Should Fairfax County Schools Switch to In-Person Classes?
|Above copied from|
Fairfax Health District
The above graph clearly shows that COVID case counts in the county are at their highest level, higher than last April, and much higher than last September. Experts are worried about variants from Brazil, South Africa and Britain. With the United States leading the world in number of COVID confirmed cases, there is no question that there are probably a lot more variants originating from the United States.
Decisions made today can help ensure safe operation of schools and provide critical services to children and adolescents in the US. Some of these decisions may be difficult. They include a commitment to implement community-based policies that reduce transmission when SARS-CoV-2 incidence is high (eg, by restricting indoor dining at restaurants), and school-based policies to postpone school-related activities that can increase risk of in-school transmission (eg, indoor sports practice or competition). With 2 vaccines now being distributed under Emergency Use Authorizations and more vaccine options anticipated to be available in the coming months, there is much hope on the horizon for a safer environment for schools and school-related athletic activities during the 2021/22 school year. Committing today to policies that prevent SARS-CoV-2 transmission in communities and in schools will help ensure the future social and academic welfare of all students and their education.
The above correctly notes that returning to in-person classes requires a "commitment to implement community-based policies that reduce transmission when SARS-CoV-2 incidence is high". We do not currently have that commitment. And most importantly, what we do now will decide what we can do in the next school year. Making the wrong decision can easily prolong the pandemic and jeopardize our chances of students returning to in-person classes this coming Fall.