CDC director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, has approved resumption for teachers who are yet to receive their vaccine doses in the United States. The director explained that a study has shown the coronavirus can still be drastically curbed in schools if other COVID-19 safety measures are strictly obeyed. Walensky explained that the inoculation of teachers against the virus is nothing that should stop schools from resuming.
Speaking during a press briefing on Wednesday, Walensky stated that districts can still safely reopen their schools without any fear of spikes in COVID-19 figures as long as other safety measures such as avoiding crowded rooms, adequate hand hygiene, and others are not ignored. The briefing, which was orchestrated by the Biden administration, was held to make plans about combatting the pandemic.
In line with his campaign promise, President Joe Biden is trying to ensure that school children from Kindergarten to Grade 8 classes resume school before April 30, which will mark his first 100 days in office. The CDC says teachers would be one of the first sets of people to receive the vaccines but a large percentage of teachers in the United States have not been inoculated against the virus, the Denver Channel reports.
Jeff Zients, a White House official that coordinates the administration’s COVID-19 response team, stated during the briefing that two COVID-19 inoculation points will be opened in two parts of California that have recorded very high COVID-19 figures. One of the inoculation points will be in the Oakland Coliseum while the other will be at California State University.
Officials from different government departments, including the departments of Agriculture and Defense, will man the new inoculation points, Zients said, adding that the administration plans to open more inoculation points in coming weeks. Walensky stated that COVID-19 cases have continued to reduce in the past days and fewer COVID-19 patients are being hospitalized across the country.
“Since January 8, we have been recording fewer COVID-19 figures,” Walensky stated. “For the past seven days, we have had a daily average of about 144,000 coronavirus cases per day.”
The director added that though Covid-related deaths are not decreasing yet, the center expects that to start in a few weeks. Walensky, however, urged that the country is still not out of the woods especially with the mutated strains that have been discovered in many states. She added that the strains, which spread more easily, can take the country back to the era of high COVID-19 figures.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California has echoed Walensky’s opinion about school resumption. On Wednesday, the governor said that California schools can be safely reopened even if all teachers have not been vaccinated, as long as other safety measures are strictly adhered to.