A Georgia high school teacher has been rushed to the hospital after shooting himself inside his classroom. The unnamed teacher reportedly went to Lithia Springs High School in Lithia Springs, Ga., on Thursday morning and shot himself. RELATED: A 40-year-old gym teacher has finally been arrested for allegedly molesting a student in 2013 Hundreds of students…
Schools in a county in the southeastern US state of Georgia will pay $1,000 bonuses to staff who are vaccinated against Covid-19 in a bid to protect themselves from the resurgent pandemic, authorities said.
With that incentive county officials said they hope to avoid the "numerous disruptions that were encountered in public education over the past two school years due to a global pandemic."
"Last year was a challenge like no other for our students and our staff members as we were constantly having to adjust to the presence and possibilities of Covid-19 on our campuses," Superintendent Mary Elizabeth Davis said in a statement.
"Our students and our families deserve and expect predictability and stability in their learning, and keeping our buildings open and supporting our employees' health are paramount to these efforts," she added.
The Henry county school district, southeast of the city of Atlanta, will make a $1,000 payment to those of its nearly 6,000 employees who are fully vaccinated now or who will be vaccinated by September 30 with one dose of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine or both doses from Pfizer or Moderna.
The money will come from a federal program to curb the coronavirus in elementary and secondary schools, education officials said.
"We know that vaccines are still the number one defense and preventative measure to help mitigate and stop the spread of this community-crippling virus," Davis said.
The United States is experiencing a sharp uptick in coronavirus cases due primarily to the more contagious Delta variant.
New cases of Covid-19 have increased fourfold in recent weeks, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said Sunday.
Just under 60 percent of the US population over age 12 is fully vaccinated, according to official figures.
But there are wide disparities from one region to another as vaccination took on a political tint under former president Donald Trump, with the liberal north and east more open to getting a shot and the conservative south more wary.
In Henry county, infections increased by 40 percent in the last seven days, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The top US health authority says the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and -- critically -- that breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals, though still rare, may be as transmissible as unvaccinated cases.
US President Joe Biden on Monday urged the imposition of a new ban on evictions to prevent a wave of homelessness as the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus takes hold.
But just a day after a nationwide eviction moratorium expired, Biden acknowledged the administration does not have the legal authority to help renters stay in their homes.
That leaves the White House with few tools to deal with the issue that could impact millions of families after the 11-month old moratorium ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lapsed early Sunday.
"Given the rising urgency of containing the spread of the Delta variant," Biden asked the CDC to consider "a new, 30-day eviction moratorium -- focused on counties with High or Substantial case rates -- to protect renters," the White House said in a statement.
However, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has been "unable to find legal authority for a new, targeted eviction moratorium," the statement said.
The president also called on state and local authorities "to extend or put in place evictions moratoria for at least the next two months," joining a handful that have already put protections in place.
The nationwide ban was intended to extend until September, but a recent Supreme Court ruling meant it had to end early unless renewed by Congress.
However, a last ditch effort by Democratic lawmakers failed.
The White House has instructed government agencies to do what they can to prevent evictions in properties in federal programs or with federal loan guarantees.
"Our team is redoubling efforts to identify all available legal authorities to provide necessary protections," the statement said. "In the meantime, the President will continue to do everything in his power to help renters from eviction."
Biden also urged state and local governments to quickly send out the billions in emergency aid provided to help renters stay in their homes.
The Treasury Department said that as of June, only $3 billion in aid had reached households out of the $25 billion sent to states and localities in early February.
Another $21.5 billion is available in a second round of funding, but it will not go out until the first tranche is spent.
Unlike other pandemic-related aid that was distributed from Washington, such as stimulus checks, it was states, counties and cities that were responsible for building programs from the ground up to dole out assistance earmarked for renters.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday called on Congress to take steps to address the federal government's borrowing limit which was hit on Sunday.
Congress suspended the debt limit in 2019, but the two-year suspension lapsed July 31, forcing Treasury to begun taking "extraordinary measures" to remain under the ceiling and continue funding government operations.
But private economists estimate those steps will only buy the government a few weeks after which debt repayments would be at risk unless the debt limit is increased or suspended.
"I respectfully urge Congress to protect the full faith and credit of the United States by acting as soon as possible," Yellen said in a letter to congressional leaders.
The debt limit was reset to the total as of Friday, just over $28 trillion, according to Treasury figures.
The US national debt and deficit have soared during the Covid-19 pandemic after Washington approved three massive spending bills aimed at lessening the damage from its economic impacts.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said this year's budget deficit will be $3 trillion, second only to the record deficit in 2020.
In a letter earlier in July, Yellen reminded lawmakers that raising the debt limit does not increase spending but simply allows Treasury to finance actions already approved by the legislature.
CBO estimates Treasury should be able to keep paying the government's bills until October or November, after which point it would have to either delay making payments or default, which could cause economic chaos.
Raising the debt ceiling has been a contentious issue in Congress for the past several years, and a 2011 standoff caused the United States to lose the coveted AAA debt rating.
However, the Democratic majority in Congress might be more sympathetic to resolving the issue.
Like Treasury secretaries before her, faced with a debt limit debate, Yellen said that through September 30, Treasury would stop selling State and Local Government securities, and suspend investments in various government retirement funds.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month