The Latest: Some Detroit teachers hesitate as schools reopen


DETROIT — Students in Michigan’s largest school district returned to classrooms for in-person learning
Monday for the first time in months.
Detroit schools stopped face-to-face learning in November because of rising COVID-19 infection rates in
the city. High schools statewide were also told to suspend in-person learning at that time.
Despite the resumption of in-person classes, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said many teachers have
declined to participate. Teachers who agree to work inside classrooms will get a quarterly bonus of
Vitti said online learning has been a challenge for many students but still will be offered.
"Some are doing well but many have been disengaged, have become chronically absent, have
disconnected completely," he said.
The district has about 50,000 students. Detroit families also send children to charter schools or schools
outside the city.
A parent, Nicole Kimble, said she’s going to keep her kids in virtual learning until more teachers show
"I do want to send them to school, but their teachers not going to be there so it’s a no-win for me.
It’s a no-win at all," Kimble said.
— With huge virus aid package for nation in sight, Democrats debate filibuster changes
— From vote to virus, misinformation campaign targets Latinos in US
— UK schools reopen widely, backed by frequent virus testing
— Russia finds its Sputnik V vaccine in hot demand overseas but questions arise over whether it can
produce the millions of vaccine doses ordered
— Vaccine rollout offers hope but also prompts envy, judgement and distrust
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at, and
WORCESTER, Mass. — Hundreds of nurses at a central Massachusetts hospital have walked off the job after
failing to reach an agreement with management over pandemic staffing levels.
Nurses and their supporters gathered outside St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester at dawn Monday holding
signs that said "Safe Staffing Now" and "Picketing for our Patients and our
The strike started after negotiations with Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, which owns the hospital, broke
Nurse Marlena Pellegrino, co-chair of the local bargaining unit of the Massachusetts Nurses Association,
says in a statement: "We are sad to see that Tenet holds so little value for our patients, yet we
are resolved to do whatever it takes for as long as it take to protect our patients, as it is safer to
strike now than allow Tenet to continue endangering our patients every day on every shift."
The hospital has about 800 nurses.
LONDON — British children returned to school on Monday after a two-month closure, with Prime Minister
Boris Johnson saying he aimed to get the country " moving closer to a sense of normality."
As part of the plan, millions of high school and college students coming back to U.K. classrooms will be
tested for the first few weeks. Authorities want to quickly detect and isolate asymptomatic cases in
order to avoid sending entire schools home.
"We are being cautious in our approach so that we do not undo the progress we have made so
far," Johnson said as he urged people to get vaccinated.
High schools and colleges could reopen in phases to allow for testing. The U.K. government has
distributed nearly 57 million rapid "lateral flow" test kits to schools across the country,
but there are concerns about the accuracy of the tests, which may result in pupils being forced to
self-isolate unnecessarily.
But Susan Hopkins, a director at Public Health England, told the BBC that evidence from testing over the
past eight weeks suggested less than 1 in 1,000 tests resulted in a false positive.
Britain has had Europe’s deadliest outbreak, with nearly 125,000 COVID-19 deaths.
BUDAPEST — Hungarians on Monday awoke to a new round of strict lockdown measures aimed at slowing a
record-breaking wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths powered by virus variants.
A rapid rise in pandemic indicators since early February prompted Hungary’s government to announce the
new restrictions, including closing most stores for two weeks and kindergartens and primary schools
until April 7. Most services are also required to cease operations, and the government urged businesses
to allow employees to work from home. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and tobacconists can stay
Hungary’s high schools have been remote learning since November and its bars, restaurants and gyms have
been closed since then as well.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned that the strain on the country’s hospitals will soon
surpass any other period in Hungary since the pandemic began, and that failing to impose harsher
restrictions now would result in a "tragedy."
"The next two weeks will be difficult … but if we want to open by Easter, we’ve got to close
down," Orban said Friday on a Facebook video.
The number of patients on ventilators in Hungarian hospitals has more than doubled in the last two weeks,
with 806 patients on Monday compared to the previous peak of 674 in early December. Deaths have also
risen sharply to nearly 16,000 confirmed deaths overall.
LISBON, Portugal — Portugal is fast approaching its targets for lifting a national COVID-19 lockdown,
just weeks after it was the world’s worst-hit country by size of population.
Health experts told Portugal’s president and prime minister in a televised meeting Monday that the 14-day
rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people should fall to the goal of 60 by next week. It is
currently 141.
The country’s so-called "R" number, showing the number of people that one infected person will
pass the virus to, stands at 0.74 — among Europe’s lowest.
The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care had dropped to 240, which is roughly the maximum at
which the national health service can cope, and is forecast to fall to 120 by the end of the month.
The government on Thursday will unveil a phased plan for lifting the lockdown introduced in mid-January.
Most restrictions, such as the closure of stores, restaurants and cafes, are expected to stay until
after the Easter break, amid hopes that tourists will be able to return in May.
BERLIN — Germany is looking to ramp up the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after authorities last week
gave the green light for it to be administered to people 65 and over.
Hundreds of thousands of doses have been gathering dust in recent weeks due to the restrictions on who
could get the vaccine and misgivings among some who were eligible. According to the European Center for
