CDC considers new school rules on COVID testing, spacing and quarantines – The 74


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Top Story of this week

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CDC should relax COVID-19 recommendations, including for schools

  • via CNN
  • “An overview of the plans obtained by CNN shows the updated recommendations are expected to relax quarantine recommendations for those exposed to the virus and reduce the 6-foot social distancing.”
  • “The agency should also reduce the importance of regular COVID-19 testing in schools.”
  • “As part of expected changes, the CDC would also soon remove a recommendation that students exposed to COVID-19 take regular testing to stay in class.”
  • “The CDC is also set to relax quarantine requirements for people who are unvaccinated or not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. … In the future, they will no longer have to stay at home but will have to wear a mask and test at least five days after exposure.
  • “Sources say the adjustments reflect both changing public sentiment toward the pandemic — many Americans have stopped wearing masks or social distancing — and a high level of underlying immunity in the population.”

Top three big

Education groups call for more guidance on COVID relief spending

  • Via K12 Diving
  • “The organizations, which include AASA, the School Superintendent Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, said more guidance is urgently needed as school systems make spending decisions for all three funding pockets. who understand [the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund].”
  • “As stewards of taxpayers’ money, we want to make sure we’re making the wisest investments possible,” said Sasha Pudelski, AASA’s director of advocacy.

Biden COVID case highlights confusing CDC guidance on ending isolation

Getty Images
  • Via the Washington Post
  • “More than two and a half years into the pandemic, and with a highly contagious version of the virus circulating, CDC guidance on what to do if sick — and when to return to public life — continues. to stir up as much confusion as clarity. This reflects the changing nature of the virus, the inherent unpredictability of an infection, and the demands and expectations of work and family life.
  • “With new research showing that people are often contagious for longer than five days, the CDC’s guidelines have drawn criticism from some infectious disease experts.”
  • “‘Given that a significant portion of people have a rapid positive test after five days, I think an updated recommendation should include people who have a rapid negative test before coming out of isolation for COVID,’ said said Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, who was the Biden administration’s senior adviser on testing from December to April.

Despite progress, a third of students finished the year below grade level

  • The 74 reports on new Data from the School Pulse survey of the Institute of Educational Sciences.
  • “Heads of public schools estimated that almost half of their students (50%) started the 2021-22 school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject, which is 14 points higher. the percentage of students they felt were behind in grade level in at least one academic subject at the start of a typical school year before the start of the pandemic (36%)”.
  • “Heads of public schools estimated that just over a third of their students (36%) finished the 2021-22 school year behind grade level in at least one academic subject.”

Federal Updates

Good Jobs Challenge

Biden administration unveils lengthy COVID reports

City and State News

washington d.c.

  • Schools expand COVID vaccine mandateunlike most other neighborhoods.
  • “Overall, about 85% of students aged 12 to 15 have been vaccinated against the virus, but the rate drops to 60% among black children in this age range.”

California

Hawaii

Kansas

COVID-19 Research

Heart disease after COVID

  • Going through Nature
  • “Some studies suggest that the risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack or stroke, remains elevated even months after a SARS-CoV-2 infection has cleared. Researchers are beginning to determine how common these problems are and what is causing the damage.

Children could help protect adults from severe COVID-19

  • Study
  • “In a large real population, exposure to young children was strongly associated with less severe COVID-19 disease, after balancing known risk factors for COVID-19. This epidemiological signal suggests that the endemic cross-immunity of the coronavirus may play a role in protecting against the severe consequences of COVID-19.
  • “However, adults without exposure to children had lower rates of COVID-19 infection but significantly higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalization and hospitalization requiring intensive care admission compared to those with children aged 0-5 years.
  • IPU: “. a mild, non-severe infection,” said lead researcher Dr. Matthew Solomon, cardiologist.
  • “This study cannot prove that having a cold protects you from severe COVID-19, only that it may confer some immunity. But the research team said the concept deserves further study.

Paxlovid Seems to Reach Americans Who Need It Least

  • Through the Economist
  • The “medicine may not be reaching those who need it most. Counties that prescribe the most Paxlovid tend to have high vaccination rates and few comorbidities, such as diabetes. On average, people in these areas are exceptionally likely to survive COVID even without help from Paxlovid.
  • “Paxlovid is rare in counties that have low vaccination rates and where many are poor and in poor health. People with COVID in these areas may be less likely to seek out and obtain the drug when it is effective, during the first five days of illness.

Points of view and analysis

Unified LA estimates Up to 20,000 students are not enrolled

  • Via LA Times“Two weeks before school starts, Los Angeles Unified Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho estimates that between 10,000 and 20,000 students are either unenrolled or dropped out last year, with the problem most pronounced in younger classes.”
  • “The district is also working to fill about 900 classroom teaching positions and find more than 200 bus drivers.”
  • “The district is also facing a problem of daily frequentation which is getting worse. Data from March 2022 showed that almost half of LAUSD students – more than 200,000 children – were chronically absent during the last school year.
  • “Much of the absenteeism was linked to quarantines and infections related to COVID-19. Over the coming year, there will be no home quarantine for close contacts without symptoms, although students and staff will be required to wear face coverings during the quarantine period.

What’s wrong when some school board members don’t understand district finances?

  • By Marguerite Rosa
  • “For now, the temporary federal aid is delaying much of the fallout from the imbalanced budgets. But the relief funds only last until September 2024, when these decisions will make it difficult for many districts to pay their bills. When budgets are out of whack, districts tend to dip into their reserves, eliminate school days, and dramatically cut staff, programs, and services. state takeover, resulting in financial instability that can last for decades.

‘I’ve never seen it so bad’: teacher shortage looms

  • America faces a catastrophic teacher shortagereports the Washington Post.
  • “The Nevada State Education Association estimated that approximately 3,000 teaching positions remained vacant across the state’s 17 school districts as of early August. In a January report, the Illinois Association of Regional School Superintendents found that 88% of school districts statewide had “teacher shortage issues” — while 2,040 teaching positions were either vacant, or filled with a “less qualified” job. And in the Houston area, the five largest school districts all report that between 200 and 1,000 teaching positions remain open.

As Fewer Children Enroll, Big Cities Face a Small School Crisis

  • Going through chalk beat
  • “More than one in five elementary schools in New York City had fewer than 300 students last year. In Los Angeles, that number was over 1 in 4. In Chicago, it rose to nearly 1 in 3, and in Boston, it’s approaching 1 in 2, according to a Chalkbeat/AP analysis.
  • “Many districts like Chicago give money to schools for every student. This means that smaller schools sometimes struggle to pay the fixed costs – the principal, a counselor and building maintenance.
  • “To solve this problem, many are allocating additional funds to smaller schools, diverting dollars from larger schools. In Chicago, the district spends an average of $19,000 a year per student in smaller high schools, while students in larger ones receive $10,000, according to Chalkbeat/AP analysis.

Some K-12 systems have thrived during COVID-19. What made them so prepared?

  • Going through Phyllis Locket
  • “Three key factors appear to have helped these schools respond effectively to pandemic-related disruptions: 1) a self-directed and forward-looking orientation for students and adults; 2) healthy crops; and 3) strong but flexible systems.
  • “Most importantly, schools had engaged in these strategies before COVID-19, giving them a solid foundation to deal with remote learning and other challenges.”

…and on a lighter note

It is difficult to do the work: When interns are so needy.

For even more COVID policy and education news, subscribe to John Bailey’s daily briefing via Substack.

Disclosure: John Bailey is an advisor to the Walton Family Foundation, which provides financial support to The 74.


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Martha K. Merrill