As COVID-19 cases skyrocket among teachers, school officials in Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina and Nevada announced this week they would temporarily close or shift to remote learning amid worsening teacher shortages.
In Indiana, at least four Marion County school districts have shifted to remote learning. Indianapolis Public Schools said Wednesday the decision "has been made based on the number of staff absences, including COVID-19 isolation and quarantines at the middle and high school levels."
North Carolina has resorted to allowing state employees to use their allotted volunteer days to fill in as paid substitute teachers, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday. In Nevada, all schools in Carson City School District were closed for part of this week because of a surge in staff members getting infected with COVID-19.
Maryland's largest school district asked the National Guard to fill in for bus drivers after staffing surges led to the cancellation of 40 to 80 bus routes, ABC News reported. New Mexico's governor said Thursday she's considering seeking help from the National Guard to address COVID-19 staffing shortages at public schools in the state, too.
Also in the news:
►As some experts say the current COVID-19 wave may be peaking, new coronavirus cases ticked down slightly for the second time this week. The U.S. reported some 5.51 million cases in the week ending Thursday, down from a revised 5.53 million in the week ending Wednesday, a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
►Roughly one in five hospitals reported having "critical staff shortages" in data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services, a USA TODAY analysis found. One in four anticipated critical shortages within the next week.
►President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the government will double to 1 billion the rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests to be distributed free to Americans.
►U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office apologized Friday to the royal family for holding a late-night staff party the day before Queen Elizabeth II sat alone and mourned her late Prince Philip in a socially distanced funeral service due to the country's COVID-19 rules.
►New York's eviction moratorium, which protected hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who were late on payments due to hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic from eviction, expires Saturday.
►More than half a million people in Israel have received a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the country's health ministry said Friday.
►Cruise lines will no longer be obliged to follow COVID-19 guidance on ships as the CDC's Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, which was extended and modified in October, will expire Saturday.
????Today's numbers: The U.S. has recorded more than 63.9 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 846,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 319 million cases and nearly 5.5 million deaths. More than 208 million Americans - 62.8% - are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
????What we're reading: When will this COVID surge end? Scientists search your sewage for clues.