Friday, January 21, 2022
HomeEducationsThe Week in COVID & Training Coverage: Rethinking Omicron Technique to ‘Handle...

The Week in COVID & Training Coverage: Rethinking Omicron Technique to ‘Handle Not Comprise,’ Boosters for Youngsters & Extra Key Faculty Updates

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That is our weekly briefing on how the pandemic is shaping faculties and schooling coverage, vetted, as all the time, by AEI Visiting Fellow John Bailey. Click on right here to see the total archive. Get this weekly roundup, in addition to rolling each day updates, delivered straight to your inbox — join The 74 E-newsletter.

White Home Embraces a Handle-Not-Comprise Omicron Recreation Plan: Through Politico:

  • “The brand new actuality has additional darkened the temper amongst White Home aides already pissed off by the shortage of progress towards ending a pandemic many initially believed may very well be dispatched inside a 12 months. It’s additionally accelerated the administration’s pivot towards getting ready folks to stay with the virus indefinitely.”
  • “In interviews, officers described the subsequent few weeks as a triage operation targeted on containing the reverberations of the surge nicely sufficient to avert breakdowns in important providers, mass college closures and overrun hospitals.”
  • “The manage-not-contain strategy has been seen throughout businesses. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention in late December shortened its really helpful isolation pointers for COVID-positive folks from 10 to 5 days offered the individual leaving quarantine continues to masks. It was a transfer that two folks with data of the matter stated they hoped would assist avert the potential for workers shortages amongst fireplace, police and medical providers.”
  • Associated: Former Biden well being advisers urge new strategy to COVID in essays printed Thursday

(Kent Nishimura / Getty Photos)

The Massive Three — January 7, 2022

No Approach to Develop Up: David Leonhardt in The New York Instances: “For the previous two years, Individuals have accepted extra hurt to kids in change for much less hurt to adults.”

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  • “Youngsters fell far behind in class in the course of the first 12 months of the pandemic and haven’t caught up.”
  • “Many kids and youngsters are experiencing psychological well being issues.”
  • “Suicide makes an attempt have risen.”
  • “Gun violence towards kids has elevated.”
  • “Many colleges have nonetheless not returned to regular, worsening studying loss and social isolation.”
  • “Conduct issues have elevated.”
  • “The Omicron variant is now scrambling kids’s lives once more.”
  • “Information now recommend that many modifications to highschool routines are of questionable worth in controlling the virus’s unfold. Some researchers are skeptical that college closures cut back COVID circumstances in most situations. Different interventions, like forcing college students to sit down aside from their buddies at lunch, may have little profit.”
  • “One motive: Extreme variations of COVID, together with lengthy COVID, are extraordinarily uncommon in kids. For them, the virus resembles a typical flu. Youngsters face extra danger from automobile rides than COVID.”
  • “For the previous two years, nevertheless, many communities within the U.S. have probably not grappled with the trade-off. They’ve tried to reduce the unfold of COVID — a worthy purpose absent different elements — relatively than minimizing the harm that COVID does to society. They’ve accepted extra hurt to kids in change for much less hurt to adults, usually with out acknowledging the dilemma or assessing which choices result in much less total hurt.”

Getty Photos

Chicago Public Faculties Cancels Courses After Lecturers Union Votes for Distant Studying:

  • Chicago Public Faculties canceled class Wednesday and Thursday after 73 % of Chicago Lecturers Union members voted to refuse to work in-person till Jan. 18 or till town’s positivity fee falls under 10 %, a metric the district set final 12 months for shutting down faculties. The positivity fee is at the moment 23 %. (As of press time, it appeared Chicago Public Faculties would maintain faculties closed for many college students Friday as negotiations proceed.)
  • The district referred to as it an unlawful strike. “Our faculties are secure,” CEO Pedro Martinez stated throughout a press convention. “There is no such thing as a proof that our faculties have ever been unsafe this college 12 months.”
  • Mayor Lori Lightfoot: “There’s no motive to close down the complete system, notably given the catastrophic penalties that can movement…”
  • District officers had stated faculties would change again to digital studying primarily based on instructor or pupil absences.
    • Instructor absences: 40 % or extra of a faculty’s classroom academics are absent for 2 consecutive days
    • Pupil absences: Elementary faculties: 50 % of lecture rooms have greater than half of scholars instructed to isolate/quarantine. Excessive faculties: greater than 50 % of the full pupil inhabitants has been instructed to isolate/quarantine.
  • White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki: “Faculties can open safely, together with in Chicago.”
  • Chicago mother and father scrambled to search out baby care.
  • “Whereas Chicago households have extra expertise with distant studying and are higher geared up with web, tools and knowhow, in comparison with 2020-21, most colleges are usually not able to pivot on the flip of a change again to distant studying,” stated Kristin Pollock, the chief of growth and exterior affairs at Youngsters First Chicago.
  • Observe rolling updates from Chalkbeat.

Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention Updates Faculty Quarantine and Isolation Steering: Up to date Okay-12 steerage for quarantines and isolation got here out Thursday night and solutions some questions. Be aware that there’s now a “ought to take a look at” to go away quarantine however no take a look at to go away isolation. (Extra particulars at The Wall Avenue Journal)


  • College students, academics, and employees who got here into shut contact with somebody with COVID-19 ought to quarantine for not less than 5 days. These people is also eligible for test-to-stay applications that will enable them to remain within the college setting in the course of the quarantine interval.
  • They ought to take a look at at day 5 however proceed to put on a masks for an additional 5 days.
  • “If they’re unable to get a take a look at 5 days after their final shut contact with somebody with COVID-19, they will depart their dwelling after day 5 if they’ve been with out COVID-19 signs all through the 5-day interval.”
  • Who doesn’t must quarantine:
    • Folks 18 and older who’re vaccinated and have a booster.
    • Folks ages 5–17 who’ve accomplished the first sequence of COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Individuals who had confirmed COVID-19 inside the final 90 days


  • All folks with COVID-19 ought to bear isolation for not less than 5 full days. They need to proceed to put on a well-fitting masks round others at dwelling and in public till day 10 (day 6 by day 10).
  • In the event that they develop signs after testing optimistic, the 5-day isolation interval ought to begin over.


Okay-12 Pandemic-Associated Public Faculties Disruptions: Midweek replace from Burbio.


Omicron’s Feeble Assault on the Lungs Might Make It Much less Harmful: Nice overview in Nature of what a number of research are suggesting about Omicron.

Antigen Exams and Omicron: Nice overview by epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina.

Federal Updates

FDA Authorizes and CDC Recommends Boosters for Teenagers:

  • The CDC’s advisory committee voted 13 to 1 (one member was absent) to help people 12 to fifteen years of age receiving a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose not less than 5 months after completion of the first sequence, primarily based on the stability of advantages and dangers. See the slides
  • This pertains to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the one one approved on this age group.
  • The CDC director permitted the advice Wednesday night. The Meals and Drug Administration had approved Pfizer booster pictures for youths 12 to fifteen on Monday.
  • Stat’s Helen Branswell live-tweeted the assembly; right here is her article.

Analysis on Pfizer and Teenagers: A brand new CDC examine from College of Arizona researchers discovered Pfizer’s vaccine is 92 % efficient at stopping COVID-19 in kids ages 12 to 17.

Vaccine Mandate: Federal choose blocks COVID vaccine mandate for Head Begin academics.

Federal Communications Fee: Launched the $14 billion Inexpensive Connectivity Program (beforehand named the Emergency Broadband Profit).

  • Gives a reduction of as much as $30 monthly towards web service for eligible households. Eligible households may obtain a one-time low cost of as much as $100 to buy a laptop computer, desktop laptop or pill.
  • Assets: Outreach supplies, FAQs and checklist of suppliers by state.

Emergency Connectivity Fund: I wrote a short replace on the place issues stand with the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund together with state-by-state information. “As of December 2021, the FCC has dedicated greater than $3.8 billion to help greater than 9,000 faculties, 760 libraries and 100 consortia, offering practically 8.3 million linked gadgets and over 4.4 million broadband connections. Further awards can be introduced within the weeks forward.”

Metropolis & State Information

Arizona: Gov. Doug Ducey is creating “the Open for Studying Restoration Profit program to offer reduction for folks who might face monetary and academic boundaries resulting from sudden college closures.”

  • “This system funds as much as $7,000 for wants associated to Arizona Division of Financial Safety-approved baby care, school-coordinated transportation, on-line tutoring and college tuition.”
  • “If a faculty closes for even sooner or later, college students and households who meet the revenue necessities can make the most of the Open for Studying Restoration Profit Program — permitting college students to entry instruction that finest meets their wants.”


Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont proclaims plans to distribute 3 million COVID-19 at-home fast assessments and 6 million N95 masks.

Florida: “In Miami Dade County, Florida’s largest college district, some 10 % of educational employees, 2,100 workers together with counselors, missed the primary day of college on Monday, based on college officers.” Outgoing faculties chief Alberto Carvalho stepped in to assist.

Michigan: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer indicators invoice that will enable public faculties to make use of non-teaching employees as substitute academics for the remainder of the educational 12 months.

Ohio: Cincinnati Public Faculties proposes momentary distant studying amid surge.

  • “On the district’s first day again from winter break, the academics union reported greater than 300 workers have been out with optimistic COVID-19 circumstances.”
  • The district “confirmed greater than 60 central workplace employees members helped on Monday to make sure 11 faculties would stay open — one thing directors stated isn’t sustainable.”
  • “Pupil attendance was at 77 % Monday, with 80 reported optimistic COVID assessments. The district additionally reported 23 nurse absences.”

Pennsylvania: 92 Philadelphia faculties have been digital this week due to staffing challenges associated to pandemic.

Tennessee: State officers are interesting a choose’s order that blocked the state’s new extreme limits on when public faculties can require masks in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic and its ban towards native officers making choices about quarantines in faculties.

Worldwide Information

France: Broadens masks mandate to kids as younger as 6.

