Is Omicron Closing Schools?

Omicron has raced ahead of other variants and is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of new infections last week, federal health officials said Monday.

Omicron Continues to Spread

Many schools were finally beginning to feel a sense of normalcy when school resumed in-person learning this fall. Teachers seemed to be piecing together the remnants of online lessons. The attention was back in the center of the room, focused and bright. Everything seemed like we were going to make it after all and restore school to almost pre-pandemic quality through classroom engagement. But then the headlines began to circulate just before the holidays, warning of the instability to come. We knew that family gathering would create somewhat of an uptick in infections, but we were unable to truly cope with just how contagious this new variant would be. They call it Omicron, and chances are, you’ve already become quite acquainted with it by now.

Symptoms & Side Effects

It starts small for most healthy individuals: a sore throat, body aches, lethargy, fever, and some even experienced digestive symptoms. With the rise in national and global infection rates, at-home testing kits vanished from shelves. Some employers even required staff to produce a negative test before returning to work. The national labor force was devastated yet again as many Americans were forced to take leave once more in the face of a rapidly quantifying illness. Omicron even infected those who are considered fully vaccinated, although symptoms appeared reduced. With these staggering absences in the workplace, how did our teachers and school systems fair?

The school systems have been fighting tirelessly to stay open in a world clouding up with the possibility of remote learning once more. As Omicron moves through the United States like a momentous tidal wave, school systems are being forced yet again to make desperate decisions regarding closing. The teachers and staff are utilizing COVID self-tests and heightened measures for sterilization of common spaces and materials. However, this assortment of relatively new cleaning tasks have kept any remaining staff quite busy. School systems are struggling to stay open due to massive waves of absences left in the wake of Omicron. Substitute teachers are even becoming a fleeting concept as districts rush to replace those who have fallen ill.

“As with the hospitals and the healthcare system, staffing shortage issues are really going to force [school] districts to make individualized decisions — based on who’s available to help support students with their in-person learning.”- Los Angeles Times

What About Our Kids?

Since educational staff is among those who are falling ill due to the contagious nature of the Omicron variant coupled with the mass student body absences, schools are forced once again to strongly consider remote learning options. With our kids’ education at the epicenter of this crisis, now is a good time to consider reaching out for some help. Previously, the pandemic generated a lot of interest in tutoring, especially those using online platforms. Don’t forget to contact us today and see if one of our tutoring plans is right for you and your student. Click here to view some of our packages.

Stay safe and practice recommendations as listed periodically by the CDC and other official governing bodies. For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/.

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