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Google Extension Provides New York Dept. of Health Grades

Google Extension Provides New York Dept. of Health Grades


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A new Chrome extension provides data on health inspection grades of New York restaurants

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Thanks to a new Google Chrome extension, you can now see real time updates on New York City restaurants' DOH letter-grades.

While the Department of Health's grading system for restaurants may not be the most popular, many can agree that they'd rather order take out from an "A" restaurant than a "C". And don't even think about that "Grade Pending."

Walking by an eatery's window and checking out their letter grade can often inform you about their hygenic standards (though, what's really in a point difference between an A and a B?). But when you're making reservations online, or ordering for your night in, how can you be sure the kitchen tongs aren't brushing against dirty towels at your local dumpling spot?

Thanks to a new Google Chrome extension, you can now see real time updates on New York City restaurants' DOH letter-grades, which is even more informative than the printed out window signs. The app works on food websites like Yelp, Seamless, MenuPages, and more, informing you of the restaurant's letter grade, when its last inspection was, and how many points the venue received. Like in golf, you want the score to be low.

The DOH's restaurant inspection system is far from perfect, but this helpful new app allows you to chose restaurants not only based on menu and social media star-rating, but also by cleanliness. So you don't have to be surprised when you arrive at that constantly Yelped about burger joint that has a bright orange C in the window!


Can anyone help a 17 y/o out with life?

Hello. Currently I am a 17 year old high-school senior that is graduating in about a month. All of high school I had great grades and had a very high SAT score which allowed me to get into a very prestigious college (Rice) with awesome financial aid (I expect to only be about 15-20k in debt if I finish 4 years).

The problem is, I just don’t like school. I loathe learning things that are boring and won’t help me in life and that I don’t give a crap about like calculus, literature, etc. I have a passion for hustling and entrepreneurship, kinda like everyone else on this sub. I’ve started a painting business, sold on ebay, sold Vaporizors, etc. and many other small jobs. I’m addicted to the rush that I get when making money. I’m very business-savy for my age and I see the thousands of possibilities for business in this world. I feel like at Rice I will not be motivated and may be depressed looking out in to the world and seeing young people make money with entrepreneurship while I’m stuck in college with a negative net worth doing work that I hate.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, can anyone give me advice or words of comfort? I feel like schoolwork will bring me down and give me way less time to start businesses. People at my college will be very nerdy and school focused while I’ll just be that one dude that doesn’t care and wants to chase the money.

What doesn’t make it better is that I’m moving hundreds of miles away from home (VA—->TX) Can anyone give me some advice or words of wisdom? Life feels so hard right now.

College will be a wonderful time for you to learn to do things which aren't 100% your first choice. Although a degree is by no means a necessity, we all have plenty to learn and no business venture is going to be all rainbows and butterflies. Go to class, sit in the front row, participate, do your assignments and learn all you can. You will have an abundance of free time during your undergrad years and with financial aid you won't have to worry about so many distractions which you would have to face outside of college. NOW is the time to use that free time to experiment with various business models. Meet people, enjoy life, relax and network. Worst case, use those 4000 nerdy undergrads as a testing ground and provide a useful (legal) service to them. If you feel you can't focus on a business when you have 30 hours of school work each week, then you aren't going to focus well when you have 50 hours of work and bills to worry about.

BTW, if you had great grades in school and didn't have to study hard, then you don't know how to study to learn stuff you don't easily pick up. You're going to find this out around year 2 when all of a sudden you don't naturally just "know" the material. When that happens, your grades will start to tank and you'll start making excuses and start blaming everything but yourself. This is why I recommend that you sit up front and participate from day 1 so that you get used to learning in class, not just doing what is required to pass.

Go to school. It will be an opportunity to make important business connections.

If you're sure that you're business savvy enough and you're sure taking the education path will be a waste of time, then trust your gut. It sounds like following the norm is a trap for you, and you're onto it.

Not everyone works the same way and experience can be all the education you need, even if it means your first business fails. Just make sure you do your best, because it does mean you've gone all in and you'll need to have your wits about you.

In some schools, you can defer for a year.

How about we make a deal. Defer for a year. If, at the end of the year, you aren't earning a decent living wage, you go to school and suck it up and agree to work at it as hard as you did your business.

However if you are making $ xx, xxx then you can skip school and keep hustling.

Just to be clear, everything has to be legal, ethical, and above board. No drug dealing.

Do you accept the challenge?

Just go in for a business degree, do it for the connections. It's a nexus of young people pushing for the higher class so you'll find others that think like you. If you're getting serious financial aid I highly doubt the curriculum will challenge you- the standards are pretty bad nowadays. Start what you want in college and if it succeeds then drop out.

A lot of the electives and humanities are going to be almost completely useless junk or flat-out political propaganda, but you can probably phone them in as well as most people do. My mentality was to just treat them like a deal: bullshit them for what they want to hear in exchange for your A.

Ooh, yeah! Rice is going to help, believe it! Before you go, decide your market, and declare your major based on getting connections inside that market. Check out MJ DeMarco and Ryan Stewman over the summer. You'll be doing both school and work for awhile, so don't neglect your health. You may or may not finish college, but definitely start.

I was exactly where you were when I was 17. Had worked in sales and side gigs since I was old enough and was good at school but hated it. I got into a top 10 and thought it would be a giant drag on my career, but went anyway because now adays a college degree is your certificate of admission into the human race.

As it turns out, that was probably the best decision I ever made, and expanded my horizons massively. If you've already been successful in business before coming to a good school, your horizons are going to get 10 times higher. Don't think of running a business and going to college as a tradeoff - think of it as a synergy. If you pick an easy major, college will give you plenty of free time, and way more resources than you'll get in your hometown.

First, the resources are amazing at most top schools. Almost all of them have entrepreneurship centers run by former entrepreneurs with connections to your community. They can be your first customer, hook you up with a couple other trial customers, and give you a book of business and referrals before you even launch. They also run contests that help you fund your business. I funded my business in college with the help of a $10,000 grant from my entrepreneurship center that I won from a pitch contest. These centers don't run with the bureaucracy of traditional academia, and the directors are always eager to help. They let me use a partially unfinished floor as an office for me and my partners so I wouldn't have to work out of a dorm.

Second, you'll be worshipped. Don't just use this as an ego trip - use it as an opportunity to hire people for the summers and part-time work. If you've already been a successful entrepreneur before college, you'll quickly be a leader in the entrepreneur community and meet dozens of other people who were at your level in high school who are great partners. Better yet, half your school will want to be entrepreneurs and think your projects are the coolest shit ever. Since most of the kids have their parent's credit cards, you'll find hundreds of people willing to work for you for commission only or share of generated revenue, just for the opportunity and the chance to be part of something cool. Don't take advantage of them - teach them - you'll never have another opportunity to get smart and capable employees on the cheap.

Third, clubs offer great networking opportunities. I was president of my entrepreneurship club and professional business society, and quickly found out that local entrepreneurs - even bigshots - jumped at the opportunity to pontificate to youngsters about why they're so awesome and destined to succeed. You then mention your projects and your successes, then get coffee with them. You've either got yourself a middle management job after school if your business fails, or your new biggest customer and source of leads.

Fourth, going off of 3, if you take full advantage of this you'll become enormously competent and the best event planner ever. Plus, you'll learn how to get in contact with very high up, very hard to reach people. I learned how to type at the speed of light, balance 10 different obligations, run to where I needed to get, and run the most kickass professional events. I recruited CEOs, congresspeople, the US ambassador to Germany, our mayor, a major Syrian opposition leader, and even a Senator to come and speak at my school. The ability to reach those kinds of people is a vital skill, and the ability to get endorsements from people like that will massively help your business. I got very creative - Iɽ reach out to their former interns, get admission into their exclusive speaking events and approach them afterwards, etc. - I learned how to get in front of people who are way above my level and turn them into unbelievable mentors. Finally, you learn to market your events, old school. You soon realize it's not all about social media like you thought in high school - there's a whole world of traditional press outlets, fliers, email spamming, using intermediaries like professors, etc. to get your events out there and fill up the room.

Fifth, there are good things to learn - in the business department. Whatever you do, be a business major. My school didn't have business until my junior year, so I did corporate strategy and finance. Same deal with a fancier name. The classes are basically you reading business books for GPA, and having discussions with generally very successful professors about how business works. Most business professors at top schools are converted former business people. Mentioning that, they also have terrific contacts. One of my professors ran one of the biggest consulting firms in the 90s and was good friends with the founder of JetBlu. Another started three businesses that he was still running. One taught part time while running his own medical device company. They were used to kids begging them for internships and jobs, but if you're a star in the department and succeeding in business young, they'll jump at the chance to mentor you and help you succeed. They left very lucrative jobs to take a position that paid far less, just so they could help educate the next generation of business leaders.

Finally, your horizons are going to explode. When I was in high school, I thought Iɽ be happy just setting up my own little merchant processing ISO and carving out a tiny fortune for myself some 20 years in the future - get married, have kids, settle down, get fat. When I went through college, I expanded into marketing - traditional and digital - helped a friend start an NGO which was an official partner of a Chinese provincial government, and padded my resume to no end.

Because of that, I took a break from entrepreneurship when I graduated, to accept a job as an Account Executive selling SaaS for a top company. For the record, that almost never happens for kids fresh out of college. I moved up to management fast, and recently just settled into a new job as the head of sales team of over 80 BDRs and AEs. The things I've learned working for top tech companies have given me so many ideas about how to run a successful company. Not just product ideas - everyone has a great product idea, but hands-on knowledge of how the world's top companies run. "Successful student entrepreneur from a top school" is the single best pitch for when you enter the job market, as long as you have proof of your success.

Whatever you do, however, major in business. It's easy, not time consuming, and will teach you something relevant. You'll meet the most successful professors in the school who will help you get a head start.

And do NOT major in Econ or Finance. They might be useful, but they sucked up way too much time I could have been spending on more productive things.

Finally, cool it on the entrepreneurship the summer before you go and take a sales job if you haven't already. The more grind to the job, the better. You NEED this skill to run a successful business in college, unless you're gambling on being the .1% that magically start a billion dollar app.


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Peter W. Marks, M.D., Ph.D. and Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. return to JAMA's Q&A series to discuss the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines: the data, the weekend's EUA designation (Pfizer/BioNTech), and the process for future full licensure and postmarketing safety surveillance.

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Today, the FDA issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older.

Following yesterday’s positive advisory committee meeting outcome regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA has informed the sponsor that it will rapidly work toward finalization and issuance of an emergency use authorization.

The FDA holds a VRBPAC meeting, grants an EUA for the first direct-to-home COVID test, issues a health fraud warning letter, and updates testing numbers.

The FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet in open session to discuss Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. View livestream

Today, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), made up of independent scientific and public health experts from around the country, is meeting to discuss the first request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for a vaccine for COVID-19 prevention, submitted by Pfizer Inc. in partnership with BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.

Today, the FDA authorized LabCorp’s Pixel COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit for use by any individual 18 years and older without a prescription.

The FDA adds background material to web for upcoming VRBPAC meeting, approves new ANDA, issues safety message warning consumers not to wear face masks with metal parts during an MRI, authorizes first at-home diagnostic test to detect both COVID-19 and influenza A and B (flu), and provides a testing update.

The FDA continues this series of webinars on topics including respirators, surgical masks, protective barrier enclosures, gowns, and other apparel used by health care personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA authorized the first diagnostic test for at home collection of patient samples to detect both COVID-19 and influenza A and B (flu).

The FDA issues new guidance and an EUA, updates another guidance, and launches an immunology app-a-thon.

The FDA issues a health fraud warning letters and updates the reference panel comparative date online.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA amends the convalescent plasma EUA, issues health fraud warning letters, revises guidance, and updates testing numbers.

The FDA has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Dec. 17 to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc.

Today, the FDA issued guidance on the use of dry heat to help support the single-user reuse of certain particulate filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), such as N95 respirators, by health care personnel when there is a limited supply of respirators during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

To the millions of food and agriculture workers across America at Thanksgiving, the FDA is Giving Thanks for you!

The FDA publishes new web resources, provides a testing update, approves an ANDA, and posts a “Thank You” video to our food and agriculture workers.

The FDA issues an ANDA, an EUA, and posts a new infographic on the potential EUA pathway for vaccines.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for casirivimab and imdevimab to be administered together for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds]) with positive results of direct SARS-CoV-2 viral testing and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.

The FDA issues an EUA, two warning letters, and more.

The FDA has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Dec. 10 to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) of a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, Inc. in partnership with BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.

The FDA published new information about the vaccine development and review process:

Today, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the drug baricitinib, in combination with remdesivir, for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized adults and pediatric patients two years of age or older requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

FDA leaders participate in a virtual meeting with racial and ethnic minority community members about FDA’s COVID-19 vaccine work.

Today, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first COVID-19 diagnostic test for self-testing at home and that provides rapid results.

The FDA published information on EUA transparency, an update to SARS-CoV-2 FAQs, and a podcast on PPE.

Dr. Suzanne Schwartz, director of FDA’s Office of Strategic Partnerships and Technology Innovation at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, discusses personal protective equipment and its critical role in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Statement reaffirming FDA’s commitment to transparency around the EUA process and updates on FDA's plan to provide more information about decisions to issue, revise or revoke EUAs for drugs and biological products, including vaccines.

The FDA updates guidance on investigational COVID-19 convalescent plasma, extending the period of enforcement discretion through the end of February 2021, and publishes a new COVID-19 diagnostic testing webpage for health care providers and others.

This overview may be of interest to health care providers, test purchasers, and public health staff who want to know more about different types of tests. A printable PDF is also available.

The FDA takes further action against company distributing a fraudulent product claiming to prevent or treat COVID-19.

The FDA issues new Consumer Update offering tips on how to spot fraudulent flu products and updates treatment numbers on its CTAP dashboard.

The FDA to host a virtual “Grand Rounds” presentation on the agency’s research to evaluate the ability of facial coverings to reduce the spread of infection and more.

Dr. Shah welcomes Elizabeth Jungman, director of CDER’s Office of Regulatory Policy, to talk about hand sanitizers and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA issues an EUA for an investigational monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients, a final guidance on designing and executing clinical trials that include people with diverse characteristics, a testing update, and more.

The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the investigational monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adult and pediatric patients.

Statement by FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn about a final guidance Issued today that provides the agency’s current thinking on steps to enhance diversity in clinical trials of any medical product such as treatments or vaccines for COVID-19 – as well as medical products more broadly.

Today, the FDA authorized the first serology test that detects neutralizing antibodies from recent or prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA issues two health fraud warning letters, an alert that false positive results can occur with antigen tests for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2, and more.

Remarks by Dr. Stephen Hahn for the Global Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Leadership Forum

The FDA issues a new Consumer Update.

The FDA updates an immediately in effect guidance, approves two generic muscle relaxation drugs, and issues warning letters.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

USA Today Opinion: FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Director Dr. Peter Marks

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, discusses this year's flu season and the importance of getting vaccinated as we continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this webinar, the FDA will share information about surgical mask 510(k)s and representatives from the FDA and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will be available to answer your questions.

The FDA updates the Antigen Template for Test Developers.

Bruce Ross, director of the FDA's Office of Global Operations, on the topic "Department of Health and Human Services’ Global Health Workforce – On the Front Lines of Health Diplomacy During the Time of COVID-19."

The FDA approves first drug to treat COVID-19 and issues an updated FDA COVID-19 Response At-A-Glance Summary.

Dr. Stephen Hahn explains the FDA’s role in ensuring safety, effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for use in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms (about 88 pounds) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.

The Committee will meet in open session, to discuss, in general, the development, authorization and/or licensure of vaccines to prevent COVID-19. No specific application will be discussed at this meeting. View webcast

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA publishes new content on the "FDA Insight” podcast, in "FDA Voices", and issues a Consumer Update.

This week, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is meeting to discuss, in general, the development, authorization and/or licensure of vaccines to prevent COVID-19.

Dr. Peter Marks provides an update on COVID-19 vaccines and discusses the upcoming Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting.

The FDA issues a joint warning letter with the Federal Trade Commission to prevent the sale of unapproved products with fraudulent COVID-19 claims.

The FDA re-issues Emergency Use Authorization for certain filtering facepiece respirators.

The FDA reissued the EUA for certain filtering face-piece respirators (FFRs) that are manufactured in China and are not approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA issues and implements new guidance regarding molecular influenza and RSV tests.

FDA and representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) answered questions about protective barrier enclosures.

The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission issue warning letters for selling fraudulent COVID-19-related products.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Steven Hahn discussed the COVID-19 vaccine review process with the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy and others.

The FDA updates dashboard on the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) webpage.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Steven Hahn spoke about the COVID-19 vaccine development process and other medical countermeasures for COVID-19.

The FDA issues letter to healthcare providers regarding SARS-CoV-2 testing, and a warning letter for failure to comply with regulatory reporting requirements.

The FDA issued a warning letter to Battelle Memorial Institute for failure to comply with regulatory requirements for medical device reporting as specified in the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System.

Learn more about how vaccines are developed from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services leaders.

The FDA launches new COVID-19 vaccine webpage and issues guidance with recommendations for vaccine sponsors.

Recommendations for vaccine sponsors regarding the scientific data and information that would support the issuance of an emergency use authorization (EUA) for an investigational vaccine intended to prevent COVID-19.

The FDA awards Stanford University with a research contract to study SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA posts transcript of Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.’s remarks to the National Consumers League, issues warning letter against unapproved and misbranded product related to COVID-19.

FDA revises an emergency use authorization, plus a warning letter to caution consumers against unapproved and misbranded products related to COVID-19.

FDA issues a new warning letter, a new FDA Voices and updates the SARS-CoV-2 reference panel comparative data in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

Consumer Perspectives on the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Conversation with the FDA

CDRH’s response to the pandemic has been unprecedented in terms of volume, speed, and agility, including regulatory flexibility and EUAs.

The FDA, CDC, NIOSH, and OSHA will host a webinar on Respirators and Other PPE for Health Care Personnel Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

FDA issues an updated summary of the agency’s COVID-19 response efforts.

FDA’s actions on a re-issued EUA, an update to the Device Discontinuance List and new health education materials in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the first serology (antibody) point-of-care (POC) test for COVID-19.

FDA’s actions on a new summary of evidence to support an EUA and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn’s testimony before a Senate committee in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., testifies for the FDA.
Written Testimony | Commissioner Hahn's Opening Remarks

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

Learn more about how to identify fraudulent claims and false information on products that claim to diagnose, treat, or prevent coronavirus.

FDA’s actions on a new video for consumers and an updated guidance in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA’s action on a reissued Emergency Use Authorization in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA’s actions on a new abbreviated drug application approval and a warning to consumers and health care professionals in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA’s actions on a new abbreviated drug application approval and published comparative performance data for COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA published comparative performance data for some authorized COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests.

FDA issues two warning letters in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA will present information on both the enforcement policy and the EUA for gowns and other apparel, and representatives from the FDA, CDC, and OSHA will be available to answer your questions.

FDA awards a new research contract in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effort to help inform development of SARS-COV-2 diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics

FDA issues a temporary guidance and an FDA Voices in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA is committed to making decisions regarding the authorization or approval of COVID-19 vaccines that are guided by science and data.

FDA’s action on a warning letter in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy P. Abernethy, M.D., Ph.D., discusses the potential for diverse, real-world data sources such as electronic health records, insurance claims, patient registries and lab results to further inform our pandemic response.

FDA issues a consumer update on the Food and Cosmetics Information Center in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

he purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA deactivated the FDA registration for more than 300 foreign establishments in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA issues an updated COVID-19 Response At-A-Glance Summary in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA expands language availability for consumer updates in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA’s actions on a warning letter, an approved abbreviated new drug application, and an updated guidance in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

Megan Moncur, the FDA’s Associate Director of Opioid Policy, discusses the opioid epidemic and how it’s been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA’s action on a warning letter in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDC/NIOSH will present information on the guidance, and representatives from the CDC/NIOSH, FDA, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be available to answer questions about this guidance

Medical Devices
Guidance Documents

FDA actions on an emergency use authorization and a letter to health care providers in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA announced that a public meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will be held on Oct. 22, 2020.

The scope of the existing EUA was broadened to include treatment of all hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, irrespective of their severity of disease.

The FDA approves an abbreviated new drug application for sedated and ventilated patients during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The FDA issues a new warning as alcohol-based hand sanitizers are being packaged to appear as food or drink, putting consumers at risk.

FDA is warning consumers about hand sanitizers that are being packaged in containers that may appear as food or drinks and may put consumers at risk of serious injury or death if ingested.

The FDA issued an EUA for the first COVID-19 diagnostic that can be run without an analyzer.

The FDA posted a new “FDA Insight” podcast featuring Deputy Commissioner Anand Shah, M.D., discussing drug shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA issues new Consumer Update and approves an Abbreviated New Drug Application during COVID-19 pandemic.

Valerie Jensen, the Associate Director of the Drug Shortages staff in FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, joins Deputy Commissioner Dr. Anand Shah for a discussion on drug shortages and how the COVID-19 pandemic can impact the drug supply chain.

FDA testing uncovered toxic ingredients in some hand sanitizers – find out if your product on the list

FDA provides new webpage with available COVID-19 testing resources.

Today’s action follows the FDA’s extensive review of the science and data generated over the past several months stemming from efforts to facilitate emergency access to convalescent plasma for patients as clinical trials to definitively demonstrate safety and efficacy remain ongoing.

FDA issues new emergency use authorization, plus letter to healthcare providers (HCP) as the COVID-19 public health emergency continues.

Remarks by Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Anand Shah, M.D. to the Alliance for Health Policy

FDA releases new checklist and guidance as COVID-19 continues to impact drug development programs and the food industry.

FDA provides FAQs on UV lights and lamps for disinfection during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA provides supporting information on respirators for healthcare providers and manufacturers amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Judy McMeekin, the Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs, joins Dr. Shah on the show to discuss FDA's fight against health fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA issues an emergency use authorization (EUA) for saliva sample COVID-19 diagnostic test.

The FDA issued an emergency use authorization to Yale School of Public Health for its SalivaDirect COVID-19 diagnostic test, which uses a new method of processing saliva samples.

FDA provides device shortage list and issues an updated FDA COVID-19 Response-At-A-Glance-Summary as pandemic evolves.

FDA issues warning about certain hand sanitizer products amid COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on consumer tips, warning letters, emergency use authorizations, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on issuing warning statements and warning letters issuing Emergency Use Authorizations for tests posting new FAQ webpages on the registration and listing, and importing of medical devices and more, in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters, Emergency Use Authorizations, contaminated hand sanitizers, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remarks by FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., as prepared for a video conversation with health professionals.

Biologics
Drugs
Medical Devices

FDA actions on revocation of EUAs, updates on the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program, warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on the issuance of ventilator- and face-mask-related emergency use authorizations and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on warning letters, issuances of emergency use authorizations and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this webinar, representatives from the FDA will share information and answer questions related to face masks and surgical masks.

FDA actions on issuing emergency use authorizations for serology tests and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Advanced manufacturing provides an approach for protecting our supply chain and improving our response capacity during crisis situations.

The FDA authorized the first two COVID-19 serology tests that display an estimated quantity of antibodies present in the individual’s blood. Both tests are known as “semi-quantitative” tests.

FDA actions on warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on FAQs on food safety, serology and remdesivir and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on updated molecular diagnostic templates for labs and industry preparing EUA requests, templates for commercial developers submitting EUA requests for at-home diagnostic tests, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new template will help commercial developers prepare and submit emergency use authorization (EUA) requests for COVID-19 diagnostic tests that can be performed entirely at home or in other settings besides a lab.

FDA actions on vaccines, molecular-based diagnostic tests and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Peter Marks returns for a more comprehensive discussion on vaccines as they relate to COVID-19. Find out more about “herd immunity,” Operation Warp Speed, and vaccine distribution in this episode.

FDA actions on issuance of emergency use authorizations for tests including for asymptomatic people, pooling data, and qualitative detection of antibodies contaminated hand sanitizer and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA continues to warn consumers and health care professionals not to use certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers due to the dangerous presence of methanol.

The FDA reissued the LabCorp COVID-19 RT-PCR Test emergency use authorization (EUA) to include two new indications for use: testing for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms or who have no reason to suspect COVID-19 infection, and to allow pooled sample testing.

FDA actions on issuances of emergency use authorizations, tests, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters, testing supply substitution strategies and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on updated FAQs on test EUAs, cancer, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA and Syapse presented Real-World Data at the American Association of Clinical Research (AACR) COVID-19 and Cancer meeting. Findings from study reveal higher risk of hospitalization and death among cancer patients with COVID-19.

The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on health fraud, issuances of emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for test development, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA's actions are providing stakeholders with accurate information about COVID-19 diagnostic test performance and allowing for the rapid availability of tests.

In Part 1 of FDA Insight’s vaccine series, Dr. Shah welcomes Dr. Peter Marks, director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, to discuss the basics of COVID-19 vaccine development.

Representatives from FDA, NIOSH, and OSHA will answer questions.

Written testimony presented by Catherine Hermsen, Assistant Commissioner, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations, before the Senate Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

FDA actions on consumer fraud reissuance of an EUA for a diagnostic test guidance for transport media extension of enforcement discretion for human cell, tissue, and cellular and tissue-based products and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA’s consumer protection work is a cornerstone of our mission and a critical component of our pandemic response efforts.

FDA issued first emergency authorization for sample pooling in COVID-19 diagnostic testing to Quest Diagnostics for its Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test.

FDA actions on issuing Emergency Use Authorizations for tests, warning letters, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on hand sanitizer recalls, testing-related emergency use authorizations, Industry Hotline closure, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on Frequently Asked Questions on Testing for SARS-CoV-2 and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers developing diagnostic tests for SAR-CoV-2. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on treatment acceleration, drug compounding, warning letters, hand-sanitizer quiz, therapeutics, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA’s Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) leverages cross-agency scientific resources and expertise to bear on COVID-19 therapeutic development and review.

Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, the acting director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, joins Dr. Shah for an in-depth discussion on clinical trials and treatments for COVID-19. A list of clinical trials are available at ClinicalTrials.gov.

FDA actions on vaccine research, issuances of emergency use authorizations, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on resumption of domestic inspections, issuance of Emergency Use Authorizations for molecular diagnostic tests, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA is preparing for resumption of domestic inspections with a new risk assessment system.

FDA actions against a seller/distributor of unapproved or misbranded products and more in the agency’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters, criminal charges, methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on warning letters, false positive test results, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., returns to FDA Insight to discuss food safety issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on diagnostic tests, including authorizations, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA issued an EUA for a COVID-19 antigen diagnostic test, the BD (Becton Dickinson) Veritor System for Rapid Detection of SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA has issued an EUA for another combination diagnostic that can test for flu and COVID-19 to prepare for this upcoming flu season.

FDA actions on methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers, the FDA COVID-19 Response At-A-Glance Summary, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA is warning consumers and health care professionals about hand sanitizer products containing methanol, or wood alcohol that is dangerous and not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizer products.

FDA actions on issuance of testing-related emergency use authorizations, warning letters, diagnostic reference panel materials, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on vaccine development and licensure guidance, emergency use authorizations, diagnostics, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA published a guidance document to facilitate the timely development of safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19, giving recommendations for those developing COVID-19 vaccines for the ultimate purpose of licensure.

Hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., testified for the FDA.
Written testimony

Dr. Anand Shah, FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, welcomes Toby Lowe, the Associate Director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, to discuss the basics of diagnostic tests for COVID-19.

FDA actions on warning letters, Emergency Use Authorizations, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters, lab and manufacturer EUA submission templates for serology tests, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on ventilator emergency use authorizations, partnering with the European Union and Global regulators, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA and the European Union, including the European Commission and its European Medicines Agency, are collaborating on many scientific and regulatory fronts as part of our COVID-19 response.

FDA actions on food safety, launch of new “FDA Insight” podcast, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., issued the following statement regarding food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19.

The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

In this first episode of a new podcast series, FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, and FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Dr. Anand Shah discuss FDA's COVID-19 efforts, including the drug development process for a COVID-19 treatment.

FDA actions on food safety, the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA is currently on target to meet our user fee goals for drugs this year. We have reviewed and taken timely action on at least 90% of brand, generic, and biosimilar drug applications even during the pandemic.

FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., will be testifying for the FDA.
Written testimony

The FDA will host the second webinar in the webinar series on the topic of Importing Respirators for Health Care Personnel Use during COVID-19 Pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters as well as guidance on formal meetings, user-fee applications for medical devices, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions including its At-A-Glance Summary, a public-private partnership fostering innovation in devices and PPE, warning letters, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on a web resource listing EUAs, the CURE ID app, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA is announcing its participation in the COVID-19 Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator, a multi-stakeholder collaborative project to advance the development of diagnostics.

FDA actions on warning letters, statistical issues related to clinical trials, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued warning letters to three companies for marketing adulterated and misbranded COVID-19 antibody tests.

FDA actions on an online portal for adverse event reporting on EUA devices or COVID-19-related guidance and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA posted template updates on the validation of molecular diagnostic tests for developers that intend their assay to be used for pooling patient samples or for screening asymptomatic individuals not suspected of having COVID-19.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked the emergency use authorization (EUA) of the Chembio Diagnostic System, Inc. (Chembio) DPP COVID-19 IgM/IgG System, a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test, due to performance concerns with the accuracy of the test.

FDA actions on EUAs (hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine), remdesivir drug interaction alert, pet safety, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA is warning health care providers about a newly discovered potential drug interaction related to the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir, which has received emergency use authorization for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe disease.

FDA actions on warning letters, an EUA for a point-of-care diagnostic test, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on continuing priorities regarding rare diseases, health-fraud warning letters, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA’s work to advance treatments for rare diseases and helping ensure continuity of care for people with rare diseases remain top priorities during COVID-19.

FDA actions on updates to the CURE ID crowd-sourcing app, an EUA for the first COVID-19 diagnostic test utilizing next-generation gene sequencing, and more in FDA’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Illumina, Inc. for the first COVID-19 diagnostic test utilizing next generation sequence technology.

FDA actions on warning letters regarding fraudulent products, approval of an abbreviated new drug application for a drug to facilitate tracheal intubation, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This webinar will demonstrate CURE ID – a mobile app and web platform, that gives the global clinical community the opportunity to report novel uses of existing drugs for patients with difficult-to-treat infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

The FDA will kick off a webinar series to share information and answer questions about emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for respirators, importing respirators, and overall FDA actions to help assure health care personnel have the necessary supplies of respirators.

FDA actions on PDMA guidance on prescription drug sample distributions, respirator decontamination EUAs, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to public health and safety concerns about the appropriateness of decontaminating certain respirators, the agency is reissuing certain emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to specify which respirators are appropriate for decontamination.

FDA actions on guidance for non-invasive patient monitoring to decrease infection risk, summary of FDA COVID-19 response, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on test performance data, warning letters, video explaining test types, respirators for health care personnel webinar, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA publicly posted test performance data from four more antibody, or serology, test kits on open.fda.gov from its independent performance validation study effort with the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI).

FDA actions on clinical trials guidance, testing supply substitution strategies, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on food safety (FDA Voices by Commissioner S. Hahn, Deputy Commissioner F. Yiannis), guidance on single-member IRBs, authorized NASA ventilator and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA officials Judith A. McMeekin, Mark Abdoo, and Douglas Throckmorton testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

The FDA will release the New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint in the coming weeks, outlining our plans over the next decade to create a more digital, traceable, and safer food system.

Today, the FDA has taken additional action to help ensure widespread access to hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

FDA Voices (EUAs), consumer update on regulatory terminology and more on FDA’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Hahn speaks to the Alliance for a Stronger FDA

FDA actions on EUAs, warning letters, health fraud, informed consent, clinical trials and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., on the FDA's role in facilitating treatment options during the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find information about the terms used to describe possible COVID-19 preventions or treatments and what they mean.

Today, the FDA took steps to further support the development of COVID-19 tests for at-home self-collection by including a voluntary EUA template for at-home sample collection kits to its website.

FDA actions on EUAs, N95 respirators, COVID-19 diagnosis, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on guidance for industry, warning letters, testing updates, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA provides SARS-CoV-2 reference panel to ensure the quality of the tests, validation of new assays, test calibration, and monitoring of assay performance.

The FDA will host a virtual town hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on antibody testing updates, new abbreviated new drug applications, guidance on medical devices and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on PPE recommendations for the food and agriculture industry, testing updates, warning letters, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biologics
Food & Beverages
Medical Devices
Warning Letters

FDA actions on antibody testing updates, new abbreviated new drug applications, guidance on medical devices and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration posted a list of antibody tests that are being removed from the “notification list” of tests being offered under the Policy for Coronavirus Disease-2019 Tests During the Public Health Emergency.

FDA actions on warning letters, MOU with USDA and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of this Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

As the COVID-19 pandemic response continues, the USDA and the FDA have been working around the clock on many fronts to support the U.S. food and agriculture sector so that Americans continue to have access to a safe and robust food supply.

FDA actions on diagnostics, succinylcholine chloride injection approval and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA has entered into an agreement with Aetion to collaborate on advanced analytical techniques to answer urgent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) research questions.

FDA actions on warning letters, supply chain update, first standalone at-home sample collection kit EUA and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA has authorized an at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specified laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

Learn more about the different types of coronavirus tests and what they mean. Print out a PDF version of this information.

FDA actions on warning letters, industry hotline hours, diagnostics and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for researchers, clinical laboratories, and commercial manufacturers to discuss the production and use of 3D printed swabs during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

A critical part of the FDA’s work is ensuring the safety and security of the U.S. supply of food and medical products during COVID-19.

FDA actions on infusion pump EUAs, drug compounding guidance and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA is alerting the public to early data that suggest potential inaccurate results from using the Abbott ID NOW point-of-care test to diagnose COVID-19.

A federal court has entered a temporary restraining order against Xephyr LLC, doing business as N-Ergetics, and three individuals associated with the entity, requiring them to immediately stop distributing colloidal silver products.

FDA actions on an upcoming town hall on 3D printing, thermal imaging and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on treatment acceleration, inspection updates and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Resources in English and Spanish for sharing information about COVID-19 and the FDA response to the pandemic.

Today, the FDA took important actions to help accelerate the development of prevention and treatment options for COVID-19 by providing new guidance with recommendations for innovators and researchers conducting work in this area.

During COVID-19, the FDA will continue to utilize and implement additional alternative inspection tools and approaches while postponing domestic and foreign routine surveillance inspections.

FDA actions on the first antigen test, warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA has issued the first emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 antigen test, a new category of tests for use in the ongoing pandemic.

FDA actions on the first at-home saliva test, warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first diagnostic test with the option of using home-collected saliva samples for COVID-19 testing.

FDA actions on new guidances, warning letters, updated EUAs for non-NIOSH approved respirators manufactured in China and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA is providing an update on the agency’s efforts to combat the extremely concerning actions by companies and individuals that are exploiting or taking advantage of widespread fear among consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on device manufacturing guidance, diagnostics and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters, generic drug approvals and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on an updated serology policy, warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA announced important updates to our March 16, 2020 policy on commercial manufacturers’ serology—or antibody—tests for #COVID19. Under the new policy, FDA expects commercial manufacturers to submit Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) requests, including their validation data, within 10 days of the updated policy publication date, or the date they notify FDA of their test validation, whichever is later.

FDA actions on the remdesivir EUA, convalescent plasma guidance, grocery shopping safety tips and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs
Biologics
Medical Devices
Food & Beverages

FDA has issued emergency use authorization for the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.

FDA actions on new EUAs including an innovative ventilator developed in partnership with NASA, consumer update on pets, drug supply guidance and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Questions and answers to help keep you, your family, and your pets safe during the pandemic.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration included, under the ventilator emergency use authorization (EUA), a ventilator developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is tailored to treat patients with COVID-19.

FDA will discuss the challenges of, and guidance for, supporting clinical trials during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Note: This webinar is now full, but the recording of the webinar will be available shortly after the webinar concludes.

The newly updated Nutrition Facts Label can help you and your family eat healthy when daily routines change.

FDA actions on nutrition consumer updates, accelerated approval of new dosing for cancer regimens, EUAs on serology validation and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on warning letters, video resources on EUAs and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on hand sanitizer safety information, food production fact sheets and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, the FDA provided an update on its efforts to ensure the availability of alcohol-based sanitizer to help meet the demand for hand sanitizer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on drug safety confirmation, warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA is reiterating the importance of close patient supervision for ‘off-label’ use of antimalarial drugs to mitigate known risks, including heart rhythm problems.

FDA participated in a discussion of the current landscape of COVID-19 treatment trial designs and best practices for quickly launching trials that ensure both patient safety and reliable results.

FDA actions on new guidances, Spanish resources for grocery shopping and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, FDA requested and was granted by the court, a 120-day extension of the May 12 deadline for premarket applications for e-cigarettes, cigars and other new tobacco products. These premarket applications are now required to be filed by Sept. 9, 2020.

The purpose of this virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.

FDA actions on remote monitoring EUAs, warning letters on fraudulent products and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on the first diagnostic test with an at-home sample collection options, food supply and safety information and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA is working closely with the food industry and USDA to provide flexibility regarding federal food labeling so consumers have access to the food they want.

The FDA authorized the first diagnostic test with a home collection option for COVID-19. Specifically, the FDA re-issued the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) COVID-19 RT-PCR Test to permit testing of samples self-collected by patients at home using LabCorp’s Pixel by LabCorp COVID-19 Test home collection kit.

FDA actions on recent agency guidance, the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program, new EUAs for face masks and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA has launched a new program called the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) to move new treatments to patients as soon as possible, while at the same time finding out whether they are helpful or harmful.

Given the active dialogue about serological tests that are currently on the market, and their significance in the nation’s response efforts, we’d like to provide further details about our thinking on these tests and our approach to making accurate and reliable serology tests widely available, while also protecting Americans from tests marketed with false or unsubstantiated claims.

FDA actions on vaccine public-private partnerships, warning letters, EUAs and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A federal court has entered a temporary injunction requiring Genesis to immediately stop distributing its “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS), an unproven and potentially harmful treatment offered for sale to treat Coronavirus, which includes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and many other diseases.

The FDA will participate in the ACTIV partnership aimed at developing a collaborative framework among all partners to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Biologics
Drugs
Medical Devices

The FDA announced a further expansion of COVID-19 testing options through the recognition that spun synthetic swabs – with a design similar to Q-tips – could be used to test patients by collecting a sample from the front of the nose.

FDA actions on guidances, warning letters, food safety resources, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA’s User Fee programs help us fulfill our mission to protect public health while also helping to accelerate innovation in industry and bring new treatment options to the American public.

The FDA is providing an update on one potential treatment called convalescent plasma and encouraging those who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma to help others fight this disease.

FDA actions on new serology EUAs, warning letters, consumer resources and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs
Biologics
Medical Devices

FDA actions on warning letters, updated consumer information on testing, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on product-specific guidances, news EUAs, hand sanitizer information and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) that has the potential to decontaminate approximately 4 million N95 or N95-equivalent respirators per day in the U.S. for reuse by health care workers in hospital settings.

FDA actions on new EUAs for blood purification devices and PPE decontamination, warning letters and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs
Biologics
Medical Devices
Guidance Documents
Warning Letters

The FDA is integral in the fight against the coronavirus, using science and innovative approaches to take a broad range of actions that advance our nation’s response.

The FDA issued the second emergency use authorization (EUA) to decontaminate compatible N95 or N95-equivalent respirators for reuse by health care workers in hospital settings. This EUA will support decontamination of approximately 750,000 N95 respirators per day in the U.S.

The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for a blood purification system to treat patients 18 years of age or older with confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with confirmed or imminent respiratory failure.

FDA actions on guidance for portable cryogenic containers during this public health emergency, warning letters, best practices for retail food stores, restaurants, and pickup and delivery services, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on recommendations on the administration and study of convalescent plasma, warning letters, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA has issued a warning letter to a company that markets fraudulent and dangerous chlorine dioxide products known as “Miracle Mineral Solution” for prevention and treatment of “Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19).

Serological tests measure the amount of antibodies or proteins present in the blood when the body is responding to a specific infection, like COVID-19.

FDA issues new guidance documents for remote ophthalmic assessment and monitoring devices, ECMO and cardiopulmonary bypass devices, temporary policy regarding enforcement of the Egg Safety Rule, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical Devices
Food & Beverages
Drugs
Guidance Documents

FDA issues new guidance on clinical electronic thermometers and infusion pumps and accessories and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Medical Devices
Guidance Documents

On April 6, 2020, the FDA will host a webinar for device manufacturers and industry to discuss and answer questions on the recently issued, immediately in effect guidances on enforcement policy for personal protective equipment (PPE) during COVID-19.

FDA actions on convalescent plasma, a new EUA for non-NIOSH-approved respirators made in China, flexibility regarding the packaging and labeling of shell eggs, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Biologics
Medical Devices
Animal & Veterinary
Food & Beverages
Guidance Documents

The FDA is taking the lead on a national effort to facilitate the development of, and access to, two investigational therapies derived from human blood. These are called convalescent plasma and hyperimmune globulin and are antibody-rich blood products made from blood donated by people who have recovered from the virus.

FDA actions on blood donor eligibility, authorizing the first serology test to date, informing the public on food safety and the food supply, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Biologics
Food & Beverages
Drugs
Medical Devices
Guidance Documents
Warning Letters

Almost 400 FDA Commissioned Corps officers have been deployed to aid in response to the coronavirus public health emergency.

The FDA issued guidance for immediate implementation to address the urgent and immediate need for blood and blood components.

