If you’ve paid any sort of attention to the news recently, you will know that the stories on COVID-19 aren’t all that good, giving plenty of Americans more cause to vote via absentee ballots this year. However, there is one piece of excellent news about the disease, although I doubt you heard much about it.
Spoiler alert: it’s about our kids.
Studies continue to show that children, and especially those of younger ages, just aren’t getting it.
One of the most recent comes from the highly respected Brown University. Here, it was noted that students are only testing positive at a rate of about 0.15 percent. And staff, who are much more likely to be infected, are testing positive at a rate of only 0.25 percent, which is still really low.
And Brown isn’t the only one with similar findings.
New York City, which houses the nation’s most extensive public school system, has been doing some studies, or at least testing, of its own. And the city’s findings are precisely in line with the figures Brown recently releases. Of both students and staff members, only 0.17 percent are testing positive.
According to the New York Times, “Out of 16,348 staff members and students tested randomly by the school system in the first week of its testing regimen, the city has gotten back results of 16,298. There were only 28 positives: 20 staff members and eight students.”
It was also noted that mobile testing units were placed at schools in both Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods that were reported to have had recent outbreaks of the virus. And “out of more than 3,300 tests conducted since the last week of September,” only four were positive.
That’s a positivity rate of right around 0.12 percent, again, right in line with Brown’s study.
This leads the executive director of Educators for Excellence to say, “That data is encouraging. It reinforces what we have heard about schools not be super spreaders.” And the Times remarked that “The absence of early outbreaks, if it holds, suggests that the city’s efforts for its 1.1 million public school students could serve as an influential model for school districts across the nation.”
And since then, even more information has come in on recent COVID tests conducted in the city’s schools. It was assumed that since New York schools have only been open for three weeks now, those positivity rates would slowing increase the longer kids were in school.
However, that’s not what is being found, both among students and staff members.
It just seems like the virus isn’t being spread that much within the classroom.
Of course, this hasn’t stopped the naysayers from touting the dangers of the disease and how President Trump is apparently ruining our nation by opening things back up.
Ashish Jha, who is dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, says, “It’s great that New York City is doing some level of random testing.” But… “It’s not at the level that would be ideal.”
However, according to Michael Mulgrew, the president of the teachers’ union has stated that even now, city officials are considering an increase in the amount of random testing done in the schools to three times a month. He noted that this would be “much more valuable.”
But in either case, it seems that not so positive testing is giving schools around the nation reason to consider reopening their doors.
Per the Washington Post, “Of the 50 largest school districts, 24 have resumed in-person classes for large groups of students, and 11 others plan to in the coming weeks, according to a Washington Post survey. An additional four have opened, or plan to open, for small groups of students who need extra attention.”
The Post notes that most of these are in states like Florida and Texas, where “Republican governors are requiring in-person classes.” However, even in more Democratically ran areas, such as NYC, Alpine, Utah, and Greenville, South Carolina, schools are reopening due to the seeming lack of a threat.
Is it just me, or do you see an I-told-you-so moment coming for President Trump and his administration?