Governors across the country are trying to determine whether or not to send kids back to school in the fall, with the coronavirus still a present problem. Teachers unions have begun making a show of "writing their wills" or placing bodybags outside of their schools to demonstrate how dangerous they think it would be to return to classrooms this fall.
The science largely puts those fears to rest. A child transmitting COVID-19 to an adult is extremely rare. And the majority of K-12 teachers are under the age of 55. Half of them are under the age of 41. Meaning, they are well below the age in which they'd be in the high-risk category. For educators who are in the danger zone, experts suggest there are ways to protect them, such as practicing social distancing from their students and installing Plexiglas in their classrooms.
Friday marked the deadline for New York to look at the infection rate and make a determination about schools. After viewing the data, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that it's time to reopen.
"By our infection rate, all schools can re-open in all regions of the state," he said. Every district, he explained, is below the threshold they set. He called it "great news."
He added, however, that individual districts still need to have their specific plans approved. For instance, Cuomo expects that students will have to get their temperature tested when they arrive at school. He wants to see those plans online by the end of next week. Cuomo then said he'll hold conversations with both parents and teachers.
Every region is well below our COVID infection limit, therefore all school districts are authorized to open.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) August 7, 2020
If the infection rate spikes, the guidance will change accordingly.
School districts are required to submit plans to NYS for review.
The governor said that if there's a spike in the infection rate, then they'll "revisit" their plans.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has patted himself on the back a lot these past few months for "flattening the curve" in New York. And yet his mandate that forced nursing home facilities to accept COVID positive patients after being discharged from hospitals has been blamed for thousands of untimely deaths. Lawmakers have been calling for an independent investigation into the policy.