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University warns about college students trying to contract COVID-19 to make money donating plasma with antibodies

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Brigham Young University-Idaho warned on Monday about accounts of college students “intentionally” trying to contract COVID-19 in order to make money by donating plasma with antibodies. 

The Idaho university issued a statement saying officials were “deeply troubled” by the alleged behavior and “is actively seeking evidence of such conduct among our student body.”

Students who are determined to have intentionally exposed themselves or others to the virus will be immediately suspended from the university and may be permanently dismissed,” the university stated.

“The contraction and spread of COVID-19 is not a light matter,” the statement continued. “Reckless disregard for health and safety will inevitably lead to additional illness and loss of life in our community.”

University officials noted that they had previously cautioned last month that if Idaho or Madison County continue to experience surges in cases, the university may have to switch to fully online learning. 

The release also encouraged students who are participating in this behavior to consult financial and mental health resources, saying, “There is never a need to resort to behavior that endangers health or safety in order to make ends meet.”

Brigham Young University-Idaho has confirmed 109 COVID-19 cases among students and 22 cases among employees.

The Food and Drug Administration permitted convalescent plasmas from COVID-19 survivors to be used as an emergency therapy for those with coronavirus. The FDA states that the plasma that has antibodies “may be effective in treating COVID-19 and that the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks.”

Two potential plasma donation locations near the university are the Grifols Biomat USA Rexburg location and the BioLife Plasma Services, NPR reported. The first’s website says it gives donors $100 per visit and East Idaho News reported the latter provides $200 for each of the

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No Home, No Wi-Fi: Pandemic Adds to Strain on Poor College Students

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Mr. Sawyer, who wants to become a pastor, is using his time off to work for civil rights organizations and to fund-raise so that he can re-enroll in the spring and obtain a doctorate in theology. “It’s definitely a delay, but sometimes stumbling blocks come,” he said.

Many students like Mr. Sawyer have been looking for alternative ways to pay for their education. As the coronavirus was closing campuses this past spring, Rise, a student-led organization that advocates college affordability, created an online network to help students find emergency financial aid, apply for public benefits and locate food pantries.

Rise has continued to serve more than 1,000 students a month who have struggled to pay rent, keep jobs and secure internet access, said Max Lubin, the organization’s chief executive. “We’re overwhelmed by the need,” he said.

Stable housing and healthy food were already major concerns before the pandemic. A 2019 survey found that 17 percent of college students had experienced homelessness in the past year, and about half reported issues such as difficulty paying rent or utilities. Nearly 40 percent lacked reliable access to nutritious food.

The coronavirus crisis worsened many of these challenges, according to a June report by the Hope Center, which found that nearly three out of five students surveyed had trouble affording basic needs during the pandemic.

Financial aid in the United States had already been stretched thin by the rising costs of tuition, room and board. At their maximum, need-based federal Pell grants cover 28 percent of the total cost of attending a public college today, compared with more than half of that cost in the 1980s. State aid, while recovering somewhat since the Great

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Joe Biden Holds 50-point Lead among College Students: Poll

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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds a 50-point lead over President Donald Trump among college students, new polling data has found.



a man holding a gun: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to Union members after touring a plumbers union training center in Erie, Pennsylvania on October 10, 2020.


© Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks to Union members after touring a plumbers union training center in Erie, Pennsylvania on October 10, 2020.

According to the latest survey of students released by College Pulse and Chegg on Friday, more than two thirds of undergraduates (69 percent) intend to vote for Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on November 3.

By comparison, fewer than one in five (19 percent) told pollsters that they would vote for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to have a second term in the White House. A further six percent said they would be voting for a third party candidate.

Biden’s popularity among college students has remained roughly level over the past few months, but is still a strong 10-point increase on his May 19 favorability rating with the group.

Undergraduates are also more confident that Trump will fail to be re-elected in less than a month’s time.

Asked if they believed the president would win a second term on September 22, 57 percent of students said no, while 43 percent believed he could pull it off. But two weeks later, more than six in ten (62 percent) told pollsters Trump would not win on November 3 as just 38 percent backed his chances.

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Breaking the results down along demographic lines, Chegg also found that Biden lead Trump among students of all genders, races and high school backgrounds. Republican students were the only sub-group that broke for the Trump and Pence ticket.

However, not all of the

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Sacred Heart, University of Saint Joseph roll out saliva-based COVID-19 test for students, staff

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In the past week, two Connecticut universities began using a saliva-based COVID-19 test that was developed at Yale, in response to heightened concerns about coronavirus outbreaks on campuses.

On Monday, the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford began using the SalivaDirect test, which is a less invasive COVID-19 test that uses a patient’s saliva as opposed to a nasal swab. A day later, on Tuesday, Sacred Heart University in Fairfield also rolled out the SalivaDirect test on its campus.

Other universities, including Quinnipiac in Hamden, have already implemented other forms of saliva testing, The Courant previously reported.

University of Saint Joseph President Rhona Free said in a statement that the university has been testing a portion of students weekly since the school year began — but when university officials noticed other campuses begin to see outbreaks, they decided to increase their weekly testing numbers.

“Over the last few weeks as we saw upticks of positive cases on other campuses we decided to increase the percentage of students tested each week and we also wanted more rapid results,” Free said. “SalivaDirect was able to complete the new level of testing that we needed with quick results.”

The University of Saint Joseph plans to continue administering the saliva tests at least two days a week through the end of the semester, Free said.

Sacred Heart’s rollout of SalivaDirect also comes amid heightened concerns of an outbreak.

Earlier this week Sacred Heart said that more than 100 students have been suspended for violating the school’s COVID-19 protocols since the start of the semester. President John J. Petillo has warned that a saying “a significant number” of students were not taking the pandemic seriously and said the school could suspend in-person education if its cases did not slow.

Sacred Heart spokesperson Deb Noack

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Nearly 1 in 3 Oregon students learning in-person attend private schools, election 2020 preview: The week in education

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An Oregonian/OregonLive analysis of state education data found that 30% of students who attended in-person classes the week of Sept. 28-Oct. 2 are enrolled in private schools.

All told, 550 Oregon schools offered some form of in-person instruction that week, teaching some 46,000 students. One hundred and seventy of those schools are private and taught 13,000 students in-person, state Department of Education figures show.

That means 6% of the state’s 560,000 K-12 students visited a classroom last week. The share of private students in the overall population is about 2%.

In order for school districts to allow in-person instruction, the county they’re in must meet specific coronavirus set by the state. If a district or school draws 10% or more of its workforce or enrollment from more than one county, both must meet the metrics in order for the district to open its classrooms.

That’s the case in Portland Public Schools, where district officials this week say their reopening fortunes are tied to coronavirus metrics in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties. Officials there don’t expect students to see the inside of a classroom until late January at the earliest.

Here are some of the other major education stories from this week:

Education stories from the Portland area:

Most Portland voters will see a pair of education-related tax measures on the ballot next month, one of them a $1.2 billion campaign from the state’s largest district to update a high school in a historically black neighborhood and another to fund free preschool for all Multnomah County children ages 3 and 4.

The Portland Public Schools measure would pay for extensive renovations to Jefferson High School, as well as accessibility throughout the district and investments in curriculum and technology. You can read the full details of the measure here.

The preschool measure,

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