This is from Yahoo via Bloomberg:
(Bloomberg) -- New York City schools are looking to expand in-class attendance by changing a rule that closed buildings for at least 10 days where two Covid-19 infections were reported, and by permitting students to sit closer together.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the new considerations may encourage more parents to choose in-class learning over remote instruction, so he extended an opt-in period to Friday from Wednesday.
“We’ve looked at the data, we’ve looked at the facts and decided it’s time for a change,” de Blasio said Monday at a press briefing.
de Blasio said new policies will lead to more classrooms and schools being open and a more stable schedule. The majority of New York City students are learning from home.
The mayor's timing makes no sense. He is willing to put students at risk as the B117 variant is spreading and impacting children more than original COVID-19. Remember, kids under 16 cannot get vaccinated.
This is from ABC 7 Chicago:
CHILDREN NOW PLAYING 'HUGE ROLE' IN SPREAD OF COVID-19 VARIANT, EXPERT SAYS
New developments in the COVID-19 pandemic has one leading epidemiologist re-evaluating his own advice.
Dr. Michael Osterholm is the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He was also a member of Joe Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board during the time between Biden being elected president and inaugurated.
Osterholm previously supported sending children back to school. He said the virus was not a major threat to children. Now, the situation has changed.
"Please understand, this B.1.1.7 variant is a brand new ball game," Osterholm said on NBC's Meet the Press. "It infects kids very readily. Unlike previous strains of the virus, we didn't see children under 8th grade get infected often or they were not frequently very ill, they didn't transmit to the rest of the community."
The B.1.1.7 variant was first identified in the United Kingdom. It's now ripping through parts of the country.
In Minnesota, Osterholm said more than 740 schools reported cases of the variant. In Michigan more young people are ended up in hospitals fighting more serious symptoms than previously seen in children with COVID-19.
This is similar to what health officials have seen in other countries.
The British Medical Journal wrote two months ago that "emerging evidence from Israel and Italy (shows) more young children are being infected with new variants of COVID-19."
Seeing that happen in his own backyard, Osterholm is now questioning his own previous advice.
"Anywhere you look where you see this emerging, you see that kids are playing a huge role in the transmission of this," Osterholm said. "All the things that we had planned for about kids in schools with this virus are really no longer applicable. We've got to take a whole new look at this issue."
Vaccinations are expected to help fight off the B.1.1.7 variant. However, Osterholm said there's simply not enough time to just rely on vaccinations.
"We're not going to have nearly enough (vaccine doses) in the next 6 to 8 weeks to get through this surge, and we're going to have to look at other avenues to do that just as every other country in the world who's had a B.1.1.7 surge has had to do."
Leave COVID policy on variants to Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo. What could go wrong?
UFT President Michael Mulgrew is saying that updating COVID rules in schools is a state issue so de Blasio can't change NYC school COVID policy without state approval. Let's see where this goes.
The full Mulgrew statement:
Here are the latest NY COVID numbers from the NY Times: