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Intentionally damaging vaccines would be a felony in Wisconsin under a bill with bipartisan support that the state Assembly is scheduled to approve. The measure up for a vote Thursday comes in response to a pharmacist in a Milwaukee suburb spoiling more than 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021. He pleaded guilty to the federal charges and was sentenced to three years in prison. Bill supporters say state law needs to be clarified because it doesn’t adequately address crimes related to tampering with vaccines and other medical products.  If the Assembly passes the bill, it would then head to Gov. Tony Evers.

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The Biden administration is increasing federal support for COVID-19 testing for schools in a bid to keep them open amid the omicron surge. The White House said Wednesday the administration is making a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests available to schools starting this month. The goal is to ease supply shortages and promote the safe reopening of schools. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona tells CBS students need to be in their classrooms and the announcement shows the administration’s commitment to helping schools stay open. The initiative comes after Chicago public schools closed for days amid an impasse between teachers and officials over reopening policies.

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Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for those on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations. Under the new policy, first detailed to the AP, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free or submit receipts for the tests for subsequent reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit. A family of four, for instance, could be reimbursed for up to 32 tests per month. Only tests purchased on or after Jan. 15 will be required to be reimbursed. 

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Leaders of Chicago Public Schools have canceled classes Wednesday after the teachers union voted to switch to remote learning due to record COVID-19 levels. The move comes amid an escalating battle over safety protocols in schools. District officials say they won’t switch back to online instruction districtwide, as it was devastating for children’s learning and mental health. But the union says the district’s safety protocols are lacking and both teachers and students are vulnerable. Both sides are negotiating metrics that would trigger school closures, among other things. School officials say buildings would remain open for administrators and staff and “essential services” but not instruction for students. The status of class the rest of the week was unknown.  

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The U.S. is expanding COVID-19 boosters as it confronts the omicron surge. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday allowed extra Pfizer shots for children as young as 12. Boosters already are recommended for everyone 16 and older, and the FDA says they’re also warranted for 12- to 15-year-olds. The FDA also said everyone eligible for a booster can get one as early as five months after their last dose rather than six months. But the move, coming as classes restart after the holidays, isn’t the final step. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must decide whether to recommend boosters for the younger teens.

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Wisconsin’s largest school district will transition to virtual instruction beginning Tuesday because of an increase in staff testing positive for COVID-19. Milwaukee public schools were scheduled to resume in-person learning Tuesday, but because of an influx of reported positive COVID-19 cases among district staff, the emergency safety measure is being implemented. The district says its goal is to return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 10. Students and staff who want to be tested for COVID-19 can do so on Monday, Jan. 3 at six MPS locations. More than 75,000 students attend MPS schools.