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Do COVID tests tell you what variant you have? Your Call the Courier questions answered

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An update was made in the question about Cedar Falls paraeducators to reflect the correct pay range. 

Q: How much does the Humane Society pay for a cat? I see they charge $25 to adopt one.

A: The Cedar Bend Humane Society does not pay for or purchase cats. The majority of cats come to the shelter as stray cats roaming the streets of Waterloo, Cedar Falls and surrounding areas, said Executive Director Kristy Gardner. “Many of these cats have been neglected or abandoned and are sick or injured and desperately in need of medical care. We also accept cats surrendered by owners that can no longer can keep or care for their pets. Every cat that enters our facility receives vaccinations and medical attention upon their arrival.

“Once a cat is placed on our adoption floor, it has no time limit and will remain with us until it finds a new home.”

Adoption fee for a cat is $45. If a family chooses to adopt two cats at one time, the adoption fee for the second cat is reduced to $25. Several times each year, adoption fees are reduced to as little as $10 to encourage families to adopt.

Q: Can you print the names and telephone numbers of all of the Cedar Falls City Council?

A: The seven Cedar Falls city councilors are Gil Schultz (Ward 1), Susan deBuhr (Ward 2), Daryl Kruse (Ward 3), Simon Harding (Ward 4), Dustin Ganfield (Ward 5), Dave Sires (at-large) and Kelly Dunn (at-large). Each have their phone numbers available to the public on the city’s website: Schultz, (319) 939-0193; deBuhr, (319) 277-8974; Kruse, (319) 277-1100; Harding, (319) 346-6695; Ganfield, (319) 553-6899; Sires, (319) 231-1569; Dunn, (319) 215-6891.

Q: When you have a COVID test done, can they tell which variant you have?

A: No. “The tests that are run by doctors in offices and hospitals don’t sequence and specify the variant,” says infectious disease expert Amesh A: Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Q: What does an average obituary cost in The Courier?

A: Call (641) 421-0514 for information about running an obituary in The Courier.

Q: Cedar Falls Schools’ paras base wages range from $11.77 to $12.40 an hour. How can the district justify raises to administrators and offering $1,000 for teachers who give notice to resign? How can Cedar Falls justify such low rates to paras?

A: Current pay rates were jointly negotiated by the district with the Cedar Falls Educational Support Professionals in March 2021, said Adrian Talbot, Cedar Falls Community Schools’ executive director of human resources. He added that pay rates for paraeducators, in combination with the comprehensive package of benefits, are competitive with those offered by other districts in Northeast Iowa. The $1,000 early notice incentive was available for teachers who notified the district by Jan. 4. Talbot said funding for this was available through the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Act. The district’s 22-member administrative team received an increase of 2.91% for salaries and other benefits for the current year. Superintendent Andy Pattee received a 5.73% increase in overall compensation for 2021-22.

Calls are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff.


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