United Kingdom: Youngsters in secondary faculties in England can be informed to put on masks after they return.

Europe’s Quick-term Closures Recommend Lengthy-term Prices: Through the Washington Put up.

  • One examine discovered “that elementary college students carried out on common 20 % worse on assessments than the equal cohorts had for the three years earlier than the pandemic. Amongst college students from less-advantaged households, studying losses tended to be even larger — as much as 60 % bigger than for the final inhabitants.”
  • “The Netherlands has spent billions on tutoring, counseling and summer season programming for kids, however that further help has not but caught them up.”

COVID-19 Analysis

Pfizer-BioNTech: CDC introduced that people who obtained the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for his or her main sequence can now get an mRNA booster shot after 5 months as an alternative of six.

COVID-19 Vaccine Security in Youngsters Ages 5-11 Years: CDC examine: “Greater than 8 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been given to kids 5 to 11,” The New York Instances experiences, “however the CDC stated that it had obtained only a few experiences of great issues. The company evaluated experiences obtained from medical doctors and members of the general public, in addition to survey responses from the mother and father or guardians of roughly 43,000 kids in that age group.”

COVID Dangers for Small Youngsters: Good piece by Emily Oster. I discovered this useful:

  • “One other option to conceptualize small chances is with time. Let’s say there was a 100% probability your baby would get COVID-19 each single month. That’s: each month they get COVID once more, for positive. The chance of hospitalization is 1 in 120. Which means that in 120 months of this — 10 years — you’d count on to go to the hospital as soon as.”

Israeli Research Reveals Advantages of Second Booster Shot: “A fourth shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine generated a fivefold increase in antibodies every week after the jab, based on preliminary outcomes of a examine made public by the Israeli authorities Tuesday,” the Washington Put up experiences.

  • “Israel this week turned the primary nation to launch a significant second-booster marketing campaign, making the fourth vaccination obtainable to anybody 60 and older whose final shot was not less than 4 months in the past.”

Danger Elements for Extreme COVID-19 in Youngsters: Research in Pediatrics outlining danger elements for various ages of youngsters.

State Masks Mandate Bans for Faculties: Legislation, Science and Public Well being: Essay in Pediatrics

Elements and Causes Related to Low COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Amongst Extremely Hesitant Communities within the U.S.: New examine

  • “The 2 predictors related to a low vaccination stage inside extremely hesitant communities have been: no highschool schooling and concern on vaccine availability and distribution.”
  • “The commonest motive driving vaccine hesitancy was lack of belief in COVID-19 vaccines (55 %), adopted by considerations round negative effects of the vaccine (48 %) and lack of belief in authorities (46 %).”

Research Finds Slight Developmental Lag in Infants Born In the course of the Pandemic: Research and NBC Information story.

Youngsters and COVID-19: State Information Report from American Academy of Pediatrics

  • “COVID-19 circumstances amongst U.S. kids have reached the very best case depend ever reported for the reason that begin of the pandemic.”
  • “Presently, it seems that extreme sickness resulting from COVID-19 is unusual amongst kids.”

(American Academy of Pediatrics)


The College students Returned, however the Fallout from a Lengthy Disruption Remained: Good lengthy piece from the NYT that includes Liberty Excessive Faculty in my hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

  • “College students and educators use phrases like ‘re-entry,’ ‘recivilizing’ and ‘reintegrating’ to explain the transition again to a extra regular routine. COVID restrictions nonetheless stop full engagement. Masks have inspired anonymity and discouraged dialogue.”
  • “For Nikolas Tsamoutalidis, an assistant principal, probably the most vivid picture of the post-pandemic pupil physique was at lunch this 12 months, when he noticed ninth graders — whose final full 12 months in class was seventh grade — getting ready to play ‘Duck, Duck, Goose.’ ‘It’s like fifth or sixth graders,’ he stated, ‘however in large our bodies.’”

Instructor Shortages in New England Pressure Some Courses On-line With Little Discover: Through NYT

Training after the Pandemic: Through Rick Hess in Nationwide Affairs

The Very Dangerous Day on the CDC: Eric Topol with a fairly scathing critique

Contemporary Spherical of Faculty Closures Exams Biden’s Promise: Through Yahoo Information

Nationwide, Regional Traits in Educators’ COVID-Reduction Spending: FutureEd evaluation of the COVID-relief spending plans of practically 2,100 college districts and constitution college organizations in 48 states, native schooling businesses serving some 40 % of the nation’s public college college students. Learn the entire piece.

Learn how to Type a Microschool: Through

…And on Two Reflective Notes

Nothing however Web: Third grade instructor Ms. Fitz promised her class scorching chocolate if she made this shot…

Pandas + Snow: You’d be hard-pressed to search out anybody who enjoys a D.C. snow day greater than the Nationwide Zoo’s pandas.

ICYMI @The74

Weekend Reads: In case you missed them, our prime 5 tales of the week:

For much more COVID coverage and schooling information, subscribe to John Bailey’s each day briefing through Substack.

Disclosure: John Bailey is an adviser to the Walton Household Basis, which gives monetary help to The 74.


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