“The classroom disruptions caused by the pandemic have hurt New York’s students,” said Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli this week as he announced the results of his analysis. “Academic losses were greater for younger students, with fourth grade scores dropping more than the national average. School districts must act quickly to take full advantage of available resources to help students that are most in need get caught up, before time runs out.”

“Continued Federal Reserve Board actions to raise interest rates in response may dampen national and local economic prospects, which, if not carefully managed, risks causing a recession,” says the state’s comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli in his report on the executive budget.

“Inflation is not only driving increased service to community members in need,” said Natasha Pernicka, director of The Food Pantries for the Capital District, “but is also impacting food pantry operations to keep shelves stocked. Our fuel expense to distribute food nearly doubled in 2022.”

The state comptroller’s Feb. 17 analysis shows sales-tax collections for Albany County increasing by 11.6 percent from January 2022 to January 2023 — going from $27.3 million to $30.55 million. Sales-tax levels still exceed pre-pandemic amounts

About a third of the deer tested during the second season in Albany County were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus that causes COVID-19, a recently published Cornell study says. The samples were collected by hunters from 2020 to 2022.

Symptoms from long COVID can last for years, a recent review says. “With significant proportions of individuals with long COVID unable to return to work, the scale of newly disabled individuals is contributing to labour shortages,” the authors write, adding, “There are currently no validated effective treatments.”

The White House went on to say that the two bills proposed by the House Republicans — H.R. 382 and H.J. Res. 7 — abruptly ending the emergency declarations “would have two highly significant impacts on our nation’s health system and government operations.” One would create uncertainty in health care and the other would create a surge of immigrants, the statement says.

In August, on Women’s Equality Day, at an event at the University at Albany, the governor announced that the state’s labor department would examine the impact of COVID-19 on women in the workforce and explore equitable solutions. This week, hearings were announced, on Jan. 26 in New York City and on Jan. 31 in Albany, for which  New Yorkers can register to attend or to provide testimony.

Able to spread more rapidly than other sublineages, XBB.1.5 has the highest rates in the New York City, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson regions, the health department says, adding that these regions have also had the most elevated case rates in New York State since November 2022.

“Whether we’ll have an XBB.1.5 wave (and if yes, how big) will depend on many factors including immunity of the population, people’s actions, etc.,” said Ashish Kumar Jha, the doctor serving as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator.


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