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As schools struggle to return during coronavirus pandemic, UNC-Chapel Hill suspends classes one week in

Washington Post reporter Chelsea Janes details the possible role that children play in spreading coronavirus and how this impacts school reopenings. (Video: The Washington Post)
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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the largest schools in the country to bring students back to campus and attempt in-person teaching, said Monday it will suspend in-person instruction for undergraduates in a dramatic turnaround just a week after classes began. The school has been struggling with coronavirus clusters.

Here are some significant developments:

  • An Arizona school district that planned to reopen for in-person classes reversed course after more than 100 staff members threatened not to show up. Elsewhere, Los Angeles Unified, the second-largest district in the nation, plans to periodically test hundreds of thousands of students and 75,000 employees for the virus to gain clarity on when in-person instruction can resume safely.
  • Texas is the fourth U.S. state to record more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths.
  • Officials are scrambling to protect the integrity of the Nov. 3 election in the face of the Trump administration’s unprecedented attacks on the U.S. Postal Service and voting by mail. House lawmakers will return this week to try to prevent Postal Service changes that Democrats fear could make it harder to cast mail ballots.
  • Italy on Monday imposed its first new restrictions on daily life since coming out of lockdown nearly four months ago, ordering the closure of nightclubs and mandating mask-wearing, even outdoors, in areas with nightlife.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country’s general election, originally scheduled for Sept. 19, will be delayed by four weeks. New Zealand is suddenly struggling with a wave of infections after a long streak without recorded community transmission.

Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter | Mapping the spread of the coronavirus: Across the U.S. | Worldwide | Vaccine tracker | Where states reopened and cases spiked | Has someone close to you died of covid-19? Share your story with The Washington Post.

Coronavirus: What you need to know

The latest: The CDC has loosened many of its recommendations for battling the coronavirus, a strategic shift that puts more of the onus on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions, to limit viral spread.

Variants: BA.5 is the most recent omicron subvariant, and it’s quickly become the dominant strain in the U.S. Here’s what to know about it, and why vaccines may only offer limited protection.

Vaccines: Vaccines: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 12 and older get an updated coronavirus booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant circulating now. You’re eligible for the shot if it has been at least two months since your initial vaccine or your last booster. An initial vaccine series for children under 5, meanwhile, became available this summer. Here’s what to know about how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections and booster history.

Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.

Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. The omicron variant is behind much of the recent spread.

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