FDA actions on the FDA-ARGOS SARS-CoV-2 Reference Grade Sequence Data, temporary flexibility to chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, warning letters, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Medical Devices
Food & Beverages
Drugs
Guidance Documents

Food availability and food safety are vitally important to our well-being, and the FDA is working hard to help ensure the foods you, your family, and your pets eat are safe and available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA actions on the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program, shortages of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, warning letters, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs
Medical Devices
Warning Letters

The FDA stood up a new program to expedite the development of potentially safe and effective life-saving treatments. The program, known as the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP), is using every tool at the agency’s disposal to bring new therapies to sick patients as quickly as possible, while at the same time supporting research to further evaluate whether these medical countermeasures are safe and effective for treating patients infected with this novel virus.

FDA actions on hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products, N95 respirators, surgical apparel for health care professionals, and more in its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs
Medical Devices
Guidance Documents
Warning Letters

On April 1, 2020, the FDA will host the first of a series of virtual Town Halls for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The FDA has been providing unprecedented flexibility to labs and manufacturers to develop and offer COVID-19 tests across the U.S. Every action the FDA has taken during this public health emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic has balanced the urgent need to make diagnostic tests available with providing a level of oversight that ensures accurate tests are being deployed.

The law grants the FDA transformative, new authorities that will meaningfully advance our efforts to modernize the OTC drug development and review process to help advance innovative, safe and effective options for consumers and secure a robust OTC marketplace.

The FDA is continuously examining the global supply chain to identify any concerns and assess the availability of the products Americans need most. We are also partnering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on supply chain issues, including importation of needed medical products to support the U.S. response.

Medical Devices
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Animal & Veterinary
Food & Beverages
Imports

Actions by the FDA in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Food & Beverages
Medical Devices
Guidance Documents

There is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus. Currently there are no food shortages nationwide, although certain foods may be temporarily out of stock.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took action to help increase the supply of ventilators, ventilator tubing connectors, and ventilator accessories, as well as filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) due to shortages during COVID-19.

You can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by washing your hands with soap and water if soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used if they contain at least 60% alcohol and are used properly.

Actions by the FDA in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food & Beverages
Drugs
Medical Devices
Guidance Documents

The FDA entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the VA Innovation Ecosystem and the NIH 3D Print Exchange, to share data and coordinate on open-source medical products for the COVID-19 response. These agencies are also working closely with America Makes to provide resources that will connect health care providers and 3D printing organizations.

Actions by the FDA in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drugs
Medical Devices
Guidance Documents

Actions by the FDA in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biologics
Drugs
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Animal & Veterinary
Food & Beverages

The U.S. food supply remains safe for both people and animals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA took action to increase U.S. supplies to support the U.S. response to COVID-19 by providing instructions to manufacturers importing personal protective equipment and other devices.

Information for healthcare providers about convalescent plasma—plasma collected from the blood of fully recovered COVID-19 patients and given as treatment to very ill COVID-19 patients.

The FDA announced today that it intends to temporarily not enforce certain requirements in order to allow veterinarians to better utilize telemedicine to address animal health needs during the pandemic.

Actions by the FDA in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

FDA and the European Medicines Agency jointly chaired the first global regulators meeting to discuss ways to streamline the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

The FDA issued a new guidance to sponsors and healthcare providers regarding certain Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)-required testing during this time.

The FDA took significant action to help increase the availability of ventilators and accessories, as well as other respiratory devices, during the COVID-19 pandemic to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing.

The FDA issued the first emergency use authorization for a point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic for the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test.

The FDA is actively and aggressively monitoring the market for any firms marketing products with fraudulent coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnostic, prevention and treatment claims as part of our ongoing efforts to protect public health during this pandemic. As a result of these activities, the agency is beginning to see unauthorized fraudulent test kits that are being marketed to test for COVID-19 in the home.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions are now available in Spanish.

The FDA issued a new policy that allows manufacturers of certain FDA-cleared non-invasive, vital sign-measuring devices to expand their use so that health care providers can use them to monitor patients remotely. The devices include those that measure body temperature, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure.

As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing commitment to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the agency has issued two guidance documents to communicate its policy for the temporary manufacture of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products. These guidance documents will be in effect for the duration of the public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 31, 2020.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued new guidance to support state, local, and industry partners in identifying the critical infrastructure sectors and the essential workers needed to maintain the services and functions Americans depend on daily and need to be able to operate resiliently during the COVID-19 pandemic response. This includes essential workers in the food, health care, and public health sectors, including FDA-regulated industries.

At this time, FDA is not aware of scientific evidence connecting the use of NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, with worsening COVID-19 symptoms. The agency is investigating this issue further and will communicate publicly when more information is available.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to play a critical role in the multifaceted all-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes, among other things, facilitating medical countermeasures to treat and prevent the disease, and surveilling the medical product and food supply chains for potential shortages or disruptions and helping to mitigate such impacts, as necessary.

The nation’s blood supply requires a steady supply of donors who generously donate millions of units of potentially life-saving blood and blood components each year. At this time the number of blood donations has been dramatically reduced due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. In order to ensure that blood is available to those who need it most, it is important for healthy individuals who are able to donate to take the time to do so.

For the health and well-being of our staff and those who conduct inspections for the agency under contract at the state level, and because of industry concerns about visitors, we have temporarily postponed all domestic routine surveillance facility inspections. These are facility inspections the FDA traditionally conducts every few years based on a risk analysis. Importantly, all domestic for-cause inspection assignments will be evaluated and will proceed if mission-critical.

The FDA took steps to help industry and investigators navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and move forward with conducting clinical trials.

The FDA hosted a stakeholder call to discuss food safety and food supply questions, respond to concerns, and highlight key FDA resources for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FDA took steps to help prevent disruptions in the food supply-chain by issuing a temporary policy for FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) supplier verification onsite audit requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.

The FDA took two additional significant diagnostic actions during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) by issuing Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) to: Hologic for its Panther Fusion SARS-COV-2 Assay, and Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) for its COVID-19 RT-PCR test.

The FDA updated a policy originally issued on Feb. 29 on diagnostic testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to achieve more rapid testing capacity in the U.S.

The FDA took another significant diagnostic action during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The FDA issued the fourth COVID-19 diagnostic Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Thermo Fisher for its TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit.

The two significant actions will expedite the availability of diagnostic tests.

After careful consideration, the FDA is postponing most foreign inspections through April, effective immediately. Inspections outside the U.S. deemed mission-critical will still be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The FDA and the Federal Trade Commission issued warning letters to seven companies for selling fraudulent COVID-19 products. These products are unapproved drugs that pose significant risks to patient health and violate federal law. The FDA and FTC are taking this action as part of their response in protecting Americans during the global COVID-19 outbreak.

The FDA hosted a town hall for laboratories certified to perform high-complexity testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) that are developing or have developed molecular diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2.

The Commissioner's remarks highlighted the role of diagnostic testing in the COVID-19 response.

    by Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Stephen Hahn, Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

The FDA hosted a webinar for laboratories certified to perform high-complexity testing under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), and others interested in learning more about this guidance.

In a joint effort, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took action to make more respirators, including certain N95s, available to health care personnel. Currently, the majority of respirators on the market are indicated for use in industrial settings. Today’s action allows certain National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approved respirators not currently regulated by the FDA to be used in a health care setting by health care personnel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, thereby maximizing the number of respirators available to meet the needs of the U.S. health care system.

As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing and aggressive commitment to address the coronavirus outbreak, the agency issued a new policy for certain laboratories seeking to develop diagnostic tests for coronavirus in order to achieve more rapid testing capacity in the U.S.

FDA has been closely monitoring the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak would likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S. A manufacturer has alerted us to a shortage of a human drug that was recently added to the drug shortages list. The manufacturer just notified us that this shortage is related to a site affected by coronavirus. The shortage is due to an issue with manufacturing an active pharmaceutical ingredient used in the drug. It is important to note that there are other alternatives that can be used by patients. We are working with the manufacturer as well as other manufacturers to mitigate the shortage. We will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage.

FDA continues to take a multi-pronged approach to this public health emergency, including focusing on actively facilitating efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease surveilling the medical product supply chain for potential shortages or disruptions and helping to mitigate such impacts, as necessary and leveraging the full breadth of our public health tools, including enforcement tools to stop fraudulent activity.

FDA is an active partner in the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, working closely with our government and public health partners across the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as with our international counterparts. Our work is multifaceted, focusing on actively facilitating efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease surveilling the medical product supply chain for potential shortages or disruptions and helping to mitigate such impacts, as necessary and leveraging the full breadth of our public health tools as we oversee the safety and quality of FDA-regulated products for American patients and consumers.

The World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19. FDA's website has been updated to reflect the updated name.

CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), including updates from FDA Chief Scientist RADM Denise Hinton.

FDA issued an EUA to enable broader emergency use of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2019-nCoV Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel. To date, this test has been limited to use at CDC laboratories today’s authorization allows the use of the test at any CDC-qualified lab across the country.

The HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) hosted a stakeholder listening session (transcript PDF) to discuss medical countermeasure challenges associated with 2019-nCoV outbreak. FDA Acting Assistant Commissioner for Counterterrorism Policy Michael Mair provided FDA remarks.


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DEL RIO MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS EXCEL IN TMSCA STATE MEET – ALEXANDER PEREZ NAMED STATE NUMBER SENSE CHAMPION

Texas Math and Science Coaches Association (TMSCA) State Meet last Saturday, April 24 th . The students competed with other state-qualifiers in Number Sense, Calculator Applications, Mathematics and Science through a virtual platform.

CLASS OF 2021 GRADUATION PLANS SET

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of the parents who responded to a survey issued to the parents of the graduating Class of 2021 class prefer to have one commencement ceremony on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 8 p.m. and the second commencement ceremony on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 8 p.m. The other two options received 27% and 15% of the vote.

SE ESTABLECE LOS PLANES DE GRADUACION PARA LA CLASE DE 2021 LAS CEREMONIAS SE LLEVAN ACABO EL VIERNES Y SABADO A LAS 8 P.M.

Casi el 63% de los padres que respondieron a una encuesta emitida a los padres de la clase de graduación de 2021 prefieren tener una ceremonia de inicio el viernes 4 de junio de 2021 a las 8 p.m. y la segunda ceremonia de inicio el sábado 5 de junio de 2021 a la misma hora.

SFDRCISD SEEKS PARENT INPUT REGARDING GRADUATION CEREMONIES SURVEY TO BE RELEASED TODAY

SFDRCISD is one step closer to finalizing plans for this year’s commencement exercises for the 2021 graduating class of Del Rio High School, Early College High School and Blended Academy. Last week, high school seniors were issued a survey asking their feedback on which graduation plan they would prefer to have with current social distancing measures. By an overwhelming majority, the students chose Option 2. This plan calls for two (2) graduation ceremonies separating the graduating class in half and allowing each senior to receive 4 guest passes.

SFDRCISD BUSCA APORTE DE PADRES CON RESPECTO A CEREMONIAS DE GRADUACIÓN ENCUESTA SE DARÁ A CONOCER HOY

SFDRCISD está un paso más cerca de finalizar los planes para los ejercicios de inicio de este año para la clase de graduación de 2021 de Del Rio High School, Early College High School y Blended Academy. La semana pasada, los estudiantes de último año de secundaria fueron emitidos una encuesta preguntando qué plan de graduación preferirían tener con las medidas actuales de distanciamiento social. Por una abrumadora mayoría, los estudiantes eligieron la Opción 2. Este plan requiere dos (2) ceremonias de graduación que separan la clase de graduación por la mitad y permiten que cada candidato reciba 4 pases de invitados.

SFDRCISD RELEASES SURVEY TO SENIOR CLASS REGARDING PLANS FOR 2021 GRADUATION SURVEY EXTENDED TO FRIDAY, APRIL 16TH

Graduation is around the corner and SFDRCISD is looking to the Class of 2021 on what this year’s commencement ceremony (or ceremonies) will look like. Earlier this week, high school seniors were issued a one-question survey asking for their feedback on which graduation option they would prefer. As of Tuesday, only a small fraction (approximately 230) of the graduating class has responded.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES TO CONDUCT REGULAR MEETING IN-PERSON TODAY

One year after the Governor and the Attorney General temporarily suspended the certain portions of the Texas Open Meetings and Act, the San Felipe Del Rio C.I.S.D. Board of Trustees will return to meeting in-person beginning this evening at 6 p.m. at the Student Performance Center and Administration Building.

2021 Spring State Assessment Parent Letter

Dear Parents,
I am writing to you today to share some thoughts on two very important issues: state assessments and
returning to in-person instruction.

STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNOR ABBOTT’S EXECUTIVE ORDER

Governor Greg Abbott today issued an Executive Order (GA-34) lifting the mask mandate in Texas and increasing capacity of all businesses and facilities in the state to 100 percent. This order comes into effect next Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

DECLARACIÓN SOBRE LA ORDEN EJECUTIVA DEL GOBERNADOR ABBOTT

El gobernador Greg Abbott emitió hoy una Orden Ejecutiva (GA-34) que levanta el mandato de máscaras en Texas y aumenta al 100 por ciento la capacidad de todas las empresas e instalaciones del estado. Esta orden entra en vigor el próximo miércoles 10 de marzo de 2021.

TEXAS READING ACADEMIES RECOGNIZES MICHELLE GONZALES

The SFDRCISD public school system has one more reason to smile. Ms. Michelle Gonzalez, SFDRCISD Early Literacy Curriculum Coordinator and Cohort Leader, was recently featured in the February 2021 issue of Texas Reading Academies, a publication released by the Texas Education Agency. The article features Ms. Gonzalez’s accomplishments in building a healthy community of literacy teachers in the district.

ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS EXCEEDS REGION AND STATE AVERAGES2

The SFDRCISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing to discuss the 2019-2020 Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR). The TAPR revealed noteworthy performances in several academic areas which exceed regional (Region 15) and/or State percentages as noted below. Congratulations to every student, teacher, and staff member that worked towards this notable District achievement.

SFDRCISD RECOGNIZES DONATIONS RECEIVED BY COMMUNITY DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY

Due to the changes in school board presentations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFDRCISD will release Donation Summary Reports through press releases. The following local businesses, community groups and individuals have made contributions to our schools during the month of January 2021:

SFDRCISD SCHOOLS TO RESUME NORMAL OPERATIONS ON MONDAY IN-PERSON AND ONLINE CLASSES WILL BEGIN AT 8 A.M.

The SFDRCISD school system will resume normal operations on Monday, February 22, 2021. SFDRCISD Maintenance & Technology Departments are working through the weekend to prepare for the teachers and students’ return. While some of our campuses did experience some damages, dedicated members of our custodial and maintenance team have already repaired most of these damages and our amazing technology team is working throughout

LAS ESCUELAS SFDRCISD REANUDARÁN SUS OPERACIONES NORMALES EL LUNES EN PERSONA Y LAS CLASES EN LÍNEA COMENZARÁN A LAS 8 A.M.

El sistema escolar SFDRCISD reanudará sus operaciones normales el lunes 22 de febrero de 2021. Los departamentos de mantenimiento y tecnología de SFDRCISD están trabajando durante el fin de semana para prepararse para el regreso de los profesores y estudiantes. Mientras que algunos de nuestras escuelas tuvieron algunos daños, miembros dedicados de nuestro equipo de custodia y mantenimiento ya han reparado la mayoría de estos daños y nuestro increíble equipo de tecnología está trabajando durante todo el fin de semana para restaurar completamente

Cancellation Notice - Workshop Special Called Meeting

The workshop/special-called meeting of the SFDRCISD Board of Trustees, scheduled to be held on February 18, 2021, beginning at 6:00 p.m., has been cancelled due to widespread loss of electricity and water. The meeting will be rescheduled and duly posted in accordance with the provisions of Sections 551.002, 551.041 and 551.0411 of the Texas Government Code that have not been suspended by order of the governor.

Cancellation Notice - Regular Scheduled Meeting

The regular meeting of the SFDRCISD Board of Trustees, scheduled to be held on February 17, 2021 beginning at 6:00 p.m., has been cancelled due to widespread loss of electricity and water. The meeting will be rescheduled and duly posted in accordance with the provisions of Sections 551.125 or 551.127 of the Texas Government Code that have not been suspended by order of the governor.

SFDRCISD ANNOUNCES ONLINE ASYNCHRONOUS SCHOOLING FOR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15

The current weather conditions in our area will not improve over the next 24 hours, and temperatures are expected to drop well below freezing causing hazardous road conditions. Therefore, SFDRCISD is announcing that students will engage in asynchronous learning on

SFDRCISD ANUNCIA EDUCACION ASINCRONICA EN LINEA PARA EL LUNES 15 DE FEBRERO

Las condiciones climáticas actuales en nuestra zona no mejorarán en las próximas 24 horas, y se espera que las temperaturas caigan muy por debajo de la congelación causando condiciones peligrosas de la carretera. Por lo tanto, SFDRCISD está anunciando que los estudiantes participarán en el aprendizaje asincrónico el lunes 15 de febrero de 2021. Esto significa que se espera que los estudiantes completen

PRECAUTIONARY WEATHER ADVISORY

San Felipe Del Rio CISD is closely monitoring the forecast of cold, wet weather which has already arrived in town. The future forecast for Del Rio calls for continued cold, frigid temperatures and precipitation through the weekend and well into next week. Should the weather prevent the schools from normal operations due to inclement weather, SFDRCISD will send an alert to all parents through the school’s parent app (such as Class Dojo), and through SFDRCISD’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Additionally, each campus will attempt to notify parents through the automated phone system. If a delayed start or school closure becomes necessary, the District and campuses will provide alerts by 5:30 AM on the affected day.

SFDRCISD TEACHER SELECTED AS TEXAS STATE FARM® TEACHER ASSIST WINNER

It did not take long for great and exciting news to travel fast inside our SFDRCISD community. This week, the State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm®), revealed that one of our very own teachers, Vanessa James-Hjelmstad, a 5 th grade teacher at the Roberto “Bobby” Barrera Elementary STEM Magnet School, was among 40 teachers across the state selected to receive the Texas State Farm® Teacher Assist Grant.

SFDRCISD CELEBRATES NATIONAL SCHOOL COUNSELING WEEK

San Felipe Del Rio CISD is joining school districts across the nation in celebrating National School Counseling Week this week. The celebration honors and focuses public attention on the unique contribution of professional school counselors within U.S. school systems and how students are different as a result of what school counselors do. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) sponsors National School Counseling Week, which highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for college and career.

SFDRCISD PREPARED FOR RETURN OF TEMPORARY ONLINE STUDENTS

Nearly 4 weeks ago, SFDRCISD worked with parents to encourage them to transition to online instruction in an attempt to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases the community experienced just over the holidays. “We want to thank the parents who supported the idea of temporarily changing their child’s mode of learning to online instruction earlier this month”, stated SFDRCISD superintendent, Dr. Carlos Rios. “This measure was necessary amidst the sharp rise in cases we experienced in our community just 4 weeks ago. Parents understood the need to make the temporary change to keep their families safe, and in doing so helped to significantly contain the spread of COVID-19 to other families at school.”

SFDRCISD APPRECIATIVE OF COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE MONTHS OF NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFDRCISD will release Donation Summary Reports through press releases. The following local businesses, community groups and individuals have made contributions to our schools during the months of November and December 2020:

DISTRICT OFFICIALS PROVIDE UPDATE REGARDING FACE-TO-FACE LEARNING AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

District leaders have been continuously monitoring reports from the local heath authority and the current circumstances within our community. This week the LHA reported that as of Thursday, Jan. 14, Val Verde County had 1,381 active cases and a six-day positivity rate of 39.69%.

LOS FUNCIONARIOS DEL DISTRITO ESCOLAR PROPORCIONA INFORMACION SOBRE EL APRENDIZAJE PRESENCIAL Y LAS ACTIVIDADES EXTRACURRICULARES

Los líderes de distrito han estado monitoreando continuamente los informes de la autoridad sanitaria local y las circunstancias actuales dentro de nuestra comunidad. Esta semana la LHA informó que, a partir del jueves 14 de enero, el condado de Val Verde tenía 1.381 casos activos y una tasa de positividad de seis días del 39,69%.

SFDRCISD HONORS BOARD OF TRUSTEES DURING SCHOOL BOARD APPRECIATION MONTH

The challenge involved in providing an excellent educational experience for the many, varied students in our district is a challenge that requires dedication and creativity in the best of times. The year 2020, however, was not the best of times.

SFDRCISD REMEMBERS BELOVED KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

San Felipe Del Rio CISD and the staff at Buena Vista Elementary are mourning the loss of long-time kindergarten teacher, Ms. Concepcion “Connie” Gutierrez. Ms. Gutierrez was a beloved teacher who touched the lives of students and laid the ground work for a lifetime of learning. She began her tenure with the school district in 2006 at East Side Elementary. She went on to work at Ruben Chavira Elementary and most recently at Buena Vista Elementary. She treasured her time as a kindergarten teacher, dedicating her entire career, 41 years of service to her students.

