Most public schools across the country are moving forward unabashedly with plans to get children back to class on Monday, despite a record spread of COVID-19 that is forcing businesses to close.
“Your children are safer at school, the numbers speak for themselves,” Eric Adams, now mayor of New York, said at a press conference last week.
New York City, which has the largest school district in the country, plans to keep kids in classrooms without a remote online option and is set to step up testing while they’re there. Meanwhile, companies are taking more stringent measures. Apple stores in town have severely restricted most interactions to online-only order pickups. Dozens of restaurants remain closed.
Jessica Cimini, who teaches science at a college on Staten Island, shared her frustrations online while writing to the public school system and the mayor.
“My town in NJ just moved away but NYC continues to operate as usual ?? So my son is safe and my husband is safe until I walk into a school building infected with Covid in New York on Monday. Please don’t worry, “she said. tweeted the Saturday.
South Florida, home to two of the country’s 10 largest districts, is extending restrictions to adults while young children who have largely not yet been vaccinated remain at risk. Starting Monday, Miami-Dade County Public Schools will impose masks for all adults, but not for children. It’s worse in neighboring Broward County, where the school board held an emergency meeting last week to create a rule requiring school visitors to wear masks, but the board was unable to s ‘hear about a requirement for teachers and their students.
Meanwhile, some school districts in Georgia, Ohio, New Jersey and Michigan, among others, have either postponed their return after the holidays or announced a temporary switch to distance learning.
The severity of the threat appears to manifest itself differently in the corporate sector. More than 100 flights from South Florida have been canceled in recent days, and the Centers for Disease Control has issued a stern warning to avoid all cruise ships.
All signs point to the Omicron variant coronavirus crossing the nation’s population in these weeks, following record purchases and an increase in vacation travel. Florida just hit an all-time high, reporting the largest single-day increase in COVID cases on New Years Eve. Nationally, the CDC has identified 2.2 million new cases of the disease over the course of last week, more than a tenth of which in Florida alone. And despite the new variant’s lower death rate, an additional 7,704 people have died across the country during that time, adding to the 820,355 total deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Big business interests reacted with caution. Google, Intel, Microsoft and others big Tech companies have canceled plans to send employees to Las Vegas next week for the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest tech conference. Editors of tech media CNET took the last-minute decision not to send reporters either. At least two gun companies, Kimber Manufacturing and Sig Sauer, have quietly decided not to attend the gun industry’s massive annual trade conference, Shot Show, later this month, according to one. person familiar with the plans of both companies. Neither gunmaker responded to a request for comment on Saturday.
School systems are widely pressured to stay open by frustrated parents, concerns about the loss of learning and the general position of the medical community that children and those vaccinated are less affected by COVID symptoms and face the a lower risk of serious illness. However, there is still no government approved vaccine for children under 5. And only about 15 percent of elementary school children nationwide have been fully immunized, according to CDC data reviewed by The Daily Beast.
The Biden administration, however, also urged children to stay in the classroom, emphasizing the “test-to-stay” approach earlier this month, which allows children potentially exposed to the virus to stay. in class provided they are negative at least. twice in the week following the exhibition.
Along with the push to keep schools open, the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, also highlighted the continued threat of COVID to the health of all.
“A long COVID can occur regardless of the variant of the virus,” Dr Fauci told Spectrum News last week. “There is no evidence that there is a difference between delta or beta or now omicron.”
School districts around the world rely heavily on relentless testing to monitor the spread of the virus to determine which children should stay home. But the surge in demand, along with the lack of coordination and planning by health agencies, has left drugstore shelves empty. Some buyers rack up home tests, while thousands more line up outside clinics.
In Boston, when test kits weren’t delivered on time, the local teachers’ union asked the school board to keep schools closed for at least one more day to ensure employees can check if they’ve contracted. COVID-19 before returning to work with children. But their calls were rejected by national education officials, according to The Boston Globe.
The intruder appears to be Seattle, where the local district managed to get 60,000 rapid tests and decided to keep schools closed on Jan.3 to give staff and students time to pass them, according to Seattle weather.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer laid out the grim expectations during a press briefing Thursday.
“We did really very well in the schools in the fall,” she said, according to Los Angeles weather. “But that won’t be the case when we get back, because we actually have the Omicron variant circulating much more widely.”
The Post Schools are moving forward with post-New Years return plans, despite COVID Surge first appearing on The Daily Beast.