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No State Has Met CDC Guidelines for Steadily-Decreasing COVID Cases, So Let’s Open Schools.

July 21, 2020

Opening school buildings at this point nationwide represents different levels of crazy across the country.

Coronavirus is on the rise across the nation, and it is certainly more than “just the flu.” The virus is a crap shoot for those who contract it. Maybe they will show no symptoms. Maybe they will be mildly ill. Maybe they will suffer with it for a month or more or have to live with some sort of diminished capacity (see here and here and here, also. Or maybe they will die.

The flu kills between 12K and 61K Americans annually. COVID-19 has already killed over 140K Americans in roughly five months (March to July 2020).

Teachers are Americans.

As of this writing, no state has met the May 2020 Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for moving into Phase 1 (“Downward trajectory or near-zero incidence of documented cases over a 14-day period) muct less the additional criteria for entering Phase 2 (“Downward trajectory or near-zero incidence of documented cases for at least 14 days after entering Phase 1).

That’s 28 days of supposed “downward trajectory” prior to entering Phase 2, and that assumes increased testing.

Also in phase 2, COVID-19 test results are supposed to be available in three days or less. That is not happening. (See here and here, also, for more examples.)

According to the July 18, 2020, USA Today, no state is currently even in Phase 1 (“stay-st-home order”). Yet the artcle also shows that in most states and DC (46), “new cases are growing.”

And yet, the push to reopen schools is on, ever-increasing cases be damned.

In Florida, school boards have pushed back on the governor’s pressure to reopen school buildings for business as usual for all children, five days a week. The Florida Education Association (FEA) has filed a lawsuit to block Governor DeSantis’ reopening declaration.

In Missouri, governor Mike Parson says sure, kids will get coronavirus at school, but “they’re going to get over it.”

Not all. It is possible for children to die from COVID-19, even this infant with no preexisting conditions.

And children can spread COVID-19.

In Arizona, 87 doctors have signed a letter to governor Doug Ducey to keep school buildings closed for at least the first quarter of the school year, calling opening school facilities in August “ill advised and dangerous given the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19.”

In Louisiana, governor John Bel Edwards conforms that school buildings will open in the fall despite his decision to delay moving Louisiana to Phase 3 (note that COVID-19 cases in Louisiana have not seen even a single, two-week steady decline necessary to enter PHase 1, much less any six-week steady decline necessary to enter Phase 3).

Americans are against the push to open school facilities for on-campus learning 3-to-1, according to a July 2020 Yahoo/YouGov polling. On July 20, 2020, EdWeek asks the question, “Teachers are scared to go back to school. Will they strike?”

And yet, schools across the nation are moving forward with plans to open their campuses in the fall of 2020.

What are we doing, really?

Talk about “high-stakes testing.”

Returning to school in 2020-21 and staying healthy (and alive) is the highest-stakes “test” I will have faced to date in my teaching career.

poison apple


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  1. jacksartspace permalink

    Reblogged this on Theo's Art Space and commented:
    This is an important post that parents and students should read.

  2. Christine Langhoff permalink

    It is folly.

    In my state of Massachusetts, the state board has directed districts to develop there sets of pans: all IRL schooling; a hybrid of IRL and online; all online. The effort and time that is going into this would be better directed to improving virtual instruction. In March, teachers had to shut down normal operations and begin online instruction within a few days. If kids were assured access to reliable internet services for free with laptops and hot spots, teachers would be working right now to tailor instruction to that end. Instead, they’re being whipsawed about and no questions are being answered. (It of course is unhelpful that four of the BESE members have Walton connections, and that the Kochs and Waltons are donors to the governor.)

    While it is true that the state has rebounded from the darkest days – so far – of the pandemic, there are no restrictions on visitors to the state during summer. Cape Cod’s beaches beckon and are full, as is the rest of the northeast. It’s great for the economy! (Snark.) Let ten thousand infections bloom.

  3. Laura H.Chapman permalink

    An excellent summary of what is known and likely on the horizon. Your last lines are chillingly accurate, not only for your immediate future but for thousands of teachers.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. No State Has Met CDC Guidelines for Steadily-Decreasing COVID Cases, So Let’s Open Schools. | Theo's Art Space
  2. 2020 Medley #15 | Live Long and Prosper
  3. Mercedes Schneider: No State Has Met CDC Guidelines But Schools Are Opening Anyway | Diane Ravitch's blog
  4. The Hybrid Model of School Reopening is Not Safe Either | gadflyonthewallblog

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