New York City Schools Reopen, But Delta Variant May Be Cause For Concern

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

As we reach the midpoint of September, schools across the country are back in session. This also holds true for the New York City public school system, and it is both an exciting time and one of concern.

The main reason for this concern comes in the form of Covid-19 and the Delta variant, which has been spreading quickly throughout the country since June. In June, before Delta began its rise to dominance across the US, New York City saw a new low of cases in a single day with 116 cases on the 16th of that month. Now, just three months later, the Big Apple is seeing an average of 2,325 cases every day. This is a dramatic increase that has left many people worrying about what to do.

Despite these numbers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has decided to stick with the plan that he put into place back in May, essentially putting an end to remote learning. The goal was to get everybody back into schools full time. At that time, cases in the city were falling, and everyone was relatively happy about de Blasio’s plan. However, with cases on the rise and with children under the age of 12 being ineligible for vaccination against the virus, many parents and politicians have been asking him to reconsider.

The worry, of course, is that the Delta variant will spread to the children while they are at school, and with data showing that the Delta variant is more dangerous for children, there are few that want to take a chance with it. That being said, the CDC has been putting together a set of guidelines that schools can follow to keep the students safe against Covid-19. These guidelines have been reiterated by officials for a while now, and just as much from the CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. For weeks now the CDC Director has been speaking about the steps schools should take, which include: universal masking for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status, improved ventilation within the school building, the implementation of Covid-19 testing programs in the school, along with so much more.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting his trust in these guidelines, asking parents to “Work past the fear” and to “help your kids move forward.”

And while he has removed remote learning for a majority of the student base within the city, he has acknowledged a few exceptions. Firstly, he noted that there would be remote learning available for a select group of people who are considered vulnerable in terms of their ability to fight the virus. This group is made up of a few thousand students. The other note he made is that he understands that there will be some children missing for the first few days or even the first couple weeks, as parents want to take a little extra time to see what happens as the year starts. Mayor de Blasio says it is alright if parents and students need this time to settle.

When it comes to fighting the virus, Mayor Bill de Blasio has not been afraid to take bold steps. He made New York City the first major city in the United States to require vaccination to enter places such as gyms, restaurants and other indoor locations. He also acted swiftly to put a vaccine requirement into place for all city employees and healthcare workers, which had followed similar moves from the state of California and the city of Los Angeles. At this time, 68% of the city’s population has received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 61% of its population is fully vaccinated. Time can only tell for what the outcome of schools reopening will be. If you want to keep up with this story, as well as other major stories across the country and the world, head over to our Twitter page and give us a follow.

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Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.

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BBP News

BBP News

Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.

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