How in-person teaching is affecting the US COVID outbreak in schools
Public schools in New York City are reopening at a time when some schools in other states are already offering in-person teaching for several weeks. Some districts are doing well, but others are reporting massive outbreaks, hospitalizations and many deaths.
There is data showing that school reopenings in areas with high vaccination rates do well.
San Francisco County, in California, boasts a 79 percent vaccination rate for those 12 years and over, and its health department reported last Thursday that there had been no school outbreaks since classes resumed on Aug. . Since the pandemic began, only 13 children in the area have been hospitalized.
This bodes well for New York City, where 70 percent of those 12 years and older are vaccinated, although some neighborhoods have lower rates.
The picture is very different in areas with low vaccination rates. In the Hillsborough County Schools, Tampa, Fla., area, where 58 percent of those 12 and older who are 8,000 students have been fully vaccinated, isolated after a massive outbreak last month, or has been quarantined. Florida schools face a particular set of challenges, given that Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, strongly opposes vaccination and mask mandates, and that the state Department of Education has received funding from at least two school districts. Has stopped those who make masks mandatory in schools.
In Georgia, the Griffin-Spalding County school district, outside Atlanta, abruptly closed its classes after the deaths of two bus drivers and a bus monitor, according to its superintendent, Keith Simmons, on August 4 after the school reopened. Died after contracting Covid-19 after opening from Mr Simmons said parents were “disappointed” at the short notice.
“We weren’t able to give them advance notice,” Mr Simmons said, “we announced on leave, and parents may not have enough time to ensure the child’s care.”
Other states in the South where vaccine rates lag behind the national average—including Kentucky and Mississippi—are also reporting outbreaks in schools.
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