As millions of children across America are preparing to return to schools, a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association shows that at least 97,000 children were infected with the virus only within the two weeks at the end of July. Around 338,000 children in the US are infected with the coronavirus as of now which shows that a quarter of those cases came in that period alone. This report shows that the reopening of schools at this time can cause the children to get coronavirus easily.
The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said last month that officials in counties where the positivity rate of coronavirus is more than 5% should keep classrooms closed to students. But Florida in which the positivity rate is more than 17% which is one of the worst positivity rates in the US has announced that the reopening of schools in not less than 12 counties in Florida, will take place even though the positivity rate in 9 of those 12 counties is more than 5%.
Some states tried the reopening of schools but then had to close or order quarantines after some students and staff were tested positive for the coronavirus. One of the schools North Paulding High School in Georgia, made headlines after some pictures were posted online of crowded hallways with no one wearing a mask. The school is now switching to online classes for at least Monday and Tuesday as nine of their students and staff tested positive.
At least 5 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus and more than 162,000 have died, according to John Hopkins Data. However, still many residents of the US are not taking the virus seriously and not taking the basic precautions of wearing masks and following social distancing, which would allow the number of cases to go down and help students get back to classes safely.
Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute Dr. Ashish Jha said that the US is still generating 50,000 to 70,000 coronavirus cases in a day and around 1,000 people are dying daily which is wholly preventable. The daily death rate from coronavirus in the US dropped at the start of July but after that, it is continually increasing. On the 5th of July, 299 deaths were reported nationwide, whereas on the 5th of August that number increased to 1,372. And in the last week, more than 1,000 Americans died daily for 5 days in a row.
Health officials have linked the recent surge in cases to social gatherings among the youth who can pass the infection to older people or people with underlying conditions. Dr. Anthony Fauci said to the young people to not be the weak link in the chain. He believes that young people are not deliberately doing anything but inadvertently they are propagating the outbreak.
Director of the Institute of Health Metrics Dr. Christopher Murray believes that the Americans are now moving around in the same numbers as they did before the pandemic struck. He said if you look at the mobility data collected from mobile phones across the country, the levels are almost identical to that of pre-Covid. So the people in the US are not being cautious as people in other countries.
The Institute for Health Metrics predicts that at this rate the number of deaths from coronavirus in the US will reach 300,000 by the start of December. However, if the majority of US residents started wearing face masks when going outside at least 70,000 of those lives can be saved nationwide.