SFDRCISD MOURNS THE LOSS OF MR. ANTONIO CARDENAS

The passing of one of Del Rio High School’s beloved teachers last week took everyone by surprise. San Felipe Independent School District and the Del Rio High School staff are saddened by the passing of one of their longest tenured staff members, Mr. Antonio Cardenas. Hired in 1975, Mr. Cardenas dedicated his entire professional career to helping students with special needs.

SFDRCISD SUSPENDS ALL UIL AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

District leaders met yesterday to discuss additional measures to reduce and help contain the spread of the SARS COVID-19 virus on campus. After this brief discussion, SFDRCISD Superintendent, Dr. Carlos Rios announced that all UIL and extra-curricular activities, including before and after-school practices and games will be suspended temporarily over the next two weeks beginning today.

SFDRCISD SUSPENDE TODAS LAS ACTIVIDADES UIL Y EXTRA-CURRICULAR

Los líderes del distrito se reunieron ayer para discutir medidas adicionales para reducir y ayudar a contener la propagación del virus SARS COVID-19 en el campus. Después de esta breve discusión, el Superintendente del SFDRCISD, Dr. Carlos Ríos anunció que todas las actividades de la UIL y extracurriculares, incluyendo prácticas y juegos antes y después de la escuela, se suspenderán temporalmente durante las próximas dos semanas a partir de hoy.

¡GRACIAS, PADRES DE SFDRCISD!

En los últimos días, los directores y el personal del SFDRCISD se han puesto en contacto con los padres para considerar un cambio temporal a la instrucción en línea debido al actual pico en los casos DEVID-19. Al final del día de hoy, los padres respondieron abrumadoramente y optaron por cambiar temporalmente la instrucción de sus hijos por el aprendizaje en línea. SFDRCISD desea expresar nuestra más sincera gratitud a todos los padres que pudieron cooperar.

THANK YOU SFDRCISD PARENTS!

Over the past few days, SFDRCISD principals and staff have reached out to parents to consider a temporary switch to online instruction due the current spike in COVID-19 cases. By the end of the school day today, parents overwhelmingly responded and opted to temporarily swap their child’s instruction to online learning. SFDRCISD wishes to express our most sincere gratitude to every parent that was able to cooperate.

SFDRCISD REAFFIRMS PLANS TO RESUME CLASSES IN JANUARY

The recent spike in COVID-19 cases has caused concern throughout the community and has led to questions regarding the District’s plans to resume classes on Monday, January 4, 2021. In light of this circumstance, SFDRCISD has carefully reviewed state guidance regarding school closures, but has opted to strongly recommend an alternative solution which would not alter the operation of schools.

SFDRCISD ACTUALIZA PLANES EN MEDIO DE UN FUERTE AUMENTO DE CASOS DE COVID-19

El reciente aumento de los casos COVID-19 ha causado preocupación en toda la comunidad y ha dado lugar a preguntas sobre los planes del Distrito de reanudar las clases el lunes 4 de enero de 2021. A la luz de esta circunstancia, SFDRCISD ha revisado cuidadosamente la orientación estatal con respecto a los cierres de escuelas, pero ha optado por recomendar enérgicamente una solución alternativa que no alteraría el funcionamiento de las escuelas.

SFDRCISD REAFFIRMA PLANES PARA EL REGRESO DE CLASES ENERO

El distrito escolar de SFDRCISD reanudará las clases según lo programado el lunes 4 de enero de 2021. Los planes actuales del Distrito incluyen comunicarse con el personal en las escuelas el viernes 1 de enero para evaluar y determinar el número de maestros de clase o personal asignado a cuarentena debido a COVID-19.

SFDRCISD REAFFIRMS PLANS TO RESUME CLASSES IN JANUARY

SFDRCISD will resume classes as scheduled on Monday, January 4, 2021. The District’s current plans include contacting campus staff on Friday, January 1st to assess and determine the number of classroom teachers or staff assigned to quarantine due to COVID-19.

SFDRCISD REMEMBERS BELOVED MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH TEACHER

San Felipe Independent School District and the Del Rio Middle School staff are deeply saddened by the loss of one of their beloved mathematics teachers, Mr. Manuel A. Navarro. Serving eight years with the District, Mr. Navarro is remembered for his dedication and passion for teaching.

SFDRCISD CONFIRMA PLANES DE INSTRUCCION PARA ENERO 2021

Sobre la base de las estadísticas actuales de COVID-19, SFDRCISD continuará siguiendo los planes de instrucción que ha llevado a lo largo de este primer semestre hasta enero. Si el distrito escolar ha experimentado un aumento en los casos, se implementará un plan de protocolos agresivos de seguridad para impedir la propagación de COVID-19 en las escuelas. Por lo tanto, se ha confirmado que el calendario escolar adoptado por la mesa directiva se reanudará después de las vacaciones de invierno según lo previsto para el segundo semestre.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees

SFDRCISD CONFIRMS INSTRUCTION PLANS FOR JANUARY 2021

Based on current COVID-19 statistics, SFDRCISD will continue following the instructional plans it has carried throughout this first semester into January. While the District has seen a rise in cases, the aggressive implementation and layers of safety protocols has contained the spread of COVID-19 on campuses thus confirming that the board-adopted school calendar will resume as planned after the winter break.

Notice of Public Meeting - State financial Accountability Rating

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS
San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District’s
State Financial Accountability Rating

SFDRCISD FINALIZA LOS CRITERIOS PARA INTERRUMPIR LA INSTRUCCION REMOTA

SFDRCISD ha finalizado los criterios locales que se utilizarán para interrumpir la instrucción remota para los estudiantes que tienen dificultades para asistir a clases de forma remota y/o están fallando los cursos esenciales del área de asignaturas básicas.

SFDRCISD FINALIZES CRITERIA FOR DISCONTINUING REMOTE INSTRUCTION

SFDRCISD has finalized the local criteria that will be used in discontinuing remote instruction for students who are struggling to attend classes remotely and/or are failing essential core subject area courses.

SFDR Press Release - SFDRCISD RECEIVES RATING OF “A” FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT UNDER THE TEXAS SCHOOL FIRST FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY RATING SYSTEM

State officials have confirmed that SFDRCISD has received a rating of “A” for “Superior Achievement” under Texas’ School FIRST financial accountability rating system. San Felipe Del Rio CISD has received a score of 100 out of 100 points, thus earning an “A” for “Superior Achievement”. The “Superior Achievement” rating is the state’s highest level of recognition, demonstrating the quality of SFDRCISD’s financial management and reporting system.

RAMS VARSITY BASKETBALL GAMES CANCELLED

The SFDRCISD Athletic Department has announced that it will cancel today’s Rams varsity basketball game against San Angelo Central, and Friday night’s game against South San Antonio out of an abundance of caution.

TEA RELEASES NEW GUIDANCE REGARDING ONLINE INSTRUCTION

During a recent meeting with Superintendents state-wide, the Texas Education Agency provided an update which would grant school districts the authority to evaluate the effectiveness of student performance and attendance for students who currently participate in online classes.

ROBERTO “BOBBY” BARRERA ELEMENTARY AWARDED PURPLE STAR CAMPUS DESIGNATION FROM TEA

The Purple Star Campus Designation is a special honor created by the 86th Texas Legislature through SB 1557 that recognizes Texas district and open enrollment charter schools that show their support and commitment to meeting the unique needs of military connected students and their families.

SFDR COVID-19 UPDATE

The SFDR COVID-19 Update is a set of reports that provide an overview of COVID-19 related cases in the District. Cases in these reports are defined as any staff member or student who participates in any on-campus activity that is test-confirmed COVID-19 of which the District is notified or any staff member or student who has been quarantined as a result of exposure to a test-confirmed COVID-19 case. Updates for the previous Monday-Sunday will be provided weekly by 5 pm on Mondays. All data are provisional and subject to change.

SFDRCISD ANNOUNCES MONTHLY CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST and SEPTEMBER

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFDRCISD will release Donation Summary Reports through press releases each month after a regularly-called school board meeting. The following local businesses, community groups and individuals have made contributions to our schools during the months of August and September 2020:

SFDRCISD HONORS LOCAL BUSINESSES, ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS FOR THEIR SUPPORT

Each month, the Board of Trustees recognizes monetary and non-monetary contributions made by individuals, organizations and local businesses. During the regular meeting of the San Felipe Board of Trustees this evening, the Administration and the Board will honor and celebrate the important support provided to the District by our local community, and express the appreciation to those who stand up for schools, and encourage more businesses to participate in this sort of community service through a virtual tribute.

TASB News release: Meza Reelected to State Association Board

(Austin) — Raymond P. Meza of San Felipe Del Rio CISD has been reelected to a three-year term on the Texas Association of School Boards’ (TASB) Board of Directors, representing TASB Region 15. The election was held during the Association’s 2020 Delegate Assembly, which was held virtually on October 3.

SFDR ANNOUNCES ONLINE TICKET SALES AND STREAMING OF VARSITY ATHLETIC EVENTS

Fans will have an opportunity to purchase limited seating for all of SFDR’s athletic events directly on the SFDRCISD Athletic Department’s webpage at www.sfdr-cisd.org/athletics. In order to purchase a ticket, interested persons must successfully complete their order online, and a virtual ticket will be sent to their e-mail address. On the day of the event, ticket holders will be able to enter the event by showing their virtual ticket on their phone to the gatekeeper. No tickets will be sold at the events and no money will be exchanged. Fans should also prepare to be prescreened for COVID-19 before entering the event. As a precaution for the safety of our athletes and others, we urge all individuals to remain at home if they or anyone in their household is sick.

USDA EXTENDS WAIVER TO PROVIDE NO COST MEALS TO STUDENTS

Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced that school districts in Texas can opt to extend and operate a Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) this fall through December 31, 2020. This mean that SFDRCISD will continue to serve meals to students 18 years and younger, and enrolled students with disabilities up to 21 years old at no cost.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE TEA WAIVER TO EXTEND 2020-21 SCHOOL YEAR TRANSITION BEYOND THE FOUR-WEEK LIMIT

After listening to a presentation from local health authorities on the current local public health conditions and numerous public comments, the SFDRCISD Board of Trustees made a decision last night to approve the submission of TEA waiver that would allow the District to extend the transition window to students who opted for on-campus or hybrid instructional learning model for an additional three weeks.

SFDRCISD EDUCATION FOUNDATION ESTABLISHES LAPTOP INITIATIVE PROJECT FOR STUDENTS IN NEED

This year, members of the SFDRCISD agreed to forego their annual “Adventure on the Creek” fundraiser and replace it with a different initiative that would target and help support underprivileged students in our Del Rio community.

ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY PRINCIPALS OF THE YEAR NAMED AT NORTH HEIGHTS ELEMENTARY AND DEL RIO MIDDLE SCHOOL

Two San Felipe Del Rio CISD principals received surprise news Friday from their families that they are the 2020 SFDRCISD Elementary and Secondary Principals of the Year.

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND FBI OBTAIN INDICTMENT IN SCHEME TO STEAL MILLIONS FROM SAN FELIPE DEL RIO CISD

The San Felipe Del Rio CISD was informed this week that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI Special Agents were able to secure a federal grand jury indictment in a scheme to defraud the District of over $2 million. Due to the prompt action taken by the District and law enforcement, the Government has also been able to identify and seek forfeiture on over $1.5 million that we believe belongs to the District.

CURBSIDE MEAL PROGRAM TO BEGIN AUG. 26TH FOR SFDRCISD STUDENTS

Beginning Wednesday, August 26 th at 11 a.m., SFDRCISD will offer student meals through the Curbside Meal Program. District enrolled students and parents will be able to pick up meals from any of the 7 campus curbside locations across the community. For ease of access, parents will be able to use the bus lanes at the Roberto “Bobby” Barrera Elementary STEM Magnet School, Ruben Chavira Elementary, Lamar Elementary, Garfield Elementary, North Heights Elementary, Calderon Elementary, and Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary. Curbside and walk-up window pick-up will be open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

SFDRCISD TO HOST IMMUNIZATION CLINIC FOR DEL RIO MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS THIS FRIDAY

SFDRCISD has partnered with the Department of State Health Services and Val Verde Regional Medical Center to offer parents of incoming 7th-12th grade students an opportunity to get their required immunizations before the start of school. Whether students are attending school in person or remotely, the state requirement for specific vaccines will still be in effect.

SFDR FINALIZES PURCHASE OF PROPERTY FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

SFDRCISD has finalized the purchase and sale agreement with the Buena Vista Development Company and Rock Pile Construction, LLC, for acreage in north Del Rio which will be used for the construction of a brand new elementary campus.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING TO DISCUSS BUDGET AND PROPOSED TAX RATE

The San Felipe Del Rio CISD will hold a public meeting at 6:00 PM, August 24, 2020 in SFDRCISD Student Performance Center and Administration Building-315 Griner St. Del Rio TX 78840. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the school district's budget that will determine the tax rate that will be adopted. Public participation in the discussion is invited.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE DELAY TO SCHOOL START DATE – STUDENTS TO BEGIN WITH ONLINE INSTRUCTION

The SFDRCISD Board of Trustees approved a recommendation by the Administration to delay the start of classes for all students attending SFDRCISD schools for the 2020-2021 school year. The first day of school will now be on Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

EL CONSEJO ESCOLAR APRUEBA EL RETRASO A LA FECHA DE INICIO DE ESCUELA – LOS ESTUDIANTES COMENZARAN CON INSTRUCCION EN LINEA

El Consejo Escolar de SFDRCISD aprobó una recomendación de la Administración para retrasar el inicio de las clases para todos los estudiantes que asisten a las escuelas SFDRCISD para el año escolar 2020-2021. El primer día de clases será el miércoles 26 de agosto de 2020.

SFDRCISD ANNOUNCES MONTHLY CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE MONTH OF JUNE

Board Policy CDC (LOCAL) provides for the consideration and approval of gifts and donations to the school district. The following local businesses, community groups and individuals have made contributions to our schools during the month of June 2020:

SFDR ADMINISTRATION TO RECOMMEND DELAY OF SCHOOL START DATE STUDENTS TO BEGIN WITH ONLINE INSTRUCTION

SFDRCISD Administration will be preparing to make a recommendation during Monday’s scheduled school board meeting to delay the start of classes for all students attending SFDRCISD schools for the 2020-2021 school year and secondly, to extend and implement instruction to a model that is 100% online during the first 3 weeks of school. If this recommendation is approved, the first day of school will be moved to Monday, August 24 th , and students will begin instruction at home, online for a 3-week period. Under this plan, unless otherwise directed by local or State executive orders, SFDRCISD schools will open to students who wish to attend in person no later than the week of September 14, 2020.

IDALIA CASTELLANOS NAMED REGION 15 ELEMENTARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR

Officials at the Education Service Center Region 15 has notified SFDRCISD that Ms. Idalia Castellanos, a kindergarten teacher assigned to Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary School has been selected as the 2021 Region 15 Teacher of the Year. Laura Strube, Deputy Director for ESC 15 stated, “We are extremely honored to have her represent our region at the state level.”

PARENTS PROVIDE INSIGHT INTO PREFERRED LEARNING MODELS FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR

In an effort to guide the District in preparations for the 2020-2021 school year, SFDRCISD principals and their staff have begun contacting parents to determine which of the instructional Models for Learning they would select for their students. After only one week of implementing these efforts, over 70% of the parents have responded and have provided an indication of which of the 3 models would be their preference for instructing their child for the 2020/2021 school year.

LOS PADRES PROPOCIONAN INFORMACION SOBRE LOS MODELOS DE APREDIZAJE PREFERIDOS PARA EL ANO ESCOLAR 2020-2021

En un esfuerzo por guiar al Distrito en los preparativos para el año escolar 2020-2021, los directores de SFDRCISD y su personal han comenzado a ponerse en contacto con los padres para determinar cuál de los Modelos de Instrucción para el Aprendizaje seleccionarían para sus estudiantes. Después de sólo una semana de implementar estos esfuerzos, más del 70% de los padres han respondido y han proporcionado una indicación de cuál de los 3 modelos sería su preferencia por instruir a sus hijos para el año escolar 2020/2021.

SFDR ATHLETICS POSTS UPDATE FOR SENIOR PASS/SEASON TICKET HOLDERS

Last week, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) released guidance for school districts experiencing community spread of COVID-19, to temporarily suspend any summer workouts, rehearsals, practices and instruction beginning July 3 through July 12 in order to reduce the risk of exposure to the disease. While the SFDRCISD Athletics Department is waiting to resume summer activities, they are also pending the release of guidance for individual sports for the 2020-2021 school year.

UIL CALLS DISTRICTS TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND SUMMER WORKOUTS, PRACTICES AND INSTRUCTION

Yesterday, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) released guidance for school districts experiencing community spread of COVID-19 to temporarily suspend any summer workouts, rehearsals, practices and instruction beginning July 3 through July 12 in order to reduce the

SFDRCISD RELEASES FAQ’S REGARDING 2020-2021 MODELS FOR LEARNING

Following our press release on June 26, 2020, we have composed a list of frequently asked questions and have provided responses for these. It is our hope that you will find these helpful in considering each of the instructional Models for Learning for your child’s grade level.

SFDRCISD LANZA MODELOS PARA EL APRENDIZAJE PARA EL ANO ESCOLAR 2020-2021

Después de la guía publicada recientemente por la Agencia de Educación de Texas con respecto a la asistencia a la escuela y las operaciones, SFDRCISD lanzó modelos de aprendizaje para los estudiantes de Pre K a 12o grado para el año escolar 2020-2021. Los padres serán llamados por teléfono en las próximas semanas para seleccionar una de tres opciones de aprendizaje para cumplir con los requisitos de asistencia estatal. Los padres tendrán que decidir si sus hijos asistirán en persona en la escuela asignada si sus hijos asistirán en línea por el internet mientras están en casa, o si elegirán un modelo híbrido donde su hijo asistiría a clases en persona y en línea cada dos días empezando el próximo mes de agosto.

SFDRCISD RELEASES 2020-2021 MODELS FOR LEARNING

Following recently released guidance from the Texas Education Agency regarding school attendance and operations, SFDRCISD released learning models for students Pre K through 12th grade for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents will be called by phone in the coming weeks to select one of three learning options for meeting state attendance requirements. Parents will need to decide whether their children will attend in person at their assigned school whether their children will be attending online while they are at home, or whether they will choose a hybrid model where their child would attend classes in person and online every other day this coming August.

SFDRCISD BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE REVISIONS TO THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL CALENDAR

Last night, the SFDRCISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve an amendment to the District of Innovation Plan which would allow the District to change the school start date to the 2nd week in August. The newly adopted 2020-2021 school calendar calls for the teachers and students begin their school year five days earlier, and

SFDRCISD ANNOUNCES MONTHLY CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL and MAY

Due to our recent transition from traditional to virtual school board meetings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFDRCISD will release monthly business reports through press releases each month after a regularly-called school board meeting.

Press Release - SFDRCISD GRATEFUL FOR SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF GRADUATION CEREMONIES

Last Saturday evening, SFDRCISD successfully completed its sixth consecutive graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. During this unprecedented time, the phenomenal success of these commencement exercises is a reflection of the never-ending dedication of the District’s staff and volunteers. The entire SFDRCISD Board of Trustees, (President Raymond Meza, Vice-President Linda Guanajuato-Webb, Secretary, Diana Gonzales, and members, Joshua Overfelt, Ken Smith, Fred Contreras, and Amy Haynes), and Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carlos Rios, would like to first congratulate and thank Dr. Jose F. Perez (DRHS), Patricia Rodriguez(ECHS), Alda Zuniga(outgoing Blended Academy), and Laura Sandate (incoming Blended Academy), for their collective leadership and hard work in organizing these historic celebrations. Because of their perseverance and the unwavering dedication of countless staff and volunteers, each of these milestone ceremonies were indeed a huge success.

Press Release -LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITY NOTIFIES SFDRCISD OF CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASE

The Local Health Authority has notified SFDRCISD that one of our 2020 graduates tested positive for COVID-19. The identified student participated in the 8:00 p.m. graduation ceremony held this past Friday, June 5, 2020. SFDRCISD is making this public statement the interest of everyone’s safety and in an effort to maintain full transparency. Furthermore, administration has notified the students who were lined up or seated in proximity of the infected student as well as notified any District staff who may have also come in contact with the infected student.

Press Release - SFDRCISD Seamless Summer Option Program Summer 2020

SAN FELIPE DEL RIO CISD is participating in the 2020 Seamless Summer Option Program. Meals will be served to ALL area children ages 0-18 without charge. Meals are provided for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Meals will be available at the sites and times as follows:

SFDRCISD TO IMPLEMENT NEW PROCESS FOR REGISTERING STUDENTS

Ordinarily, the Office of Student Services would be the location for parents to register their child for the start of school. However, this year SFDRCISD will be implementing safety precautions and an alternative process for enrolling new students to the District. Beginning June 8th, parents must first call the Office of Student Services to set up an appointment in order to register their child.

