COVID's Back in School
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Probably one of every kid's worst days every year: going back to school. I'm pretty sure everybody hated that feeling of going back to classes after a great summer break with their friends and family. Suddenly, all of that crumbles when August begins. Everyone is trembling, overseeing their teachers and school campus once again. Well, this time, kids have a new student accompanying them: COVID-19!
With kids returning to school, some people expected the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to change some regulations regarding vaccines and mask mandates. However, the CDC will not change any of the rules or rules for back-to-school students. During a White House briefing, the Director of the CDC, Rochelle Walensky, stated that they "are not looking at updating our school guidance right now. I can tell you that most of the places where we see surges and outbreaks are in places that are not implementing our current guidance." So it appears that the only places where COVID cases begin to surge are those places where the mask mandate is not enforced, and people do not take care of themselves.
Recently a report was released regarding one elementary school where 27 new cases were identified after a COVID positive teacher without a mask read aloud to a group of students. Even though the school had vaccine and mask requirements for all staff, the teacher did not follow the regulations. The study authors enforced how important it is for older staff to be vaccinated while the younger population is ineligible for the vaccine.
Walensky also reaffirmed that schools should still follow safety guidelines to prevent the further spread of the virus. Vaccinating those eligible, mandatory masks, ventilation, screening strategies, and hand sanitizers are all prevention strategies for elementary schools to reopen in person classes. "The cases [from the community] are not propagated in the schools, and schools tend to be safer places for our children than the communities in terms of COVID spread," Walensky stated.
What do you think? Should specific regulations change for back-to-school classes? Or should classes remain online? It may seem like a significant risk to send children to school, knowing they may catch the virus anytime. Especially when some teachers don't follow the requirements...