Another stumbling block is Covid quarantines. An untold number of US kids are facing a week or two back home, in many cases with no live instruction, due to exposure or close contact with infected classmates as the virus spreads “exponentially” among kids.
What is “exponential” spread? More kids are getting Covid-19. A lot more. The 243,373 child cases represent more than a quarter — 28.9% — of all cases contracted in the US for the week ending September 9, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
With schools back in session, each one of those infected kids is coming into contact with other kids, and so the issue of quarantines is turning into a new flashpoint.
More than 7,300 kids and staff (mostly kids) were in quarantine after 479 tested positive last week.
Two weeks at home for an otherwise healthy kid is not something parents want to deal with, but they also don’t want to simply ignore the Covid-19 cases.
“I think like a lot of parents in my district and county are very upset with the decision they made. They took the authority on themselves to decide we were no longer going to do contact tracing, and effective immediately, students were to return to school that were on a current quarantine and we were no longer going to quarantine for students and staff that are not positive,” Angie McCray, a Union County parent, told CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday. “It’s very upsetting and disappointing.”
In my home district in Virginia, the school sends an email to the entire school community reporting positive Covid tests. Close contacts are contacted separately and told to quarantine.
“Deciding what color shoes your child wears to school, that’s maybe a reasonable parental choice,” Dr. Christoph Diasio, a North Carolina pediatrician, told CNN. “But when your action can imperil other people, it doesn’t feel to me like that should be in the realm of a parent’s choice.”
The vaccine requirements for kids are coming. One expert said on CNN the answer may be requiring vaccines for eligible students, as schools in Los Angeles are doing.
“So far, we’ve not seen a lot of Covid vaccine mandates, even for the teenagers,” said pediatrician and vaccinologist Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Gonna need the vaccine to be approved first. Kids under 12 will likely have access to vaccines by the end of the year, according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on NBC’s “Today” show.
Masks continue to be a flashpoint. A Florida court sided with the anti-mask requirement governor there. In Iowa, a federal judge sided with supporters of mask requirements and overturned a state law banning them.
The stories vary from state to state but the theme of learning to live in the Covid-19 world is the same.