A record-high number of Covid infections and pediatric hospitalization prompted the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take a serious look into the matter. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Friday 27 August 2021 that the recently opened schools in the United States that are coping with a high number of Covid infections are mostly those that are not following federal guidelines and advisories of wearing masks and getting vaccination as students become eligible.
American Schools Not Following Covid Protocols Having More Infection Outbreaks
Director Walensky requested states and districts to follow the basic federal guidelines and reminded them that the CDC had data that many schools that had not adopted these protocols had a high number of infections and quarantines.
Though the Director did not name any specific school, there were indeed many schools that had a large number of infections and quarantines. The Hillsborough County Schools in Florida have 10,400 students and 340 staff members in quarantine and isolation. Director Walensky mentioned a case where an asymptomatic teacher with Covid 19 infection had taught students in a school in California and had inadvertently passed on the infection to students, staff, and even their families.
Director Walensky cited the example of schools in Los Angeles County in the state of California where Covid protocols were followed and the number of cases in these schools was lower than those in the rest of the county.
CDC Director Walensky, while addressing the press briefing at the White House, said that schools must adopt a multi-layered approach in order to implement the Covid protocol which includes wearing masks, social distancing, and improved ventilation in the schools.
Several schools in states where state Governors have issued a ban on schools implementing mask mandates and have even threatened to withdraw state funding if they still went ahead are doing their bid to follow covid protocol as they understand their responsibility towards students. One school has found a way by making masks in the color of school uniforms and made the mask as a part of the uniform.
As infections from the delta variant of the Sars-COV-2 virus continue to ravage the United States, resistance to mask mandates and vaccinations are being opposed. A judge in the state of Florida recently overruled Governor Desantis’ banning of mask mandates in schools and said that this executive order from the Governor did not have legal authority. This came while 10 school boards in the state of Florida had decided to defy the executive order of the governor and go ahead with mask mandates in their schools.
The state is already bearing the brunt of not following basic Covid protocol. Orange County in Florida, where the city of Orlando is located, has had 1968 covid- 19 infections among children and 1491 under quarantine.
The Broward County School Board in Fort Lauderdale in the state of Virginia informed the Department of Education in the state that it would go ahead with mask mandates in schools though the Department had given an option to the parents of school-going children to opt-out. The school board argued that giving parents the right to send children to school without masks would not be fair to the parents of other children who wanted their children to be safe.
The State of Florida continues to have a high number of infections and hospitalizations due to Covid 19. More than 21000 cases are still being reported every day and as many as 16820 people had to be hospitalized in a single day on Tuesday 24 August.
The CDC is continuing to insist on schools following mask mandates even as children are at risk of getting infected.