SFDRCISD IMPLEMENTARA UN NUEVO PROCESO PARA EL REGISTRO DE ESTUDIANTES

Normalmente, la Oficina de Servicios Estudiantiles sería el lugar para que los padres registren a sus hijos para el inicio del año escolar. Sin embargo, este año SFDRCISD implementará precauciones de seguridad y un proceso alternativo para inscribir nuevos estudiantes en el distrito. A partir del 8 de junio, los padres primero deben llamar a la Oficina de Servicios Estudiantiles para establecer una cita con el fin de registrar a su hijo.

Update - HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY GUIDELINES_May 29 2020

We are pleased to announce more students have been cleared to graduate! Please see our updated Graduation Ceremony Assignments.

Update - HIGH SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY GUIDELINES_May 29 2020

¡Nos complace anunciar que más estudiantes han sido autorizados para graduarse! Consulte nuestras asignaciones actualizadas de la ceremonia de graduación.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION CEREMONY GUIDELINES

On May 5, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott released guidance to school districts and colleges across the state pertaining to graduation ceremonies. Pursuant to Executive Order GA-23 and the recommendations of the Governor’s Strike Force to Open Texas, schools may conduct graduation ceremonies consistent with the minimum standard health protocols issued by the Texas Education Agency beginning June 1, 2020. While it is important to adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Governor, it is equally important to comply with ordinances established by our local government. To this end, our graduation plans have been reviewed and approved by our County Judge and Mayor. Our sincere appreciation is extended for their guidance and support.

GUIA SOBRE LAS CEREMONIAS DE GRADUACION

El 5 de mayo de 2020, el gobernador Greg Abbott publicó orientación a los distritos escolares y universidades de todo el estado relacionadas con las ceremonias de graduación. De conformidad con la Orden Ejecutiva GA-23 y las recomendaciones guiadas por el gobernador “Strike Force to Open Texas”, las escuelas pueden llevar a cabo ceremonias de graduación consistentes con los protocolos de salud emitidos por la Agencia de Educación de Texas a partir del 1 de junio de 2020. Así como es importante adherirse a las pautas esbozadas por el Gobernador, también es igualmente importante cumplir con las ordenanzas establecidas por nuestro gobierno local. Con este fin, nuestros planes de graduación han sido revisados y aprobados por nuestro Juez del Condado y el Alcalde de la ciudad. Nuestro sincero agradecimiento se extiende por su orientación y apoyo.

GRADUATION INFORMATION TO BE RELEASED ON THURSDAY

Del Rio High School, Early College High School and Blended Academy are conducting final clearance for high school seniors this week in preparation for the upcoming graduation ceremonies which will take place on June 4th thru June 6th.

SFDRCISD RECEIVES NOTIFICATION OF COVID-19 RELATED CASE

On Sunday, May 24, 2020 SFDRCISD learned that an employee, assigned to Buena Vista Elementary, has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. This same employee worked at the Buena Vista gym on May 20th, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon, facilitating the “parent pick up” of 3rd grade student’s belongings.

SFDRCISD BOARD APPROVES RESOLUTION FOR SPRING SEMESTER GRADES GPA AND CLASS RANK

The Board of Trustees adopted a resolution on May 7, 2020, which addresses the current 2020 Spring Semester Grading Policy for high school students, particularly, GPA’s and Class Rank for the Spring 2020 semester for the students in the Class of 2020 cohort, as well as for the Class of 2020-2021 through the Class of 2023-2024 student cohorts.

Team 4063 Wins 2020 El Paso District Chairman’s Award

While the season may have been cancelled, FIRST still wanted to honor the accomplishments of teams and judged its most important awards through essays. Presented by FIRST in Texas over livestream on Twitch.tv, Team 4063 was announced as winners of the 2020 El Paso District Chairman’s Award. This is our 2nd Chairman’s Award win in our team’s history, and the 2nd year in a row we win it for the El Paso District Event. This will also be our team’s 8th Blue Banner, continuing our streak to five years in a row we have won at least one Blue Banner. We are extremely proud of the work our students have accomplished, and send a huge thank you to our mentors, families, friends, volunteers, and community for their continued support.

SFDRCISD ANNOUNCES MONTHLY CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE MONTH OF MARCH

Due to our recent transition from traditional to virtual school board meetings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, SFDRCISD will release monthly business reports through press releases each month after a regularly-called school board meeting.

OPTIONS FOR GRADUATION TO BE SURVEYED BY THE CLASS OF 2020

The SFDRCISD graduating class of 2020 will have priority say in the selection of a suitable option for their graduation ceremony through a survey they will receive early next week. District leaders are working to finalize a survey that will present students with a variety of options of alternative solution to a traditional ceremony.

SFDRCISD ISSUES GUIDANCE FOR BEACON OF LIGHT EVENT

SFDRCISD, the City of Del Rio, and Val Verde County are proud to honor the school district’s students with the Beacon of Light event. On Friday, April 24, 2020, our community entities will turn on the lights throughout various stadiums and fields across our community in honor of our high school seniors, student athletes, and UIL participants who had their seasons cut short this school year. Students, parents, and the general community are welcome to express their support by driving by these locations or showing other means of support in their own homes.

SFDRCISD GUIDANCE RELATED TO CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19)

San Felipe Del Rio CISD remains in close consultation with the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Center for Disease Control and other partners in public health to monitor the novel coronavirus situation and ensure standard health and safety precautions are in place. We want to assure our community that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority.

SFDRCISD GUIDANCE RELATED TO CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19)

As the San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District continues to closely monitor news related to the coronavirus, we want to assure you that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our highest priority. To this end, we want to make sure not to expand our energy on misinformation and instead focus all of our energy in promoting sound practices that can limit any potential spread.

STATEMENT REGARDING FRAUD INVESTIGATION

On February 18, 2020, the district learned that funds intended as payments to a bank for the district’s debt service, were electronically transferred via ACH (Automatic Clearing House) to a fraudulent account instead of the proper account. Upon discovering this fraud, the district immediately contacted authorities, including the FBI, and began an internal review. Unfortunately, business email compromise schemes like this have become common with other organizations and school districts targeted across the State and nation.

SFDRCISD ANNOUNCES CANDIDATES FOR THE 2020 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION

Eleven individuals have filed for three school board trustee positions on the May 2, 2020 ballot. The District has announced that current school board trustees Joshua D. Overfelt, Diana E. Gonzales and Amy N. Haynes have filed for re-election to Place II, Place VI, and Place VII respectively.

SFDRCISD TECHNOLOGY NETWORK SYSTEM ATTACKED BY RYUK MALWARE

SFDRCISD’s Chief Operations Officer Les Hayenga announced that a portion of the District’s technology network system was attacked by malware early Saturday morning. SFDRCISD’s Technology team immediately discovered that some of our District’s servers, which mainly provides storage for the District’s network shares and print servers, were affected by the RYUK malware. While this attack made portions of these systems inaccessible to District users, it is not believed that any personally identifiable information of staff or students was exposed to risk.

SFDRCISD TRUSTEE ADVOCATING LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 116TH CONGRESS MEETS WITH KEY LEGISLATORS ON CAPITOL HILL TODAY

Washington, D.C. - School board trustee Diana Gonzales, representing Region 15, is joining hundreds of school board advocates from across the state and the nation to help shape the decisions made on Capitol Hill that directly impact our students.

SFDRCISD TRE PROJECT UPDATE - Building a Better Future

As we embark on our second semester of the 2019-2020 school year, SFDRCISD is honored and proud to work with you to ensure all of our students are prepared for college, career and life. Every day, our community of over 1,400 teachers and team members provides students with the opportunities, tools and 21st-century skills they need to be successful throughout their lives.

LAUNCHING THE NEXT GENERATION - SFDRCISD CELEBRATES SCHOOL BOARD RECOGNITION MONTH 2020

The task of educating more than 5.4 million Texas students can seem overwhelming. The idea of 5.4 million young minds relying on us to provide what they will need to succeed in their ever-unfolding future can feel insurmountable. But when we were children, the adults in our world provided for us, and now it is our turn to provide for today’s students.

SFDRCISD PREPARES FOR THE 2019-2020 SECOND SEMESTER

Happy New Year and welcome to the second semester of the 2019-2020 school year! We hope everyone has had a great winter break. Our SFDRCISD team will report to work on Monday, January 6th and 7th for a Teacher Workday and staff training in preparation for the second semester. Both elementary and secondary students will resume their regular schedule of classes beginning on Wednesday, January 8th. Secondary students are expected to report to their assigned “A Day” classes. All district and campus offices will re-open during regular business hours on Monday, January 6th.

SFDRCISD ANNOUNCES 2020 SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION PROCESS CANDIDATE FILING BEGINS ON JANUARY 15

The candidate filing period for the May 2, 2020 San Felipe Del Rio CISD School Board of Trustee Election begins on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., according to the election calendar set by the Texas Secretary of State. The last day to file a completed application is Friday, February 14, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Persons interested in becoming a candidate for the San Felipe Del Rio C.I.S.D. School Board may pick up a packet in the Superintendent’s office in the SFDRCISD Student Performance and Administration Building located at 315 Griner St. The candidate’s packet contains instructions, an application, and forms required for filing. The application, forms, and instructions are also available online through the SFDRCISD School Board Elections and through the Texas Secretary of State websites.

SFDRCISD EARNS “A” RATING UNDER TEXAS’ SCHOOL FIRST FINANCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY RATING SYSTEM

San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District officials announced that the district received a rating of “A” for “Superior Achievement” under Texas’ School FIRST financial accountability rating system. The “Superior Achievement” rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of SFDRCISD’s financial management and reporting system.

KOREAN WAR VETERAN TO BE AWARDED HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA

Reymundo (“Raymond”) Barron Ruíz, a former Del Rioan and veteran of the Korean Conflict, will be awarded his high school diploma 69 years after he joined the U.S. Army in 1950, and less than one month away from his 90th birthday. Under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.0251, a school district may issue a high school diploma to certain veterans. This Veteran’s Day, Reymundo Barron Ruiz, will be recognized as a 2019 graduate of Del Rio High School.

THANK YOU, DEL RIO! DISTRICT VOTERS APPROVE PROPOSED SCHOOL BOND MEASURE

Del Rio voters have approved a proposed $19 million school bond that calls for the construction of a brand new elementary school. The SFDRCISD Board of Trustees and the entire administration would like to express their sincere appreciation to the voters of Del Rio, who participated in the November 5th election.

SCHOOL BOND MEASURE ON THE NOVEMBER 5 BALLOT

At the close of early voting last Friday, 1,638 registered voters (an estimated 5.91% of 27,713 registered voters in the District), have cast their ballot. Proposition A, the $19 million school bond measure on the November 5 ballot, would fund the construction of a new elementary school

DEL RIO HIGH SCHOOL CLEARED FOR BONFIRE 2019

Del Rio High School has announced that they have been cleared to host its traditional homecoming bonfire on Thursday, Oct. 24th after the Del Rio Freshman football game.

SFDRCISD OBSERVES TEXAS EDUCATION HUMAN RESOURCES DAY

In observation of Texas Education Human Resources Day, San Felipe Del Rio CISD would like to recognize and honor our Human Resources department for their dedication to ensuring our schools are staffed with high quality employees and ensuring our students receive the highest quality of education possible.

SFDRCISD INVESTIGATING REPORT OF THREAT AT LAMAR ELEMENTARY

Around dismissal time Thursday afternoon, a report was made to the Lamar Elementary School principal regarding an unfortunate threat made by a student attending that campus.

SFDRCISD POLICE DEPARTMENT GETS PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICE CRIMINAL JUSTICE DIVISION GRANT

Last week, the San Felipe Del Rio C.I.S.D. Police Department received notice of a grant award through the Office of the Governor, Public Safety Office Criminal Justice Division that would enable the local law enforcement agency to upgrade their technology infrastructure to allow for and support the submission of data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) National Incident Based System (NIBRS).

WhenSeanSpeaks

WhenSeanSpeaks, a powerful, real life story about the consequences of riding with a drunk driver, will be presented Thursday, Sept 5, 2019 at Del Rio High School at 08:30 a.m.

SFDRCISD MOURNS THE LOSS OF FORMER COACH AND SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER GUADALUPE “LUPE” DE HOYOS

We sadly inform you of the loss of one of our most beloved educators, former high school coach and longtime school board member Mr. Guadalupe “Lupe” De Hoyos. Coach De Hoyos, a strong advocate for athletics in Del Rio, passed away this morning from a longtime illness. “Coach De Hoyos” as he was lovingly called by his peers and students, was an exemplar leader, an inspiring teacher and a phenomenal coach. We will all miss him more than words can express.

SFDRCISD SEES IMPROVEMENT IN LATEST TEA ACCOUNTABILITY RATING– EARNS “B” PERFORMANCE RATING FOR 2ND YEAR

In the latest round of state accountability ratings, the Texas Education Agency has confirmed that San Felipe Del Rio CISD gained 6 points from last year’s 80 to an 86 – earning a high “B” in this year’s 2019 A-F Accountability Ratings. The official report, released late Thursday, indicated that the rating showed how well the district has prepared students for success, both in school, and after high school whether that’s in college, a career, or the military.

SFDRCISD INVESTIGATING REPORTS OF POSSIBLE THREAT TO DRHS

Around mid-day today, SFDRCISD Police received a report of an active shooter at Del Rio High School. SFDRCISD Police Chief Duane Maldonado has confirmed that a parent notified coaching staff of a message circulating on social media that there was an active shooter on campus. Out of an abundance of caution, the coaching staff immediately entered into a lockdown drill. District police was called to the scene, and found that there was no imminent threat to the students on campus.

Press Release SFDRCISD Board of Trustees Floats Bond Election

San Felipe Del Rio CISD Board of Trustees met Monday night to discuss various agenda items – but most important was the potential bond election item. Dr. Carlos Rios, Superintendent of Schools, began his presentation by sharing aerial footage of various housing developments in the northern sector of the community. He stated that since the last bond election attempt,

SFDRCISD DISCUSSES HB3 - MAKES TEACHER & STAFF PAY A PRIORITY

This coming school year (2019/2020), SFDRCISD teachers will see salary increases that not only exceed the increases mandated by the recent passage of House Bill 3, but also exceed salary increases provided by most districts.

Protect San Felipe Creek

Working to clean, restore and enjoy San Felipe Creek now and for generations to come, SFDRCISD and Texas Parks & Wildlife have kicked-off a multi-level collaborative campaign aimed to educate and engage families in caring for,

SFDRCISD Student Receives 2019 Student Hero Award

The State Board of Education Student Heroes Program recognizes Texas public school students in prekindergarten through high school who do outstanding works of service to benefit their fellow students, schools, and their communities.

CTE - Phlebotomy Program Tour

Phlebotomy students from the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at Del Rio High School recently had the opportunity to tour Grifols Talecris Plasma Resources.

CTE EKG and Phlebotomy Certifications

Seventeen students from the Career and Technical Education Program at Del Rio High School have received Certification in Electrocardiography and Phlebotomy under the Health Science Career Pathway. This certification program is monitored by the National Healthcareer Association. As a Certified Electrocardiograph


Emergency Paid Leave

Two provisions of the FFCRA provide up to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave plus an additional 12 weeks (10 of those weeks paid) of expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to COVID-19.

Employees can substitute EPSLA leave or regular accrued leave for the 10 days unpaid leave in EFMLEA.  

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to grant workers up to two weeks (80 hours) paid sick leave:

  • At their regular rate of pay (up to $511 per day with a cap of $5,110) if the employee is unable to work due to being quarantined or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19
  • At two-thirds of their regular rate of pay (up to $200 per day with a cap of $2,000) if the employee is unable to work because they are caring for someone under quarantine or a child (under 18) whose school is closed due to COVID-19 or the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking diagnosis

Self-employed individuals can claim a sick leave tax credit equal to the amounts above (or an equivalent percent of their "average daily self-employment income," whichever is less) for up to ten days.

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to grant up to an additional 12 weeks of expanded family and medical leave with 10 of those weeks paid at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay if the employee is unable to work (including telework) to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19.

Full-time workers are eligible for 80 hours paid leave. Part-time employees receive paid leave equal to the average number of hours they work in a two-week period. There is no waiting period or accrual required for paid sick leave. Benefits are not retroactive and cannot be carried forward. The employee is not required to find a replacement and is not required to use accrued sick leave before taking advantage of leave provided by EPSLA or EFMLEA.

The first two weeks (of 12) under EFMLEA may be unpaid, but the employee can use other paid leave if available including EPSLA leave. To be eligible for EFMLEA the employee must be covered under Title I of FMLA and have worked for the employer for at least 30 days. This leave includes job protection as provide by the FMLA.  

Self-employed individuals can claim a up to $200 per day or 67% of their "average daily self-employment income," whichever is less) for up to 10 weeks of family leave.


Contents

Lampreys live mostly in coastal and fresh waters and are found in most temperate regions. Some species (e.g. Geotria australis, Petromyzon marinus, and Entosphenus tridentatus) travel significant distances in the open ocean, [10] as evidenced by their lack of reproductive isolation between populations. Other species are found in land-locked lakes. Their larvae (ammocoetes) have a low tolerance for high water temperatures, which may explain why they are not distributed in the tropics.

Lamprey distribution may be adversely affected by overfishing and pollution. In Britain, at the time of the Conquest, lampreys were found as far upstream in the River Thames as Petersham [ citation needed ] . The reduction of pollution in the Thames and River Wear has led to recent sightings in London and Chester-le-Street. [11] [12]

Distribution of lampreys may also be adversely affected by dams and other construction projects due to disruption of migration routes and obstruction of access to spawning grounds. Conversely, the construction of artificial channels has exposed new habitats for colonisation, notably in North America where sea lampreys have become a significant introduced pest in the Great Lakes. Active control programs to control lampreys are undergoing modifications due to concerns of drinking water quality in some areas. [13]

Basic external anatomy of a lamprey

Anatomy Edit

Adults superficially resemble eels in that they have scaleless, elongated bodies, and can range from 13 to 100 cm (5 to 40 inches) in length. Lacking paired fins, adult lampreys have large eyes, one nostril on the top of the head, and seven gill pores on each side of the head.

The brain of the lamprey is divided into the forebrain, diencephalon, midbrain, cerebellum, and medulla. [14]

The heart of the lamprey is anterior to the intestines. It contains the sinus, one atrium, and one ventricle protected by the pericardial cartilages. [14]

The pineal gland, a photosensitive organ regulating melatonin production by capturing light signals through the photoreceptor cell converting them into intercellular signals of the lamprey is located in the midline of its body, for lamprey, the pineal eye is accompanied by the parapineal organ. [15]

The buccal cavity, anterior to the gonads, are responsible to attaching, through suction, to either a stone or their prey. This then allows the tongue to be able to have contact with the stone to rasp algae, or tear at the flesh of their prey to be able to drink their blood. [16]

The pharynx is subdivided the ventral part forming a respiratory tube that is isolated from the mouth by a valve called the velum. This is an adaptation to how the adults feed, by preventing the prey's body fluids from escaping through the gills or interfering with gas exchange, which takes place by pumping water in and out of the gill pouches instead of taking it in through the mouth.

