Failing to mask fully, provide testing, consider community Covid rates, and support teachers has turned the fall term into a nightmare.
Jay O’Neal, an eighth-grade social studies teacher in West Virginia, is an unusually jovial man, someone who punctuates every conversation with hearty laughter. But when he talks about the school year, his tone turns somber. “So far, this year has been worse than last year, which I never thought was going to be possible,” he told me. O’Neal has been teaching in person for the better part of the past year, and he believes pandemic-era schooling has reached a new low.
In the midst of the fastest-accelerating surge yet, millions of students in the United States went back to school with few precautions or none at all. The result was painfully predictable. Nearly one million—925,000—kids tested positive for Covid-19 in a single four-week stretch, according to data published last week. A month into their school year, there have been as many Covid cases among Texas students as in all of last year. Most Covid outbreaks in Georgia are now in schools, public health officials say. Yet Florida has a new rule: If a student is exposed to Covid-19, parents decide whether they quarantine. Read more at The New Republic.
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