Disease Prevention and Control, Germany has received 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca shot so far
but administered just 721,000.
Berlin is opening a sixth vaccine center Monday at the former Tempelhof airport in the center of the city
that will administer only the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Germany’s vaccine campaign has lagged behind Britain and the United States. By Sunday, Germany had given
out 5.2 million vaccine doses, with 2.5 million people or about 3 % of the population fully vaccinated.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told public broadcaster ZDF that he expects Germany to be able to administer
up to 10 million shots a week by the end of the month.
ROME — The Italian health ministry has officially approved using the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for
healthy people over age 65, citing limited vaccine supplies and the need to vaccinate people who might
be vulnerable to complications.
The order was signed Monday. The European Medicines Agency had approved AstraZeneca for all age groups,
but some nations like Italy and Germany initially limited it to under 65s due to what they called
limited data.
Those limitations are one of the reasons why the 27-nation European Union has lagged so far behind
Britain and the United States in vaccinating its people. Millions of doses of AstraZeneca have piled up
across Europe, waiting to be given out.
JERUSALEM — After delays, Israel started vaccinating Palestinians who work inside the country and its
West Bank settlements on Monday, more than two months after launching an immunization blitz of its own
Palestinian laborers who crossed into Israel at several West Bank checkpoints received their first doses
of the Moderna vaccine from Magen David Adom paramedics. The vaccination drive orchestrated by COGAT,
Israel’s military agency coordinating government operations in the West Bank, had been beset by
Some 100,000 Palestinian laborers from the West Bank work in Israel and its settlements, which are widely
seen internationally as illegal and an obstacle to peace.
Israel has administered over 8.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to its population of 9.3 million.
Over 3.7 million Israelis — more than 40% — have received two doses of the vaccine. But until Monday,
Israel had provided few vaccines for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a move that has
underscored global disparities and drawn international criticism.
HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam administered its first COVID-19 doses Monday to the front-line workers who made
the nation’s relative success in controlling the pandemic possible — health workers, contact tracers and
security forces who handled quarantine duties.
The Southeast Asian nation of 96 million people has a goal to inoculate at least half of the population
by the end of the year.
Thousands of doctors, nurses and technicians working at hospitals designated to treat COVID-19 patients
lined up in the morning and received the first jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"I have been waiting for this day for a long time," nurse Nguyen Thi Huyen said after she got
her injection. Huyen has been caring for COVID-19 patients at a tropical disease hospital in Hanoi the
past year. Health protocols have limited her time with family, among other challenges.
KABUL, Afghanistan — The U.N. children’s agency says Afghanistan has received nearly half a million
coronavirus vaccine doses via the global COVAX initiative.
War-torn Afghanistan received 468,000 AstraZeneca vaccines on Monday, the first shipment through COVAX,
UNICEF said in a statement.
The vaccines were made by the Serum Institute of India, and arrived in the capital of Kabul aboard an
Emirates flight, UNICEF said. More vaccines will arrive in the coming weeks and months.
India previously donated 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Afghanistan.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka— Sri Lanka’s government has ended a yearlong work-from-home program for public
employees due to the pandemic.
Employees were ordered to report back to their workplaces starting Monday in order to ensure the
uninterrupted delivery of public services,
At the start of the pandemic last year, the government imposed a lockdown across the island nation for
more than a month, and temporarily closed some government departments.
As a precaution, a limited number of employees were allowed to go to work, while in some institutions,
employees had been permitted to work from home since last April.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand says it will now use only the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate its
population against the coronavirus, departing from earlier plans to use four different vaccines.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the strategy Monday, saying the decision was based on the Pfizer
vaccine’s effectiveness. She said this would make it easier and fairer for all New Zealanders to have
access to the same vaccine.
However, the strategy may also be driven in part by delays in getting vaccines approved. So far, New
Zealand’s medical regulators have approved only the Pfizer vaccine and are reviewing two other shots.

Ardern said New Zealand has purchased 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to inoculate all 5
million residents with the required two doses each. She said most of the doses are expected to arrive
during the second half of this year.
New Zealand has so far completed inoculations of only a few thousand people, mainly border workers. The
country has stamped out community spread of the virus.
SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean province near the capital of Seoul has ordered local business owners
and farmers to have all foreign employees tested for the coronavirus in the next 15 days, targeting tens
of thousands of workers.
The mass testing campaign is the most significant step South Korean officials have taken yet to stem
transmissions among migrant laborers, who often face harsh working and living conditions that health
authorities say make them more vulnerable to infections.
The order issued Monday by Gyeonggi province Gov. Lee Jae-myung covers at least 85,000 legally hired
migrant workers, with fines up to 3 million won ($2,600) for noncompliant employers.
The order also requires employees to ensure their undocumented workers get tested too. The province has
encouraged these workers to come forward, saying they won’t be reported to immigration authorities if
they are tested before March 22.
South Korea has confirmed more than 92,000 virus cases, including 1,642 deaths.

No posts to display