One of the key physical components to the lamprey are the intestines, which are located ventral to the notochord. Intestines aid in osmoregulation by intaking water from its environment and desalinating the water they intake to an iso-osmotic state with respect to blood, and are also responsible for digestion. [17]

Near the gills are the eyes, which are poorly developed and buried under skin in the larvae. The eyes consummate their development during metamorphosis, and are covered by a thin and transparent layer of skin that becomes opaque in preservatives. [18]

Morphology Edit

The unique morphological characteristics of lampreys, such as their cartilaginous skeleton shown to the right, suggest they are the sister taxon (see cladistics) of all living jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes). They are usually considered the most basal group of the Vertebrata. Instead of true vertebrae, they have a series of cartilaginous structures called arcualia arranged above the notochord. Hagfish, which resemble lampreys, have traditionally been considered the sister taxon of the true vertebrates (lampreys and gnathostomes) [19] but DNA evidence suggests that they are in fact the sister taxon of lampreys. [20]

Studies have shown that lampreys are amongst the most energy-efficient swimmers. Their swimming movements generate low-pressure zones around the body, which pull rather than push their bodies through the water. [21]

Research on sea lampreys has revealed that sexually mature males use a specialized heat-producing tissue in the form of a ridge of fat cells near the anterior dorsal fin to stimulate females. After having attracted a female with pheromones, the heat detected by the female through body contact will encourage spawning. [22]

Due to certain peculiarities in their adaptive immune system, the study of lampreys provides valuable insight into the evolution of vertebrate adaptive immunity. Generated from a somatic recombination of leucine-rich repeat gene segments, lamprey leukocytes express surface variable lymphocyte receptors (VLRs). [23] This convergently evolved characteristic allows them to have lymphocytes that work as the T cells and B cells present in higher vertebrates immune system. [24]

Northern lampreys (Petromyzontidae) have the highest number of chromosomes (164–174) among vertebrates. [25]

Pouched lamprey (Geotria australis) larvae also have a very high tolerance for free iron in their bodies, and have well-developed biochemical systems for detoxification of the large quantities of these metal ions. [26]

Lampreys are the only extant vertebrate to have four eyes. [27] Most lampreys have two additional parietal eyes: a pineal and parapineal one (the exception is members of Mordacia). [28]

Adaptations Edit

Different species of lamprey have many shared physical characteristics. However, the same anatomical structure can serve different functions in the lamprey depending on whether or not it is carnivorous. For example, non-carnivorous species use their teeth to scrape algae from rocks for food, [29] rather than drilling into the flesh of hosts. The mouth and suction capabilities of the lamprey not only allow it to cling to a fish as a parasite, [30] but provide it with limited climbing ability so that it can travel upstream and up ramps or rocks to breed. [31] [30] This ability has been studied in an attempt to better understand how lampreys battle the current and move forward despite only being able to hold onto the rock at a single point. [31] Some scientists are also hoping to design ramps [31] that will optimize the lamprey’s climbing ability, as lampreys are valued as food in the Northwest and need to be able to get upstream to reproduce. [30]

The last common ancestor of lampreys appears to have been specialized to feed on the blood and body fluids of other fish after metamorphosis. [32] They attach their mouthparts to the target animal's body, then use three horny plates (laminae) on the tip of their piston-like tongue, one transversely and two longitudinally placed, to scrape through surface tissues until they reach body fluids. [33] The teeth on their oral disc are primarily used to help the animal attach itself to its prey. [34] Made of keratin and other proteins, lamprey teeth have a hollow core to give room for replacement teeth growing under the old ones. [35] Some of the original blood-feeding forms have evolved into species that feed on both blood and flesh, and some who have become specialized to eat flesh and may even invade the internal organs of the host. Tissue feeders can also involve the teeth on the oral disc in the excision of tissue. [36] As a result, the flesh-feeders have smaller buccal glands as they do not require to produce anticoagulant continuously and mechanisms for preventing solid material entering the branchial pouches, which could otherwise potentially clog the gills. [37] A study of the stomach content of some lampreys has shown the remains of intestines, fins and vertebrae from their prey. [38] Although attacks on humans do occur, [39] they will generally not attack humans unless starved. [40] [19]

Carnivorous forms have given rise to the non-carnivorous species that feed on algae, [41] and "giant" individuals amongst the otherwise small American brook lamprey have occasionally been observed, leading to the hypothesis that sometimes individual members of non-carnivorous forms return to the carnivorous lifestyle of their ancestors. [42]

Another important lamprey adaptation is its camouflage. Similarly to many other aquatic species, most lampreys have a dark-colored back, which enables them to blend in with the ground below when seen from above by a predator. Their light-colored undersides allow them to blend in with the bright air and water above them if a predator sees them from below.

Lamprey coloration can also vary according to the region and specific environment in which the species is found. Some species can be distinguished by their unique markings – for example, Geotria australis individuals display two bluish stripes running the length of its body as an adult. [43] These markings can also sometimes be used to determine what stage of the life cycle the lamprey is in G. australis individuals lose these stripes when they approach the reproductive phase and begin to travel upstream. [43] Another example is Petromyzon marinus, which shifts to more of an orange color as it reaches the reproductive stage in its life cycle.

Lifecycle Edit

The adults spawn in nests of sand, gravel and pebbles in clear streams, and after hatching from the eggs, young larvae—called ammocoetes—will drift downstream with the current till they reach soft and fine sediment in silt beds, where they will burrow in silt, mud and detritus, taking up an existence as filter feeders, collecting detritus, algae, and microorganisms. [44] The eyes of the larvae are underdeveloped, but are capable of discriminating changes in illuminance. [45] Ammocoetes can grow from 3–4 inches (8–10 cm) to about 8 inches (20 cm). [46] [47] Many species change color during a diurnal cycle, becoming dark at day and pale at night. [48] The skin also has photoreceptors, light sensitive cells, most of them concentrated in the tail, which helps them to stay buried. [49] Lampreys may spend up to eight years as ammocoetes, [50] while species such as the Arctic lamprey may only spend one to two years as larvae, [51] prior to undergoing a metamorphosis which generally lasts 3–4 months, but can vary between species. [52] While metamorphosing, they do not eat. [53]

The rate of water moving across the ammocoetes' feeding apparatus is the lowest recorded in any suspension feeding animal, and they therefore require water rich in nutrients to fulfill their nutritional needs. While the majority of (invertebrate) suspension feeders thrive in waters containing under 1 mg suspended organic solids per litre (<1 mg/l), ammocoetes demand minimum 4 mg/l, with concentrations in their habitats having been measured up to 40 mg/l. [54]

During metamorphosis the lamprey loses both the gallbladder and the biliary tract, [55] and the endostyle turns into a thyroid gland. [56]

Some species, including those that are not carnivorous and do not feed even following metamorphosis, [53] live in freshwater for their entire lifecycle, spawning and dying shortly after metamorphosing. [57] In contrast, many species are anadromous and migrate to the sea, [53] beginning to prey on other animals while still swimming downstream after their metamorphosis provides them with eyes, teeth, and a sucking mouth. [58] [57] Those that are anadromous are carnivorous, feeding on fishes or marine mammals. [10] [59] [60]

Anadromous lampreys spend up to four years in the sea before migrating back to freshwater, where they spawn. Adults create nests (called redds) by moving rocks, and females release thousands of eggs, sometimes up to 100,000. [57] The male, intertwined with the female, fertilizes the eggs simultaneously. Being semelparous, both adults die after the eggs are fertilized. [61]

Taxonomists place lampreys and hagfish in the subphylum Vertebrata of the phylum Chordata, which also includes the invertebrate subphyla Tunicata (sea-squirts) and the fish-like Cephalochordata (lancelets or Amphioxus). Recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic studies place lampreys and hagfish in the superclass Agnatha or Agnathostomata (both meaning without jaws). The other vertebrate superclass is Gnathostomata (jawed mouths) and includes the classes Chondrichthyes (sharks), Osteichthyes (bony fishes), Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves, and Mammalia.

Some researchers have classified lampreys as the sole surviving representatives of the Linnean class Cephalaspidomorphi. [62] Cephalaspidomorpha is sometimes given as a subclass of the Cephalaspidomorphi. Fossil evidence now suggests lampreys and cephalaspids acquired their shared characters by convergent evolution. [63] [64] As such, many newer works, such as the fourth edition of Fishes of the World, classify lampreys in a separate group called Hyperoartia or Petromyzontida, [62] but whether this is actually a clade is disputed. Namely, it has been proposed that the non-lamprey "Hyperoartia" are in fact closer to the jawed vertebrates.

The debate about their systematics notwithstanding, lampreys constitute a single order Petromyzontiformes. Sometimes still seen is the alternative spelling "Petromyzoniformes", based on the argument that the type genus is Petromyzon and not "Petromyzonta" or similar. Throughout most of the 20th century, both names were used indiscriminately, even by the same author in subsequent publications. In the mid-1970s, the ICZN was called upon to fix one name or the other, and after much debate had to resolve the issue by voting. Thus, in 1980, the spelling with a "t" won out, and in 1981, it became official that all higher-level taxa based on Petromyzon have to start with "Petromyzont-".

The following taxonomy is based upon the treatment by FishBase as of April 2012 with phylogeny compiled by Mikko Haaramo. [65] Within the order are 10 living genera in three families. Two of the latter are monotypic at genus level today, and in one of them a single living species is recognized (though it may be a cryptic species complex): [66]

Geotria Gray 1851 (pouched lamprey)

Mordacia Gray 1853 (southern topeyed lampreys)

  • Geotria australisGray 1851 (Pouched lamprey)
  • Mordacia lapicida(Gray 1851) (Chilean lamprey)
  • Mordacia mordax(Richardson 1846) (Australian lamprey)
  • Mordacia praecoxPotter 1968 (Non-parasitic/Australian brook lamprey)
  • Petromyzon marinusLinnaeus 1758 (Sea lamprey)
  • Ichthyomyzon bdellium(Jordan 1885) (Ohio lamprey)
  • Ichthyomyzon castaneusGirard 1858 (Chestnut lamprey)
  • Ichthyomyzon fossorReighard & Cummins 1916 (Northern brook lamprey)
  • Ichthyomyzon gageiHubbs & Trautman 1937 (Southern brook lamprey)
  • Ichthyomyzon greeleyiHubbs & Trautman 1937 (Mountain brook lamprey)
  • Ichthyomyzon unicuspisHubbs & Trautman 1937 (Silver lamprey)
  • Caspiomyzon wagneri(Kessler 1870) Berg 1906 (Caspian lamprey)
  • Caspiomyzon graecus(Renaud & Economidis 2010) (Ionian brook lamprey)
  • Caspiomyzon hellenicus(Vladykov et al. 1982) (Greek lamprey)
  • Tetrapleurodon geminisÁlvarez 1964 (Mexican brook lamprey)
  • Tetrapleurodon spadiceus(Bean 1887) (Mexican lamprey)
  • Entosphenus follettiVladykov & Kott 1976 (Northern California brook lamprey)
  • Entosphenus lethophagus(Hubbs 1971) (Pit-Klamath brook lamprey)
  • Entosphenus macrostomus(Beamish 1982) (Lake lamprey)
  • Entosphenus minimus(Bond & Kan 1973) (Miller Lake lamprey)
  • Entosphenus similisVladykov & Kott 1979 (Klamath river lamprey)
  • Entosphenus tridentatus(Richardson 1836) (Pacific lamprey)
  • Lethenteron alaskenseVladykov & Kott 1978 (Alaskan brook lamprey)
  • Lethenteron appendix(DeKay 1842) (American brook lamprey)
  • Lethenteron camtschaticum(Tilesius 1811) (Arctic lamprey)
  • Lethenteron kessleri(Anikin 1905) (Siberian brook lamprey)
  • Lethenteron ninaeNaseka, Tuniyev & Renaud 2009 (Western Transcaucasian lamprey)
  • Lethenteron reissneri(Dybowski 1869) (Far Eastern brook lamprey)
  • Lethenteron zanandreai(Vladykov 1955) (Lombardy lamprey)
  • Eudontomyzon stankokaramani(Karaman 1974) (Drin brook lamprey)
  • Eudontomyzon morii(Berg 1931) (Korean lamprey)
  • Eudontomyzon danfordiRegan 1911 (Carpathian brook lamprey)
  • Eudontomyzon mariae(Berg 1931) (Ukrainian brook lamprey)
  • Eudontomyzon vladykovi(Oliva & Zanandrea 1959) (Vladykov's lamprey)
  • Lampetra aepyptera(Abbott 1860) (Least brook lamprey)
  • Lampetra alavariensisMateus et al. 2013 (Portuguese lamprey)
  • Lampetra auremensisMateus et al. 2013 (Qurem lamprey)
  • Lampetra ayresi(Günther 1870) (Western river lamprey)
  • Lampetra fluviatilis(Linnaeus 1758) (European river lamprey)
  • Lampetra hubbsi(Vladykov & Kott 1976) (Kern brook lamprey)
  • Lampetra lanceolataKux & Steiner 1972 (Turkish brook lamprey)
  • Lampetra lusitanicaMateus et al. 2013 (lusitanic lamprey)
  • Lampetra pacificaVladykov 1973 (Pacific brook lamprey)
  • Lampetra planeri(Bloch 1784) (European brook lamprey)
  • Lampetra richardsoniVladykov & Follett 1965 (Western brook lamprey)
  • Entosphenus macrostomusDr. Dick Beamish 1980 (Cowichan lake lamprey)

Synapomorphies are certain characteristics that are shared over evolutionary history. Organisms possessing a notochord, dorsal hollow nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, pituitary gland/endostyle, and a post anal tail during the process of their development are considered to be Chordates. Lampreys contain these characteristics that define them as chordates. Lamprey anatomy is very different based on what stage of development they are in. [69] The notochord is derived from the mesoderm and is one of the defining characteristics of a chordate. The notochord provides signaling and mechanical cues to help the organism when swimming. The dorsal nerve cord is another characteristic of lampreys that defines them as chordates. During development this part of the ectoderm rolls creating a hollow tube. This is often why it is referred to as the dorsal "hollow" nerve cord. The third Chordate feature, which are the pharyngeal slits, are openings found between the pharynx or throat. [70] Pharyngeal slits are filter feeding organs that help the movement of water through the mouth and out of these slits when feeing. During the lamprey's larval stage they rely on filter feeding as a mechanism for obtaining their food. [71] Once lampreys reach their adult phase they become parasitic on other fish, and these gill slits become very important in aiding in the respiration of the organism. The final Chordate synapomorphy is the post anal tail which is a muscular tail that extends behind the anus.

Often times adult amphioxus and lamprey larvae are compared by anatomists due to their similarities. Similarities between adult amphioxus and lamprey larvae include a pharynx with pharyngeal slits, a notochord, a dorsal hollow nerve cord and a series of somites that extend anterior to the otic vesicle. [72]

Fossil record Edit

Lamprey fossils are rare because cartilage does not fossilize as readily as bone. The first fossil lampreys were originally found in Early Carboniferous limestones, marine sediments in North America: Mayomyzon pieckoensis and Hardistiella montanensis, from the Mississippian Mazon Creek lagerstätte and the Bear Gulch limestone sequence. None of the fossil lampreys found to date have been longer than 10 cm (3,9 inches), [73] and all the Paleozoic forms have been found in marine deposits. [74]

In the 22 June 2006 issue of Nature, Mee-mann Chang and colleagues reported on a fossil lamprey from the Yixian Formation of Inner Mongolia. The new species, morphologically similar to Carboniferous and other forms, was given the name Mesomyzon mengae ("Meng Qingwen's Mesozoic lamprey").

The exceedingly well-preserved fossil showed a well-developed sucking oral disk, a relatively long branchial apparatus showing a branchial basket, seven gill pouches, gill arches, and even the impressions of gill filaments, and about 80 myomeres of its musculature. Unlike the North American fossils, its habitat was almost certainly fresh water. [75]

Months later, a fossil lamprey even older than the Mazon Creek genera was reported from Witteberg Group rocks near Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Dating back 360 Million years, this species, Priscomyzon riniensis, is very similar to lampreys found today. [76] [77] [78]

The lamprey has been extensively studied because its relatively simple brain is thought in many respects to reflect the brain structure of early vertebrate ancestors. Beginning in the 1970s, Sten Grillner and his colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm followed on from extensive work on the lamprey started by Carl Rovainen in the 1960s that used the lamprey as a model system to work out the fundamental principles of motor control in vertebrates starting in the spinal cord and working toward the brain. [80]

In a series of studies by Rovainen and his student James Buchanan, the cells that formed the neural circuits within the spinal cord capable of generating the rhythmic motor patterns that underlie swimming were examined. Note that there are still missing details in the network scheme despite claims by Grillner that the network is characterised (Parker 2006, 2010 [81] [82] ). Spinal cord circuits are controlled by specific locomotor areas in the brainstem and midbrain, and these areas are in turn controlled by higher brain structures, including the basal ganglia and tectum.

In a study of the lamprey tectum published in 2007, [83] they found electrical stimulation could elicit eye movements, lateral bending movements, or swimming activity, and the type, amplitude, and direction of movement varied as a function of the location within the tectum that was stimulated. These findings were interpreted as consistent with the idea that the tectum generates goal-directed locomotion in the lamprey.

Lampreys are used as a model organism in biomedical research, where their large reticulospinal axons are used to investigate synaptic transmission. [84] The axons of lamprey are particularly large and allow for microinjection of substances for experimental manipulation.

They are also capable of full functional recovery after complete spinal cord transection. Another trait is the ability to delete several genes from their somatic cell lineages, about 20% of their DNA, which are vital during development of the embryo, but which in humans can cause problems such as cancer later in life, after they have served their purpose. How the genes destined for deletion are targeted is not yet known. [85] [86]

As food Edit

Lampreys have long been used as food for humans. [87] They were highly appreciated by the ancient Romans. During the Middle Ages, they were widely eaten by the upper classes throughout Europe—especially during Lent when eating meat was prohibited, on account of their meaty taste and texture. King Henry I of England is claimed to have been so fond of lampreys that he often ate them late into life and poor health against the advice of his physician concerning their richness, and is said to have died from eating "a surfeit of lampreys". Whether or not his lamprey indulgence actually caused his death is unclear. [88]

On 4 March 1953, Queen Elizabeth II's coronation pie was made by the Royal Air Force using lampreys. [89]

In southwestern Europe (Portugal, Spain, and France), Finland and in Latvia (where lamprey is routinely sold in supermarkets), lampreys are a highly prized delicacy. In Finland (county of Nakkila), [90] and Latvia (Carnikava Municipality), the river lamprey is the symbol of the place, found on their coats of arms. In 2015 the lamprey from Carnikava was included in the Protected designation of origin list by the European Commission. [91]

Sea lamprey is the most sought-after species in Portugal and one of only two that can legally bear the commercial name "lamprey" (lampreia): the other one being Lampetra fluviatilis, the European river lamprey, both according to Portaria (Government regulation no. 587/2006, from 22 June). "Arroz de lampreia" or lamprey rice is one of the most important dishes in Portuguese cuisine.

Lampreys are also consumed in Sweden, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Japan, and South Korea. [ citation needed ] In Finland, they are commonly eaten grilled or smoked, but also pickled, or in vinegar. [93]

The mucus and serum of several lamprey species, including the Caspian lamprey (Caspiomyzon wagneri), river lampreys (Lampetra fluviatilis and L. planeri), and sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), are known to be toxic, and require thorough cleaning before cooking and consumption. [94] [95]

In Britain, lampreys are commonly used as bait, normally as dead bait. Northern pike, perch, and chub all can be caught on lampreys. Frozen lampreys can be bought from most bait and tackle shops.

As pests Edit

Sea lampreys have become a major pest in the North American Great Lakes. It is generally believed that they gained access to the lakes via canals during the early 20th century, [96] [97] but this theory is controversial. [98] They are considered an invasive species, have no natural enemies in the lakes, and prey on many species of commercial value, such as lake trout. [96]

Lampreys are now found mostly in the streams that feed the lakes, and controlled with special barriers to prevent the upstream movement of adults, or by the application of toxicants called lampricides, which are harmless to most other aquatic species however, these programs are complicated and expensive, and do not eradicate the lampreys from the lakes, but merely keep them in check. [99]

New programs are being developed, including the use of chemically sterilized male lampreys in a method akin to the sterile insect technique. [100] Finally, pheromones critical to lamprey migratory behaviour have been isolated, their chemical structures determined, and their impact on lamprey behaviour studied, in the laboratory and in the wild, and active efforts are underway to chemically source and to address regulatory considerations that might allow this strategy to proceed. [101] [102] [103]

Control of sea lampreys in the Great Lakes is conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and is coordinated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. [104] Lake Champlain, bordered by New York, Vermont, and Quebec, and New York's Finger Lakes are also home to high populations of sea lampreys that warrant control. [105] Lake Champlain's lamprey control program is managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. [105] New York's Finger Lakes sea lamprey control program is managed solely by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. [105]

In folklore Edit

In folklore, lampreys are called "nine-eyed eels". The name is derived from the seven external gill slits that, along with one nostril and one eye, line each side of a lamprey's head section. Likewise, the German word for lamprey is Neunauge, which means "nine-eye", [106] and in Japanese they are called yatsume-unagi (八つ目鰻, "eight-eyed eels"), which excludes the nostril from the count. In British folklore, the monster known as the Lambton Worm may have been based on a lamprey, since it is described as an eel-like creature with nine eyes. [ citation needed ]

In literature Edit

Vedius Pollio kept a pool of lampreys into which slaves who incurred his displeasure would be thrown as food. [107] On one occasion, Vedius was punished by Augustus for attempting to do so in his presence:

. one of his slaves had broken a crystal cup. Vedius ordered him to be seized and then put to death, but in an unusual way. He ordered him to be thrown to the huge lampreys which he had in his fish pond. Who would not think he did this for display? Yet it was out of cruelty. The boy slipped from the captor's hands and fled to Augustus' feet asking nothing else other than a different way to die – he did not want to be eaten. Augustus was moved by the novelty of the cruelty and ordered him to be released, all the crystal cups to be broken before his eyes, and the fish pond to be filled in.

This incident was incorporated into the plot of the 2003 novel Pompeii by Robert Harris in the incident of Ampliatus feeding a slave to his lampreys.

Lucius Licinius Crassus was mocked by Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (cos. 54 BC) for weeping over the death of his pet lamprey:

So, when Domitius said to Crassus the orator, Did not you weep for the death of the lamprey you kept in your fish pond? – Did not you, said Crassus to him again, bury three wives without ever shedding a tear? – Plutarch, On the Intelligence of Animals, 976a [109]

This story is also found in Aelian (Various Histories VII, 4) and Macrobius (Saturnalia III.15.3). It is included by Hugo von Hofmannsthal in the Chandos Letter:

And in my mind I compare myself from time to time with the orator Crassus, of whom it is reported that he grew so excessively enamoured of a tame lamprey – a dumb, apathetic, red-eyed fish in his ornamental pond – that it became the talk of the town and when one day in the Senate Domitius reproached him for having shed tears over the death of this fish, attempting thereby to make him appear a fool, Crassus answered, "Thus have I done over the death of my fish as you have over the death of neither your first nor your second wife."

