenosha | Editorial

Evers himself said last week, “Clearly I would not change a thing I did. We met every request the city and county of Kenosha asked us.”

Whether it was enough has depended on your politics to this point.

For now, let’s disregard politics and agree that the governor did everything he could as fast as he could when widespread protests began and unrest soon followed. No debate, the early response was what the state could do and it showed great teamwork.

And the result: Kenosha burned.

There is no debate about that either. At last estimate there is $50 million worth of damage to as many as 100 businesses. The Uptown took a staggering blow.

The Guard was here – the governor did what he could – and Kenosha burned about 30 hours after the Blake shooting.

That cannot happen again, as the County Board supervisors said.

But what has

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Journal Times editorial: Don’t harshly punish college students for normal behavior | Editorial

Emma Wells, a parent from Maryland with two sons in college, one a sophomore at WPI, said she feels misled by the school. Over the summer, WPI emphasized the welcoming environment it would create despite the challenges of social distancing, but downplayed the severity of the rules and their consequences, she said.

“I’m not going to say a high-end prison, but it’s really strict, you can’t hang out with anybody,” Wells said.

Her son was recently asked to leave WPI housing after he and four of his roommates were found socializing and drinking in their on-campus apartment with five female classmates. The five male students were kicked out of housing, while the women were asked to write an essay, she said. The school, which said it could not comment on the matter, has allowed Wells to appeal the decision and she is waiting for the response.

Are universities really going

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