2021-09-14 06:58:18 How In-Person Teaching Is Affecting U.S. Covid Outbreaks in Schools
How In-Person Teaching Is Affecting U.S. Covid Outbreaks in Schools
New York City public schools are reopening at a time when schools in other states have already been in session for several weeks. Some districts appear to be doing well, but others are dealing with widespread outbreaks, hospitalizations, and multiple reported deaths.
According to the data, school reopenings perform well in areas with high vaccination rates. San Francisco County, California, has a 79 percent vaccination rate for those aged 12 and up, and the county’s Health Department reported last
Thursday that there have been no school outbreaks since classes resumed on Aug. 16. Only 13 children in the area have been hospitalized since the pandemic began. This is good news for New York City, where 70 percent of those aged 12 and up are vaccinated, though some neighborhoods lag behind.
In areas with lower vaccination rates, the picture is very different. Hillsborough County Schools in Tampa, Fla., where 58 percent of those aged 12 and up have been fully vaccinated, isolated or quarantined 8,000 of its students following a mass outbreak last month.
Florida schools face unique challenges because Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is vehemently opposed to vaccination and mask mandates, and the state’s Education Department has withheld funds from at least two school districts that have mandated masks in schools.
According to its superintendent, Keith Simmons, the Griffin-Spalding County school district outside of Atlanta abruptly closed its classrooms after two bus drivers and a bus monitor died after contracting Covid-19 after school reopened on Aug. 4.
Mr. Simmons stated that the short notice had left parents “frustrated.” “We were unable to provide them with advance notice,” According to Mr. Simmons. “Because the announcement was made on a holiday, parents may not have had enough time to arrange child care.”
Other states in the South, including Kentucky and Mississippi, where vaccine rates are lower than the national average, are also reporting outbreaks at schools.