I know not how oft this Crassus with his lamprey enters my mind as a mirrored image of my Self, reflected across the abyss of centuries.

In George R. R. Martin's novel series, A Song of Ice and Fire, Lord Wyman Manderly is mockingly called "Lord Lamprey" by his enemies in reference to his rumored affinity to lamprey pie and his striking obesity. [111]

Kurt Vonnegut, in his late short story "The Big Space Fuck", posits a future America so heavily polluted – "Everything had turned to shit and beer cans", in his words – that the Great Lakes have been infested with a species of massive, man-eating ambulatory lampreys. [112]


Basic Inventory Procedures

A key component in effective kitchen management is inventory control. By knowing what supplies are on hand at a given time, the manager will be able to plan food orders, calculate food costs since the previous inventory, and make menu item changes if needed. By keeping an eye on inventory, it is possible to note potential problems with pilferage and waste.

Managing inventory is like checking a bank account. Just as you are interested in how much money you have in the bank and whether that money is paying you enough in interest, so the manager should be interested in the value of the supplies in the storeroom and in the kitchen.

An inventory is everything that is found within your establishment. Produce, dry stores, pots and pans, uniforms, liquor, linens, or anything that costs money to the business should be counted as part of inventory. Kitchen items should be counted separately from the front of the house and bar inventory and so forth.

Regardless of the size of your operation, the principles of inventory control are the same. In larger operations there will be more people and sometimes even whole teams involved with the various steps, and in a small operation, all responsibility for managing the inventory may fall on one or two key people. Effective inventory control can be broken down into a few important steps:

  • Set up systems to track and record inventory
  • Develop specifications and procedures for ordering and purchasing
  • Develop standards and procedures to efficiently receive deliveries
  • Determine the frequency and processes for reconciling inventory
  • Analyze inventory data and determine any areas for improvement

Setting Up Systems to Track and Record Inventory

One of the reasons you take inventory is to determine food costs and to work out cost percentages. There are several procedures that simplify finding the value of goods in storage. These techniques are based on keeping good records of how much supplies cost and when supplies were purchased. The temptation in small operations is to treat inventory control casually. Perhaps there are only one or two people doing the purchasing and they are usually aware of the supplies that are on hand. This doesn’t eliminate the need to track purchases against sales to see if you are managing your costs as well as you can.

Almost all inventory control procedures are time-consuming. Moreover, such records must be kept up-to-date and done accurately. Trying to save a few hours by cutting back on the time needed to keep inventory records may be money poorly saved. The simplest method for tracking inventory is using a spreadsheet. A simple spreadsheet might list all of the products that are regularly purchased, with the current prices and the numbers on hand at the last inventory count. The prices can be updated regularly as invoices are processed for payment, and a schedule can be set to count the product on hand.

In large operations, the systems need to be more sophisticated as there are more people involved. Purchases might be made by a separate department, inventory records might be kept by a storeroom clerk, and the tracking and counting of inventory might be tied to a system using scanners and barcodes, which in turn may be linked with your sales system so that there is always a record of what should be in stock. No matter the depth of detail used, having a system to track inventory gives managers a good idea of supplies on hand and a tool to use to manage costs.

Incoming Inventory

The primary reason for establishing a consistent method for accepting ordered goods is to ensure that the establishment receives exactly what has been ordered. Errors frequently occur, and unless the quantity and quality of the items delivered are carefully checked against what was ordered, substantial losses can take place. When receiving procedures are carefully performed, mistakes that could cost the restaurant time and money are avoided. In addition, an effective receiving method encourages honesty on the part of suppliers and delivery people.

The most important document in determining if the goods received are the goods ordered is the invoice. An invoice is an itemized list of the goods or products delivered to a food preparation premise. An invoice shows the quantity, quality, price per pound or unit, and, in some cases, the complete extension of the cost chargeable. Only by carefully comparing and checking can you be sure that the information on the invoice tallies with the products received. This comparison may require that items be weighed and/or counted.

Whenever possible, the receiver should check the invoice against the purchase order or purchase request slips. This will ensure that the quantity and price of the goods shipped match those listed on the order form. If the invoice is not checked against the purchase order when the goods arrive, there is the potential that you will be missing products you need or receive products that were not ordered or are in incorrect quantities.

In addition, the quality of the goods should be determined before they are accepted. For example, boxes of fresh produce and frozen foods should be opened and inspected to ensure quality. When you are satisfied that the delivery is in order, sign the invoice.

In most cases, the invoice is in duplicate or triplicate: you keep the original and the delivery driver retains the other copy or copies. Once you have signed, you have relieved the delivery company of its responsibilities and the supplies now belong to your company. You may, therefore, become responsible for any discrepancies between what is on the invoice and what has been delivered. It is good practice to bring any discrepancies or errors to the attention of the driver and have him or her acknowledge the mistake by signing the invoice. If a credit note is issued, that should also be marked on the invoice by the driver.

Do not sign the invoice until you are sure that all discrepancies have been taken care of and recorded on the invoice. Take the signed invoice and give it to whoever is responsible for collecting invoices for the company.

The receiving of deliveries can be time-consuming for both the food establishment and the delivery service. Often the delivery people (particularly if they are not the supplier) will not want to wait while these checks are done. In this case, it is important that your company has an understanding with the supplier that faults discovered after the delivery service has left are the supplier’s problems, not yours. Once the invoices have been signed, put the delivered products in the proper locations. If you are required to track incoming inventory, do so at the same time.

Outgoing Inventory

When a supply leaves the storeroom or cooler, a record must be kept to track where it has gone. This is often done using an internal requisition form. In most small operations, the supplies go directly to the kitchen where they are used to produce the menu items. In an ideal world, accurate records of incoming and outgoing supplies are kept, so knowing what is on hand is a simple matter of subtraction.

Unfortunately, systems aren’t always that simple. In a smaller operation, knowing what has arrived and what gets used every day can easily be reconciled by doing a regular count of inventory. In larger operations and hotels, the storage rooms and coolers may be on a different floor than the kitchen, and therefore a system is needed that requires each department and the kitchens to requisition food from the storeroom or purchasing department, much like a small restaurant would do directly from the supplier. In this model, the hotel would purchase all of the food and keep it in a central storage area, and individual departments would then “order” their food from the storerooms.

Requisitions

To control inventory and to determine daily menu costs in a larger operation, it is necessary to set up a requisition procedure where anything transferred from storage to the kitchen is done by a request in writing. The requisition form should include the name and quantity of the items needed by the kitchen. These forms often have space for the storeroom clerk or whoever handles the storeroom inventory to enter the unit price and total cost of each requested item (Figure 1). In an efficiently run operation, separate requisition forms should be used by serving personnel to replace table supplies such as sugar, salt, and pepper. However, often personnel resist using requisition forms because they find it much easier and quicker to simply enter the storage room and grab what is needed, but this practice leaves no record and makes accurate record-keeping impossible. To reduce the possibility of this occurring, the storage area should be secure with only a few people having the right to enter the rooms, storage freezers, or storage refrigerators.

Table 10.1 Calculating Unit and Total Cost of Items
Quantity Description Unit Cost Total Cost
6 #10 cans Kernel Corn
55 lbs Sugar
44 lbs Ground Beef
6 each Kernel Corn

Table 10.1 Calculating Unit and Total Cost of Items

Not only does the requisition keep tabs on inventory, but it also can be used to determine the dollar value of foods requested by each department and so be used to determine expenses. In a larger operation where purchases may be made from different suppliers at different prices, it may be necessary to tag all staples with their costs and date of arrival. Expensive items such as meats are often tagged with a form that contains information about weight, cost per unit (piece, pound or kilogram), date of purchase, and name of supplier. Pricing all items is time consuming, but that time will soon be recovered when requisition forms are being filled out or when the stock has to be given a monetary value. In addition, having prices on goods may help to remind staff that waste is costly.

Inventory Record Keeping

There are two basic record-keeping methods to track inventory. The first is taking perpetual inventory. A perpetual inventory is simply a running balance of what is on hand. Perpetual inventory is best done by keeping records for each product that is in storage, as shown in Table 10.5.

Table 10.2 Reorder Point of Canned Peaches. The table displays the first half of the full table header. The full table is made up of two halves. Each half has two tables in it, 4 total displayed. This half of the table header shows the item and reorder point.

Table 10.3 Purchase UniteSize and Par Stock of Canned Peaches
Purchase Unit Size: #10 Can
Par Stock: 15

Table 10.3 Purchase Unit Size and Par Stock of Canned Peaches. The second (right) half of the table header that displays the size of the unit being re-ordered, and the par stock.

Table 10.4 Recording Dates of the Inventory, How Much of That Item the Business Received(in), Sold(out), and Total Balance.
Carried Forward From 6/15
Date In Out Balance
6/16 3 12
6/17 3 9
6/18 6 15
6/19 2 13

Table 10.4 Recording Dates of the Inventory, How Much of That Item the Business Received(in), Sold(out), and Total Balance. The second part of the first (left) table half. Displayed below the first part of the table header, this part features dates of the inventory recorded along with how many of that item the business received(in), sold(out), and total balance.

Table 10.5 Recording In, Out, and Balance of the Unit Size of the Item Being Purchased.
Carried Forward From ______
Date In Out Balance

Table 10.5 Recording In, Out, and Balance of the Unit Size of the Item Being Purchased. The second part to the second (right) half of the full table featured, this part features blank space intended to be used for recording in, out, and balance of the unit size of the item being purchased.

When more of the product is received, the number of cans or items is recorded and added to the inventory on hand when some of the product is requisitioned, the number going out is recorded and the balance is reduced. In addition, the perpetual inventory form can indicate when the product should be reordered (the reorder point) and how much of the product should ideally be on hand at a given time (par stock). In large operations, this record-keeping is likely all computerized. In small operations, a perpetual inventory is usually only kept for expensive items as the time (and cost) of keeping up the records can be substantial. This system is often based on an ABC inventory analysis where “A” items are the most expensive, perhaps top 20%, “B” items in the middle 50%, and the least expensive, perhaps 30%, “C” items. “A” items are prioritized and may be carefully tracked and physically counted on a weekly or even daily basis, whereas “B” and “C” items may only be counted on a monthly basis and may not be tracked with a perpetual inventory.

The second inventory record-keeping system is taking a physical inventory. A physical inventory requires that all items in storage be counted periodically. To be an effective control, physical inventory should be taken at least monthly. The inventory records are kept in a spreadsheet or in another system reserved for that purpose. The inventory sheet (Table 10.6) can list the items alphabetically or in the order they will appear on the shelves in the storage areas.

Month: March

Table 10.6 Physical Inventory Form
Product Unit Count Unit Price Total Value
Lima Beans 6 #10 Can 4 1/3 $23.00 $99.60
Green Beans 6 #10 Can 3 5/6 $28.95 $110.98
Flour 55 lbs 3 $14.85 $44.55
Rice 110.2 lbs 1 $32.50 $32.50
Total $593.68

Table 10.6 Physical Inventory Form. The table displays a product and its unit, count, unit price, and total price. four items are listed, then a total of all the products. called a physical inventory form.

In addition to the quantity of items, the inventory usually has room for the unit cost and total value of each item in storage. The total values of the items are added together to give the total dollar value of the inventory. This is also known as extending the inventory. The total value of the inventory is known as the closing inventory for the day the inventory was taken. This amount will also be used as the opening inventory to compare with the next physical inventory. If the inventory is taken on the same day of each month, the figures can be used to accurately determine the monthly food cost. The physical inventory is used to verify the accuracy of the perpetual inventory. For example, if 15 whole beef tenderloins are counted during a physical inventory, but the perpetual inventory suggests that there should be 20 tenderloins on hand, then a control problem exists and you need to find the reason for the variance.

Computerized Inventory Control

Most people today use computerized systems to calculate, track, and extend inventory. These systems enable the restaurant to have much tighter and more accurate control over the inventory on hand and the costs of that inventory. Having access to information such as ordering history and the best price paid is just one of the benefits of these systems. They can also help the purchaser predict demand levels throughout the year. These programs in many cases are also integrated with the point-of-sale (POS) system used to track sales, and can even remove an item from a computerized inventory list when the waiter registers the sale of any menu item on the restaurant terminal. That is if a customer orders one chicken dish from the menu, all the items required to make one portion of the chicken are discounted from inventory. This provides management with a constant up-to-date perpetual inventory of most inventory items.

Smaller operations will use a spreadsheet application to manage inventory, so you should also be familiar with a program like Microsoft Excel if you are responsible for ordering and inventory. The information required for the program to do the calculations properly is available from the invoices received with your supplies. That is, the quantities and prices of the goods you most recently received should be entered into the computer program either by you or by the restaurant’s purchaser. These prices and quantities are automatically used to calculate the cost of the goods on hand. This automated process can save you an enormous amount of time and, if the information entered into the computer is accurate, may also save you money. In any inventory system, there is always a possibility for error, but with computerized assistance, this risk is minimized.

Pricing and Costing for Physical Inventory

The cost of items purchased can vary widely between orders. For example, cans of pineapple might cost $2.25 one week, $2.15 the second week, and $2.60 another week. The daily inventory reports will reflect the changes in price, but unless the individual cans have been marked, it is difficult to decide what to use as a cost on the physical inventory form. There are several different ways to view the cost of the stock on the shelves if the actual cost of each item is difficult to determine. Most commonly, the last price paid for the product is used to determine the value of the stock on hand. For example, if canned pineapple last cost $2.60 a can and there are 25 cans on hand, the total value of the pineapple is assumed to be $65 (25 x $2.60) even though not all of the cans may have been bought at $2.60 per can. Another method for costing assumes the stock has rotated properly and is known as the FIFO (first-in-first-out) system. Then, if records have been kept up-to-date, it is possible to more accurately determine the value of the stock on hand. Here is an example showing how the FIFO system works.

Example

The daily inventory shows the following:

Opening Inventory 15 cans @ $2.15 = $32.25
Received on 8th of month 24 cans @ $2.25 = $54.00
Received on 15th of month 24 cans @ $2.15 – $51.60
Received on 23rd of month 12 cans @ $2.60 – $31.20

If the stock has rotated according to FIFO, you should have used all of the opening inventory, all of the product received on the 8th, and some of the product received on the 15th. The 25 remaining cans must consist of the 12 cans received on the 23rd and 13 of the cans received on the 15th. The value of these cans is then

Total = $59.15

As you can see, the choice of costing method can have a marked effect on the value of the stock on hand. It is always advisable to use the method that best reflects the actual cost of the products.

Key Point – Once a method is adopted, the same method must be used consistently or the statistical data generated will be invalid.

Costing Prepared or Processed Items

When you are building your inventory forms, be sure to calculate the costs of any processed items. For instance, sauces and stocks that you make from raw ingredients need to be costed accurately and recorded on the spreadsheet along with purchased products so that when you are counting your inventory you are able to reflect the value of all supplies on the premises that have not been sold.

Costs Associated with Maintaining Inventory

It should be obvious by now that it is important to maintain an inventory of many types of products in a foodservice operation. There are, however, costs associated with procuring and maintaining that inventory, including holding costs, ordering costs and shortage costs.

Holding cost represents the cost of storing the material (electricity, insurance, security, data processing, handling), financial costs reflect the money that is tied up in inventory, and then there are costs related to deterioration and damage.

Ordering costs are any costs associated with ordering and receiving inventory. These costs consist of salaries of the purchasing and accounting departments, wages in the receiving area, and transportation. For example, if you purchase your weekly food and supplies from four different vendors, you have to place orders with four different salespeople, receive four different trucks, process four different purchase orders and pay four different invoices. If you purchase from only one weekly supplier, these functions are reduced accordingly. This area can also represent a cost-saving, since it may not take any longer to order and process payment for 200 cases than it does to do the same for two cases of a particular item.

Shortage costs are those that occur when the demand exceeds the supply. Shortages may occur when there is an unexpectedly high demand before new stock items are received. Although some shortages are inevitable, customers are not always understanding when they don’t receive the meal they anticipated. While they may not voice their dissatisfaction to the foodservice department, they may tell their friends that the menu you print in your operation is not always the one that is served. This type of comment leads to a negative view of your foodservice operation. Shortages may also lead to paying a higher price for a needed item from another supplier.

Factors Affecting Inventory Levels

There are a variety of factors that affect how much inventory should be kept on hand some of which were mentioned previously in the forecasting chapter. The menu, the frequency of deliveries and lead time needed from order to delivery, the amount of storage space, including cold storage, the location and size of the operation are all examples of factors to consider. Some smaller operations may need to carry higher inventory levels in order to reduce the number of deliveries so that each delivery is large enough to make it worthwhile for a supplier to run a truck to the operation or to avoid shipping costs

Some operations can operate with a “just in time” inventory – based on the working stock needed for the menu. Many operations will be graded on how much inventory they are carrying. Even though the inventory has value, tying up your money in inventory is not wise. It does not gain interest, as your money would if it were invested in other places. The quality of many products will degrade over time, and you may be forced to throw it away. Too much product can also lead to increased theft. Employees will be more tempted if they see that we are carrying an excess of something.

Inventory Turnover

When accurate inventory records are kept, it is possible to use the data in the records to determine the inventory turnover rate. The inventory turnover rate shows the number of times in a given period (usually a month) that the inventory is turned into revenue. Inventory turnover of 1.5 means that the inventory turns over about 1.5 times a month, or 18 times a year. In this case, you would have about three weeks of supplies in inventory at any given time (actually 2.88 weeks, which is 52 weeks/18). Generally, an inventory turnover every one to two weeks (or two to three times per month) is considered normal.

A common method used to determine inventory turnover is to find the average food inventory for a month and divide it into the total food cost for the same month. The total food cost is calculated by adding the daily food purchases (found on the daily receiving reports) to the value of the food inventory at the beginning of the month and subtracting the value of the food inventory at the end of the month.

average food inventory = (beginning inventory + ending inventory)/2

cost of food = beginning inventory + purchases – ending inventory

inventory turnover = (cost of food)/(average food inventory)

Example

A restaurant has a beginning inventory of $8000 and an ending inventory of $8500. The daily receiving reports show that purchases for the month totaled $12 000. Determine the cost of food and inventory turnover.

Cost of food = $8000 + $12 000 – $8500 = $11 500

Average food inventory = ($8000 + $8500)/2 = $8250

Inventory turnover = $11 500/$8250 = 1.4

The turnover rate in the example would be considered low and would suggest that the business has invested too much money in inventory. Having a lot of inventory on hand can lead to spoilage, high capital costs, increased storage space requirements, and other costs.

Inventory turnover rates are not exact, for a few reasons. One is that in many food operations, accurate inventory records are usually kept only for more expensive items. Another is that the simple food cost used in the calculation does not truly reflect the actual food cost. (Food costs are discussed in another chapter in this book.) In addition, not all inventory turns over at the same rate. For example, perishables turn over as quickly as they arrive while canned goods turn over more slowly.

Even though turnover rates are not exact, they do give managers at least a rough idea of how much inventory they are keeping on hand.

Calculating Days of Inventory on Hand

There are two approaches to use to find the days of inventory on hand. If you select the first method, divide the average inventory for the year or other accounting period by the corresponding cost of goods sold (COGS) multiply the result by 365. The cost of goods sold is reported on the firm’s income statement. Compute the average inventory by adding the amount of inventory at the end of the previous year to the value of inventory at the end of the current year and dividing by two.

Inventory figures are stated on the company’s balance sheet. Suppose the company reports COGS of $2.5 million and an average inventory of $250,000. Divide $250,000 by $2.5 million, and multiply by 365. You have 36.5 days of inventory on hand.

Procurement Process

The major goal of the procurement process is to assure the availability of food and supplies in the quantity and quality consistent with operational standards at the most favorable price.

The purchasing process is an essential part of every food service operation. All competent cooks should be skilled in buying the appropriate ingredients, in accurate amounts, at the right time, and at the best price. Every kitchen operation has different purchasing procedures. But there is one rule that should always be followed:

This will ensure that foods stay fresh and will create a high inventory turnover. All foods deteriorate in time, some more quickly than others. It is the job of the purchaser to ensure that only those quantities that will be used immediately or in the near future are purchased.

The quality of the food and materials purchased is a major factor in determining the quality of the menu served in any foodservice operation. Food items can be purchased in many stages of preparation from raw to ready-to-serve. The food buyer must purchase the appropriate market form to meet the menu requirements and operation’s quality standards.

Food and materials are a major expense in the restaurant or foodservice department’s budget. To meet budgetary goals, a foodservice operation must have a well-organized purchasing program that provides a complete supply of food items, in the amounts needed, at a fair price.

