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Philly Teacher's Union: Don't Go to Schools; Restaurant/Gym Relief Program; TSA Fines for No Mask
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 02/05/21 5:30 pm | updated: 02/05/21 5:30 pm
The Philadelphia teacher's union told its members not to report to their school buildings on Monday, 2/8, over coronavirus COVID-19 safety concerns. Jerry Jordan, the president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, e-mailed teachers on Friday, 2/5, saying they "should not go into buildings on Monday, but should continue to work... I believe that you can do your job remotely." The Philadelphia School District plans to bring back PreK - 2nd grade students back to school later this month on 2/22. 2,000 teachers were expected to return on Monday to begin to prepare. They would be in their classrooms alone.

A major safety issue revolves around ventilation. The school district says it has implemented a thorough and safe plan. The union wants an independent third-party to evaluate the safety of school buildings. That evaluation has not yet happened. Jordan says he expects to hear from the neutral party this weekend.

"This action directly impacts our efforts to support the more than 9,000 PreK to second grade families who want their children to return to school buildings for in-person learning," Superintendent Dr. William Hite said.

SEE ALSO: Ventilation In Philly Schools

Philadelphia restaurants and gyms that were affected by the holiday shutdowns last year are encouraged to apply for relief grants through the Philadelphia COVID-19 Restaurant and Gym Relief Program (RGRP). The program is designed to provide relief for small businesses impacted by restrictions put in place over November and December 2020. Grants up to $15,000 are available. The business must be a restaurant that has indoor dining, a gym, or other business whose primary activity is indoor activity. Businesses must have reported a 25% decline in revenue from the 4th quarter of 2020 compared to the 4th quarter of 2019. The deadline for submitting an application is February 9. For more information and to apply follow the links below.

SEE ALSO: Apply Here
SEE ALSO: Philadelphia COVID-19 Restaurant and Gym Relief Program

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced on Friday, 2/5, that travelers who violate President Joe Biden's travel mask order could face fines of $250 up to $1,500 for repeat offenders. The order mandates mask wearing for travelers while in "airports, bus and rail stations, as well as while on passenger aircraft, public transportation, passenger railroads, over-the-road buses operating on scheduled fixed-routes." If a traveler arrives at a checkpoint without a mask, they will be asked to put one on. If they refuse, they will not be allowed to enter the terminal or gate area. They may also be subject to a fine. "Face masks should cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly against the sides without gaps. Masks can be either manufactured or homemade and should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures."

SEPTA will not be throwing riders off the bus or calling the police if you do not have or properly wear a mask, but they still require everyone wear one on the bus, trolley, subway, or train. Last week, the transportation authority announced the Mask Force Philly initiative. SEPTA Mask Force Philly Ambassadors will be set up at stations across the system to hand out masks and literature. The initiative is in conjunction with other area transit agencies, including Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the MTA in New York.

SEE ALSO: MASK Force Philly
SEE ALSO: TSA to implement Executive Order regarding face masks

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