COVID in Schools

Dakota Creel, Staff Writer

The number of COVID-19 cases is constantly rising. There has been an uprising in the number of cases regarding children. Many health experts are worried with the school year just now getting underway across the country. Many experts are divided on what the best solution to the uprising in children cases should be. The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in an interview, “We’ve gotta get the school system masked in addition to surrounding the children with vaccinated people. That’s the solution.” 

Many different counties across the country are dealing with covid cases. For example, 13 school employees have died, since August 16th, in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The 13 school employees consisted of three teachers, seven bus drivers, one cafeteria worker, and one security guard. All 13 employees were said to have not been vaccinated. Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent said in an interview, “I think this underscores the big tragedy that we see occurring across America. Even though in my community, 98% of individuals have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, there is still a lag specific to individuals that represent ethnic minorities in Miami-Dade.” Vaccine mandates are illegal in Florida, which means there isn’t much the school system can do on that part. The most the Miami-Dade school system can do is offer vaccinations to all employees, and a $275 stipend, to any and all employees who can provide proof of their vaccination. 

More locally, Northgate has seen an uprise in covid cases. Over the past few weeks, many students have been sent home and quarantined. Just last week, masks were made mandatory. Masks were made mandatory for other surrounding schools as well, such as Newnan High School and East Coweta Middle. 

Many schools, mostly in the south, started the school year without mask mandates, and saw an extreme rise in covid cases. Doctors are stressing the importance of covid vaccinations, for those eligible, and mandatory masks in schools. It has been said that there will be a speech held by President Joe Biden before the end of this week. This speech will address where our country is with the virus and what the next steps will be. This speech could also mention regulations having to do with schools, private companies, and the requirements for federal employees. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President Biden have established a plan of action in response to Covid-19. With this speech also comes a clearer approach to Covid-19 in schools. Children now serve as 26.8% of the weekly number of covid cases. In the span of two weeks, from August 19th to September 2nd, there was a 10% increase in the number of covid cases in children. This 10% increase has been calculated from the beginning of the pandemic. Hopefully the government will be able to answer questions as to what comes next as far as the pandemic, in the upcoming weeks.