Welcome to the weekend news update! Here are some of the news items today from around the US, pertaining to the latest effects of coronavirus on different groups of people and institutions. As always, these headlines are courtesy of Newseum.org.
Los Angeles Times, Published in Los Angeles, California
In California’s San Joaquin Valley, agriculture is the main industry, mostly serviced by Latino migrant workers who are estimated to be up to 70% of coronavirus cases in the county. Laborers live and work in cramped conditions with little protection from the virus or access to healthcare. Advocates say that employers and county officials have been slow and underwhelming in their response to the quickly spreading outbreak which is consistent with how farm workers have always been treated as disposable.
Orlando Sentinel, Published in Orlando, Florida
In two counties in Florida, students have several options for the fall semester--in-person learning, a remote option to follow lessons in the school or a digital series of lessons at the student’s own pace. Furthermore, some are doing a hybrid mix of digital and in-person lessons. Despite coronavirus rates spiking in Florida, the governor and state education commissioner are mandating that schools will open for the fall semester and teachers are protesting.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Published in Atlanta, Georgia
Estimates project that public universities in Georgia could lose between 14.5-76.7 million apiece if instruction goes fully online for the fall semester. Student housing, dining halls and other fees are large sources of income for universities. Several universities in Georgia have recently announced online learning for the fall, but others are still pushing for re-opening or a hybrid mix of classes. There is a significant amount of contention on these decisions and some students wonder if money is being put before their safety.
Rockford Register Star, Published in Rockford, Illinois
The Discovery Center, a science museum for children in Rock River Valley, Illinois normally draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Now, after four months of closure they are planning on reopening with stringent protocol in place. Capacity is limited to three groups of fifty visitors per day. Visitors are screened for coronavirus before entering. Anything children might touch has been purchased in triplicate to be swapped out and cleaned. However, all these safety measures and limited guests means that the Discovery Center is currently operating at a loss. The director says that many other museums are waiting until 2021 to reopen for this reason.
The Detroit News, Published in Detroit, Michigan
The Detroit Institute of Arts was one of the first cultural institutions to start selling ‘artsy’ face masks. Their initial supply of 5,200 masks sold out in four days and was backordered for two months. Some feature artwork from the museum’s collection, such as Diego Rivera’s “Detroit Industry” murals, others are famous pieces including Van Gogh and Hokusai.