Doctor Asha Jha warns that effective planning is needed to reduce the stress on the healthcare system in hospitals. Covid cases are expected to surge later this month and it is also due to the recent omicron variant. The hospitals are under stress because a lot of unvaccinated people are getting admitted.
Coronavirus Impacting Students In The USA
A long-term strategy is required to reduce the surge of cases. The health department is reporting a critical shortage of staff. And this shortage is expected to worsen within the next week. This is because the health care workers at the front line are getting infected.
These cases are however expected to fall by February. Covid testing is also difficult to access and the laboratories are also under pressure. To reduce this, people who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness are being prioritized for testing. The same is the case with the University of North Carolina Medical Centre. In Georgia however, mega testing sites have been set up to manage the increasing demand for Covid tests. Doctor Jonathan Reiner said that testing is important to control the spread of covid. Students and teachers need a weekly test for covid 19 in schools to reduce the fear of catching the virus in schools. Due to failure in achieving a covid management strategy, classes continue to remain canceled for four days consecutively in Chicago.
Remote learning is being promoted. Around 20000 students have received consent from their parents to attend classes out of approximately 50,000. Measures are being taken to prevent transmission of covid 19 among children. Virtual classes are now the only apparent solution to maintain a balance between the well-being of students and their academics. Keeping in mind the current surge, the Los Angeles unified school district has announced that baseline testing would be maintained along with weekly testing up to January. To help with this, PCR testing is being offered by the district at many school campuses along with rapid antigen tests. All these efforts have led to the identification of 50,000 COVID-19 positive cases including students and employees by the LAUSD Board of Education. They are now being quarantined. Doctor Richina Bicette McCain even declared that schools are currently major spreading grounds of COVID-19. She also said that in-person learning can be made safe but the number of cases started to increase when children came back after their winter break. And around 170,000 cases of pediatric covid 19 were being reported in a day. And the actual numbers may be way more than what we are seeing right now.
The surge Is hitting the hospitals as well. All non-essential surgeries have been stopped because of the unavailability of beds for the patients. An executive order was signed stating that the state-wide hospital capacity should be able to meet the regional needs. Up to 40% of covid cases in some hospitals are those patients who had come in for something else but were detected with the omicron variant. It has also been stated that although the omicron variant is not affecting patients severely at an individual level if the cases continue to rise then the death rate will rise as well. Almost 84,000 children have been hospitalized due to covid 19 since the start of the pandemic with up to 800 children being admitted each day. The rate of covid positivity has risen to 45% in January from 17.5% in December. Around 25% of all pediatric cases need admission to the intensive care unit as their situation continues to deteriorate. But another thing that has been noticed is that most of these children were unvaccinated so getting the eligible children vaccinated will work to protect them from covid 19.
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