Purchasing is defined as the determination of needs and the placement of the orders with suppliers. The purchasing process can be divided into two activities: buying and ordering. Buying involves decisions regarding where to place orders on the basis of quality, price, and service. Buying is a management function. Therefore, the foodservice manager or director usually assumes responsibility for deciding on the suppliers from which to purchase food and supplies. Ordering is the determination of the quality and quantity of food and supplies required to satisfy menu requirements, at a price within budgetary guidelines. Ordering is usually a supervisory function, and a foodservice supervisor is often given responsibility for ordering. Ordering may also be done by a skilled employee such as an experienced cook, especially in smaller operations.

The individuals responsible for ordering must be familiar with menu requirements the quantities of food needed market forms of food grades and standards seasons for foods the food marketing system and reliable sources of market information. In addition, a food buyer must have some knowledge and understanding of legal responsibilities and ethical practices. Sound business principles and well-stated purchasing policies are the foundation of a good purchasing program. Fairness, honesty, and trust between the food buyer and the supplier are essential to a good working relationship.

The customer and the supplier depend on each other. The foodservice cannot operate without the merchandise, and the supplier must have a market for his goods. Therefore, a satisfactory “deal” is one that benefits both parties.

The customer, however, needs more than just the product offered by the supplier: (s)he needs the supplier’s expertise and his/her reliable service. To ensure himself/herself the benefits of the buyer/supplier relationship, the buyer should try to be a valued customer. Reliable vendors will always try to protect their valued customers by extending them with the best possible quality, price, and service.

Three Ways to Increase Your Value

A customer can increase his/her value to a supplier in at least three important ways.

He/she should place orders of a reasonable size. Because delivery services cost money, most suppliers establish minimum size requirements for orders. In other words, the order has to be big enough to make it worth the supplier’s while to deliver. The buyer should learn what these minimum size requirements are and try to stay above them. Of course, a good supplier will usually help out in an emergency that requires a rush delivery or a small order, but don’t ask for these special favors too often or you’ll end up paying for it.

A customer should not place his/her orders too often. In fact, spacing-out orders help assure that they are kept to acceptable sizes. Very frequent or small orders indicate inexperience and poor planning on the part of a buyer. Careful planning and accuracy in estimating needs are necessary to build a good relationship with a supplier. If the foodservice operation is large enough, the supplier may be willing to make frequent deliveries, but will usually pass added expenses on to the buyer as the price for the buyer’s inefficiency. The acceptable frequency of delivery varies from place to place and is determined principally by the accessibility of the goods and the distance the supplier has to travel to make his deliveries. In large cities, for example, daily deliveries are common. Nevertheless, if a buyer does a fairly small volume of business with a supplier, the buyer should try to place orders only two or three times a week to minimize the supplier’s expenses. In rural areas deliveries may be made only once or twice a month, so that it may be necessary for the foodservice operation to maintain an inventory somewhat larger than would normally be desirable. (It is, of course, economically advantageous to keep the inventory as low as possible. Large inventories involve investment insurance, storage, and spoilage expenses.)

A customer should not spread his/her business among too many suppliers. The wise buyer will confine business to a limited number of suppliers who provide acceptable service. This is not to say that the buyer should never order from other companies. It does mean, however, that a few suppliers in each food category should receive the lion’s share of the business. A buyer may occasionally order from other suppliers, especially if they have something new or interesting to offer, but it is wise to check with the current supplier first before looking elsewhere. “Cherry picking” should be avoided. This is a practice of buying each item from whichever supplier has the lowest cost, no matter the size of the overall order. In some smaller operations, the buyer may choose to use one supplier in each food category in most cases, it is wise to have more than one supplier.

Market Sourcing

Sources of supply vary considerably from location to location. Large cities have a greater number and variety of suppliers than do small towns and isolated communities. Purchasers should establish contact with available suppliers/vendors such as wholesalers, distributors, local producers and packers, retailers, cooperative associations, as well as brokers, and food importers. In most instances, the person in charge of buying will contact several suppliers to obtain the necessary foods. Some wholesalers diversify their product lines in order to meet all food-related kitchen needs. Food products are obtained from various sources of supply. For example, a packing house supplies meat and meat products, while a food wholesaler supplies dry goods. Once the business is established with a supplier, all transactions should be well documented and kept readily available on file. There are two major food categories: perishables and non-perishables

Perishables

Perishable items include fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and shellfish, fresh meats, poultry, and dairy products. As a rule, perishables are bought frequently to ensure freshness. Frozen foods, such as vegetables, fish and meat products, have a longer lifespan and can be ordered less frequently and stored in a freezer.

Non-perishables

Non-perishable items include dry goods, flour, cereals, and miscellaneous items such as olives, pickles, and other condiments. These can be ordered on a weekly or monthly basis.

Keep in mind that just because something does not go bad isn’t a reason to buy it in quantities larger than you need. Every item in your inventory is equal to a dollar amount that you could be saving or spending on something else. Consider that a case of 1000 sheets of parchment paper may cost $250. If you have a case and a half sitting in your inventory, but only use a few sheets a day, that is a lot of money sitting in your storeroom.

Choosing Suppliers

When selecting a supplier, it is not enough to consider only the prices, since these, after all, do not necessarily reflect the quality and reliability of goods and services offered by the supplier.

In the very competitive business of foodservice, the quality of one’s product is always of paramount importance. From the buyer’s standpoint, however, quality does not necessarily always mean “the best.” In terms of purchasing, quality means getting the best quality commensurate with the intended use of the product. If, for example, the menu includes soup, the buyer would purchase less expensive, skinless tomatoes rather than the higher quality, more expensive whole tomatoes with skins, which are much too expensive to be used in soup. Similarly, meat that is to be served as an expensive steak should be the best meat available, whereas meat for Swiss steak can be obtained from a variety of inexpensive cuts—and the choice may well depend on their relative cost.

In addition to the criterion of intended use, buyers must consider the product’s own characteristics rather than just the recognition of the supplier’s brand name. Some packers spend a great deal of money on their brand-name promotions, but a buyer should never let the brand name alone influence his or her purchasing decisions unless (s)he, in turn, intends to advertise the product to customers by the brand name. (S)he must study the products carefully to determine which provides the best quality for the money. In any market, it takes time to learn which suppliers and labels yield the best results, but in the long run, it is time well spent.

Although most buyers are aware of the importance of considering the price of the product they are buying, they often fail to put a price into a proper perspective with other factors that affect the suitability of particular products. Consequently, they put too much emphasis on buying the cheapest product and may, as a result, actually end up paying more in terms of cost-per-portion and preparation time. For example, in one particular market area, there were three suppliers of a roast round of beef. Two of them consistently offered an inside round at a lower price than the third, but careful yield-testing of the product—that is, determining how many portions were obtained for the total dollar cost—indicated that the company with the highest price was really offering the best buy. Their roasts had the excess fat and bones trimmed more closely than those of the other suppliers.

Canned products should also be evaluated according to the price-yield ratio. One brand may have prices considerably lower than its competitors’ but may contain substantially less fruit or vegetables, with more juice or water making up the weight. Or the quality itself may be inferior. This is not to say, of course, that lower-priced commodities are always inferior, but rather that buyers should conduct tests to determine quality and yield for themselves.

The only way to judge canned products effectively is by opening a can and inspecting the contents. If the buyer finds, for example, that a can of peaches contains fruit with several bruises, (s)he will know that those peaches are not suitable for use in a salad, where appearance is an important factor. Consequently, (s)he will reject that particular product as unsatisfactory for its intended use. To measure the yield of a canned product, the buyer should determine the net drained weight of that product—the weight of the fruit or vegetable after the liquid has been drained off. The cost-per-can divided by the net drained weight in ounces gives the cost per usable ounce. Therefore, when a buyer considers the price of a product, (s)he must consider the price in relation to the amount of the actual product, not just price per weight or volume.

Furthermore, shopping for price alone can cause a loss of trust between the salesperson and the buyer. Salespeople may bypass “price shoppers” on the really good buys because they are not considered to be good customers.

The food buyers’ objective should be to purchase food and supplies from reputable suppliers who meet the following essential criteria:

  • They must offer a competitive price structure for a specified quality.
  • They must be able to provide good delivery service
  • products must arrive in good condition
  • drivers must be courteous
  • food and supplies must be delivered on schedule
  • They must have specified items in stock, thus avoiding shorts.
  • They must be able to provide new product information nutritional information related to food purchased and information on market conditions affecting you.
  • Rather than favors, the concept of “good service” refers to a positive attitude on the part of the supplier and the ways in which this attitude benefits the entire foodservice operation–not just the individual employee. The supplier who gives good service is the one who will deliver as frequently as the foodservice operation needs deliveries and at conveniently scheduled times (not during meal service periods).
  • has courteous delivery agents who are willing to transport deliveries to the receiving area and check the accuracy of the order.
  • consistently provides the quality that the buyer has asked for, or informs the buyer when the quality of the product falls below his or her normal standards and provides the option of canceling the order or accepting the best deal possible.
  • keeps prices in line with the market, even without being checked on.
  • provides new product information and nutritional information relating to food purchased.
  • keeps the buyer informed of market conditions so (s)he can stock up on a required item or alter his or her menu.
  • is concerned about the reputation of his or her firm and strives to maintain high standards and quality service.

Service, then, is the kind of consideration the buyer can expect from one who is conducting a business, values clients, and works hard to keep them satisfied. Friendship is a wonderful thing, but service is what you are paying for.

You should keep in mind, however, that this is a two-way street. You expect good service, but you should also show consideration to the supplier. In the case of an emergency such as a strike, bad weather conditions, or a move to a new warehouse, the supplier may ask you to modify your schedule somewhat. Try to be understanding and cooperative since you will also expect equal consideration.

Factors That Impact Prices

Food products, in particular, fluctuate in price over the year, due to many factors:

  • Seasonality: When food is in season, there is more of it available in the local food supply, bringing prices down. Additionally, foods in season are usually of higher quality and have a longer shelf life than those that are out of season and need to be transported long distances to market.
  • Weather: Severe weather can have a huge impact on the cost of food. Drought, flooding, and unseasonable frost have all affected major produce-supplying areas of the world in recent years, causing a rise in prices for many items.
  • Cost of transportation: If the cost of fuel or transportation rises so does the cost of food that needs to travel to the market.
  • Commodity prices:A number of foods are traded on the commodity market, such as meats and grains. These prices fluctuate as buyers who trade in these products in large volumes buy and sell, much like the stock market.

Before purchasing any food items, ask the following questions.

  • When is the item to be used?
  • Which supplier has the best price and the best quality? Where an item is purchased should be determined by the price and the quality of the available supplies. When ordering supplies, it is advisable to get prices from at least three sources, then purchase from the supplier who quotes the best price for a comparable quality.
  • When will the item be delivered? Depending on the distance of the food service establishment from the supplier, the delivery may take hours or days. Remember, it is extremely difficult to maintain food quality and consistency if you do not know when your order will be delivered. For this reason, menu planning and a running inventory are two of the most important aspects of purchasing procedures.

Product Specifications

Specifications should be written for nearly every item that is purchased. This is critical is the foodservice operation receives federal funding as is the case for some education and healthcare facilities. Writing specifications can be a demanding and time-consuming job, especially for many different food and supply items, equipment, chemicals, and so on.

Meat, seafood, poultry, processed fruits and vegetables, and fresh fruits and vegetables can be ordered under different specifications. For example,

  • Meats can be ordered by grade, cut, weight/thickness, fat limitation, age, whether fresh or frozen, and type of packaging.
  • Seafood can be ordered by type (e.g., finfish/shellfish), species, market form, condition, grade, place of origin, whether fresh or frozen, count, size, and packaging,
  • Poultry can be ordered by type, grade, class (e.g., broiler, fryer), style (e.g., breasts, wings), size, whether fresh or frozen, and packaging.
  • Processed fruits and vegetables can be ordered by grade (sometimes), variety, packaging size and type, drained weight, count per case, packing medium, and whether canned or frozen.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables can be ordered by grade (sometimes), variety, size, weight per container, growing area, and count per container

Below adapted from Canadian book…

Table 10.7 shows an example of a purchasing specification sheet for beef that might be kept in a commercial kitchen or receiving area.


COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild to moderate, like the common cold. But it can be more severe in older adults and people with chronic health conditions.

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New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccination Page

In anticipation of the approval of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the Department of Health is working with many other state, federal, and local agencies to plan for the fast and equitable distribution of a vaccine to all New Jersey communities. It is the goal of the Department of Health to make safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination available to all who live, work, and/or are educated in New Jersey.

This page and the resources available here will continue to evolve as that effort moves forward.

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Epi Data Summaries

Age-adjusted Laboratory Confirmed Case, Hospitalization and Mortality Rates by Race and Ethnicity: May 4, 2021

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The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the Public on COVID-19:

Call : 2-1-1
Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
Text : NJCOVID to 898-211
Text : your zip code to 898-211 for live text assistance


Key Provisions of Federal COVID-19 Relief

Enhanced Weekly Benefits. Under H.R. 748, all UI recipients received an additional $600 per week on top of their typical UI benefit. The enhanced benefit is the same for all recipients and does not depend on a worker&rsquos past earnings. These benefits were available until July 31, 2020. During September and October 2020, under a FEMA-funded program called &ldquolost wages assistance,&rdquo UI recipients received an additional $300 weekly for up to six weeks. In December, 2020, H.R. 133 re-instituted the weekly $300 added benefit for January 1, 2021 to March 14, 2021. On March 11, 2021, H.R. 1319 extended the weekly $300 added benefit through September 6, 2021.

Allows State to Extend Amount of Time Workers Can Receive Weekly Benefits. States may enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to extend the amount of time workers can claim UI benefits. H.R. 748 first extended, and later legislation lengthened, the time that workers can claim UI benefits from 26 weeks to up to 99 weeks. (In particular, the recent H.R. 1319 extended the benefit duration by 25 weeks.) The federal government, instead of California employers via payroll taxes, would pay the full cost of these extra weeks of benefits. To be eligible for extra weeks of benefits, workers must demonstrate to EDD that they are actively looking for employment.

Expands Eligibility for Workers Directly Affected by COVID-19. Self-employed workers&mdashincluding business owners, independent contractors, and freelancers&mdashgenerally are not eligible for UI. H.R. 748 first expanded, and later legislation extended, eligibility for UI benefits to self-employed workers as long as they are (1) available for work and (2) unable to work as a direct result of COVID-19. Weekly benefits for self-employed workers are calculated the same way they are for other workers, including the enhanced benefits described above. Benefits are available for up to 86 weeks. The eligibility expansion is retroactive to January 27, 2020, meaning self-employed workers can request benefits for weeks of unemployment back to January 27, 2020. The expansion expires September 6, 2021.

Provides New UI Administration Funding for EDD. In March 2020, H.R. 6201 made available about $120 million in additional UI administration money for California. This funding was made available to California in two parts. Half was available within 60 days to states following certain best practices in administering UI benefits. The remaining funds were made available to states with increased UI claims. Specifically, funds were made available once quarterly UI claims exceeded the number of claims in the same quarter of the previous year by 10 percent or more. California reached this threshold during the first quarter of 2020. As required under H.R. 6201, in order to receive these additional funds, the state also took action during 2020 to expand access to UI benefits, specifically by (1) temporarily waiving the work search requirement, (2) temporarily waiving the seven-day waiting time, and (3) changing the calculation for the employer experience rating to exclude from the calculation UI claims related to COVID-19.

Increased Federal Funding for Work Sharing Program. Some employers faced with a slowdown in business may look to cutback workers&rsquo hours instead of laying off workers entirely. An existing program in California, known as the Work Sharing Program, allows employers to request for their employees to receive partial UI benefits to help cover the income they lose as a result of reduced work hours. Under H.R. 748, the federal government will pay the full cost of the Work Sharing Program through the end of 2020. H.R. 748 also makes around $10 million available to EDD to pay for administration and promotion of the Work Sharing Program.

Suspends State Payments and Interest on Federal Loans to the UI Trust Fund. During downturns, the state&rsquos UI Trust Fund typically becomes insolvent as benefit payments exceed payroll tax collections. When this occurs, the federal government provides a loan to the state to allow EDD to continue to issue benefits. In general, the state must pay interest on these loans. These interest payments must be made from the state General Fund. The state UI Trust Fund became insolvent during the summer of 2020. One year after the pandemic began, by March, 2021, the state&rsquos outstanding federal UI loan balance reached roughly $19 billion. H.R. 6201 suspended the accrual of interest on these federal loans through the end of 2020. H.R. 133 extended the interest wavier through March 14, 2021. H.R. 1319 further extended the interest waiver through September 6, 2021. As a result, the state&rsquos first interest payment on its outstanding federal UI loans, due September 30, will only cover interest accrued for several weeks and therefore should be minimal. As a point of reference, during the Great Recession, the state&rsquos federal UI loan balance peaked at $10.3 billion at the end of 2012 and the state General Fund paid a total of $1.4 billion in interest on these loans over a period of eight years.

Extension of Payroll Tax Deadline for Employers. On March 22, 2020, President Trump issued a disaster declaration for the COVID-19 outbreak in California. Among other provisions, this disaster declaration allows employers to request a 60-day extension of the deadline to pay their UI payroll taxes for the first quarter of 2020. These tax payments typically are by due April 30.


Get Inspired By Borrowing These Innovative Ideas In 2018

My first job after college was in the executive training program at May Department Stores. It was a wonderful training ground in the world of business and marketing. Fresh out of college, I was working in a store, managing 20 employees, making dozens of marketing decisions daily and learning what moved product and what caused product to sit on the shelf.

I worked for a manager who encouraged me to get out of our store and “steal” ideas from the competition. I was told to reserve time to visit the stores of direct and indirect competitors and take notes about their merchandising and marketing methods. My manager reminded me that you can patent a product but you can’t patent the other three Ps of marketing -- price, promotion and placement. No one can own a good marketing idea. So, if we saw a clever way to price a product, promote a product or place a product, we would steal it.

I mention that today because I want to share some steal-worthy ideas for 2018. If you find them inspiring, think about how you can borrow the ideas -- maybe not a direct steal, but an inspiration for your own innovation. These companies are using technology to make the purchase of goods and services easier and more enjoyable for the customer.

Thomas Cook 'Try Before You Fly' Virtual Reality

Thomas Cook is a 170-year-old travel agency, but that hasn’t stopped it from keeping up with modern times. Thomas Cook is producing 360 VR films so that customers can experience vacations before committing to a final destination. By putting on VR goggles, customers can experience a helicopter tour of Manhattan, swimming in a pool in Greece or hiking the pyramids, all within the four walls of the store.

Find the technology that fits your brand. Virtual reality isn't right for every company, but if your brand is all about experiences, it can be a great way to allow customers to sample the experience before purchasing.

Domino's Zero Click Ordering App

Domino's has always promised speedy pizza, but it has taken fast delivery to a whole new level with zero click ordering. Zero click means just what it sounds like: You don’t have to input anything beyond signing in the first time you download the app. After that, whenever you open the app, it immediately orders you a pizza. To prevent an accidental click, you have a 10-second countdown to cancel your order. This has to be the easiest way to order yet.

Find ways to make purchasing your product as easy as possible. Ten years ago, you could offer your product for purchase on the web. Five years ago, it was made even easier by having an app. Today, determine which technical options can give you an advantage over the competition.

L’Oreal's MakeupGenius App

L’Oreal has come up with a way for consumers to try on makeup without leaving their homes. In the old days, you had to drive to the mall, but the new MakeupGenius app uses your phone’s camera and custom technology to recognize the features of your face and let you sample different L’Oreal products. So, your phone can now become a makeup mirror. If you find a look you love, you can share it with your friends on social media.

Find ways to connect your brand to social trends. If your consumers are all taking selfies and using photo filters, connect with them using the same technology. And be sure to enable them to share their results with friends on social media.

Pernod Ricard Connected Cocktail Library

How do you know when your consumers are running low on inventory? Pernod Ricard has developed a home bar system that connects its servers to the consumer’s inventory of alcohol. The connected library is made up of three components: cartridges that replace empty bottles, a docking station that interacts with the cartridges and monitors how much alcohol is in each cartridge and an app that shares recipes for the beverages you have stocked.

Find ways to use technology to leverage data for marketing purposes. Knowing how and when consumers use your product provides new opportunities to market your brand. Talk to your customers via technology like chatbots to engage them with your brand.

Magnum Ice Cream Geocaching And Friend Connector

This is a brilliant combination: using technology to link friends with Magnum ice cream. Consumers have to download the Magnum M-Pulse app and then link it to Bluetooth. The app will match you to your nearest friends and the nearest venue selling Magnum ice cream so you can create an instant ice cream social. You can invite friends through the app and Magnum will throw in coupons and other offers.

Find ways to make your brand a social occasion. Social media is all about sharing your experiences, but it usually happens after the fact. Magnum found a way to share the experience before it happens, which makes the brand the hero/connector.

These are just a few ideas that can serve as marketing inspiration in 2018. These companies are using modern technology to connect with consumers in unique ways and make purchasing easier. How can you use technology to grow your business?