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RICHMOND — Governor Ralph Northam today announced a Public Health Emergency Order requiring universal masking in all indoor settings in Virginia’s K-12 schools. This order reinforces current state law, which requires Virginia schools adhere to mitigation strategies outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of July 28, CDC guidelines include universal masking for all students, teachers, and staff. SB 1303 was passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the General Assembly earlier this year.

“We all share the same goal of keeping our schools open and keeping our students safe,” said Governor Northam. “That’s why the General Assembly passed this law with overwhelming bipartisan support. This Public Health Order makes it very clear that masks are required in all indoor K-12 settings, and Virginia expects all schools to comply. I’m grateful to the work of the General Assembly and the Health Department, and I look forward to a safe start to the school year.”

73 percent of all adults in Virginia have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of August 10, 40.3 percent of 12-15 year-olds in Virginia and 51.7 percent of 16-17 year olds in Virginia are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Children under 12 are not yet eligible to receive any available vaccination, which is one reason CDC updated its guidance to recommend universal masking in all K-12 schools. Masks are a proven tool to reduce in-school transmission, even in communities with high levels of spread.

“We know that masking is an effective tool to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly among children who are not yet eligible for vaccination,” said Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver. “As cases rise in our communities, universal masking and other mitigation measures will ensure our schools continue to be the safest place for Virginia’s children.”

“The vast majority of school districts have chosen to follow the CDC and keep their school communities safe,” said State Superintendent Dr. James Lane. “Universal masking has worked in school settings across Virginia for the past year and a half, and it remains a critical part of our safety protocols. I’m grateful to Governor Northam and Dr. Oliver for this order, which will ensure uniformity across all school districts and keep students safely in their classrooms—no matter where they live in Virginia.”

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In addition to this Public Health Order, Governor Northam has dedicated significant resources to improve the safety of K-12 schools. On Tuesday, Governor Northam signed House Bill 7001, which provides a total of $500 million to improve ventilation and air quality in public schools. Ventilation systems clean and disperse air, decreasing the risk of various airborne illnesses including COVID-19.

In 2020, Governor Northam directed $492 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to public schools and PreK-12 state-level education initiatives. This year, Virginia received approximately $939 million in ESSER II funds under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act of 2021. Additionally, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds directly allocate $1.9 billion to school divisions, with an additional state set aside of $211 million.

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Rapper T-Pain Moves Concert From Deep Ellum To Grand Prairie

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Rapper T-Pain is changing his concert schedule. He is taking his ‘Road to Wisconsin Tour’ further in North Texas after it was supposed to be in Dallas.

The concert was set to take place on May 18 at The Factory in Deep Ellum. It will now occur on June 24 at the Texas Trust CU Theatre in Grand Prairie.

Last month, T-Pain took to social media to question why tickets sales weren’t going so well.

“Dallas, what are you doing? I wore cowboy hats many times.. used to raise horses. I feel like I’m part of the city, you know?…wore a regular cowboy and Dallas Cowboys. I’ve done both! WTF!” Pain stated.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson heard about the rapper’s comments. He let Pain know that Dallas was safe although many of his fans stated otherwise.

“Dallas is the only Top 10 city in the U.S. where violent crime fell last year and overall crime is down…,” Johnson tweeted. “So, you and your concertgoers should feel safe here.” Johnson added this comment while tagging Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia in the tweet.

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However, even though crime decreased last year, there have been multiple shootings that have occurred in Deep Ellum in the last few months. This has resulted in T-Pain moving his concert to Grand Prairie.

Tickets that have been bought for the May show will be valid for the rescheduled show in June.



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Netflix Lays Off Close To 150 Employees

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Weeks after Netflix reported its first loss in subscribers since 2011, the company has laid off about 150 employees.

“As we explained on earnings, our slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company. So sadly, we are letting around 150 employees go today, mostly U.S.-based,” Netflix announced on Tuesday.

The amount of people laid off is close to 2% of Netflix’s employees. Those affected will be given a severance package, starting at four months although it could be subject to change.

In April, a financial report detailed that the streaming service lost about 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter. They have added that they are set to lose another 2 million subscribers in the second quarter.

Netflix has attributed the war in Ukraine and harsh competition as reasons why they have lost subscribers.

As of now, Netflix has 221.6 million subscribers. They are still ahead of their competition.

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The company is planning on aggressively monitoring password-sharing. They are also planning to start a “lower-priced ad-supported tier,” before the year is over. Their objective is to increase finances and subscribers.

Furthermore, the streaming service has a variety of payment tiers. The plan that most users pay for is $15.49 per month. The price of the lower ad-supported tier hasn’t been released.

Other streaming platforms have some of the same offerings. For instance, HBO’s ad-free service runs for $15 per month. Their services that contain commercials are $10 per month.



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Parents File Lawsuit Against Son For Not Giving Them A Grandchild

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An Indian, married couple is suing their son. This is because he has been married for six years and hasn’t given them a grandchild.

Sanjeev, 61, and Sadhana Prasad have filed a lawsuit against their son for $650,000 if he doesn’t have a child in the next 12 months.

They say that after utilizing their entire life-savings on their son, they want their money back. The parents claim that they spent $65,000 for him to become a pilot in the U.S. The Prasads also say that they funded his expensive wedding and honeymoon in Thailand.

“But, despite all of our efforts, my son and his wife have caused mental torture by not giving us a grandchild. The society also questions us, causing further pain,” the petition noted.

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The parents have filed the suit based on “mental harassment.” They stated that having a grandchild would help them to cope.

In India, it is common to observe parents assisting or making choices for their adult child’s career or personal life. Not adhering to those choices can be perceived to be disrespect.



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