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The unprecedented increase has caused a widespread staff shortage and left more than 145,000 Americans hospitalized with Covid-19 on Tuesday, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, which is more than ever since the start of the pandemic.

Amid the disruption, which impacted the return of classes after the holidays, those working in education services heatedly debated the current feasibility of in-person learning.

Health experts are also calling for more immunizations, with just 17% of children aged 5 to 11 and 54% of children aged 12 to 17 vaccinated so far, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. the United States :
Dr Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday that children were infected at a much higher rate than in 2020.

“Of the children who have been hospitalized or who go to the intensive care unit or who die, about a third of them have no co-morbidities. Therefore, it can occur in anyone,” said Offit.

“This is not a virus to mess around with. It is not the flu or parainfluenza or other typical respiratory viruses. This virus can cause you to have an immune response in your own blood vessels, which means you can have heart disease, brain disease, kidney disease, lung disease as well as liver disease, “he said.

Other health experts say in-person learning is expected to advance, citing the eligibility of K-12 students for vaccines and that adult teachers and staff have had ample time to get vaccinated and stimulate.

Joseph Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday that the data shows the risk to children is very low, and now is the time to talk about easing. measures such as the masking requirement.

“New data outside of New York state during the peak of the Omicron wave shows hospitalization rates for children to be in the range of one in 100,000 if you’re not vaccinated. you are vaccinated, the risk to a child is in the range of two to three per million, ”Allen said.

“We come to two years of disrupted school, masked children, to think that there is no harm or loss of socialization, no impact, I think that is incorrect,” he said. -he declares. “The risk to children is low and adults have had time to protect themselves with the vaccine.”

While some schools return to class, others return home

As the debate continues over how schools can better mitigate the spread of Omicron, some educators are taking matters into their own hands.

A group of Louisiana teachers are planning a “work stoppage” on Wednesday to protest Covid-19 protocols and severe staff shortages, demanding the return of virtual learning to their district and for those responsible for the school extend the isolation period of infected people from 5 days to 10 days.

“We are asking our teachers to take off tomorrow and show solidarity by showing that we care about our students, and we are not going to allow them to be put in danger,” said Valencea Johnson, president of the parish branch. of East Baton Rouge. from the Louisiana Association of Educators.

American Coronavirus: People need to change the way they think about Covid-19 and children, expert says.  “It’s not a virus to mess with”

“Whole departments are taken out, buses and classrooms are combined, auxiliary staff, teachers, office staff and other school employees are covering lessons to keep the school afloat,” he said. she declared. “We can’t keep doing this. Our staff are going through burnout and our students are not getting the education they need and deserve.”

CNN has contacted the district superintendent for a response.

Many of the country’s largest school districts are returning to in-person learning while others are turning to distance education.

Districts of Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta moved forward with the return of classrooms this week. Chicago public school students will arrive in class on Wednesday after a battle between the school system and the teachers’ union canceled classes for days.

Other districts, such as Cincinnati, Santa Fe and Las Vegas – where the Clark County School District is the fourth largest in the country – are temporarily reverting to distance learning to deal with teacher absences.

American Coronavirus: People need to change the way they think about Covid-19 and children, expert says.  “It’s not a virus to mess with”

“Get the highest quality mask you can tolerate”

Americans concerned about how best to protect themselves and their loved ones should “get the highest quality mask that you can tolerate and that is available to you,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases. Anderson Cooper Tuesday.

“If you can put up with an N95, do it. If you want to get a KN95, fine. And what the CDC said – and it’s misinterpreted – but they say wearing any mask is better than not. mask to all, “Fauci said.” But there is a gradation in the ability to keep you from getting infected and passing it on to someone else. So we should wear the best masks possible. It is a fact.”

American Coronavirus: People need to change the way they think about Covid-19 and children, expert says.  “It’s not a virus to mess with”
The CDC is set to update its mask website this week to best reflect the options available to people and the different levels of protection they offer, a CDC official told CNN on Tuesday. Many experts say sheet masks don’t provide enough protection, but current CDC guidelines, last updated in October, still recommend three-ply fabric face covers.

In Chicago, the public health department announced the distribution of 1.9 million KN95 masks this week.

More than 100 community organizations, including churches and libraries, are helping distribute the masks, an improvement over many cloth masks in use, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr Allison Arwady said.

“We know a lot of people, frankly even a 50 cent or $ 1 mask is just an extra cost at a time which is difficult,” Arwady said.

CNN’s John Bonifield, Katherine Dillinger, Ben Tinker, Amy Simonson, Jenn Selva, Elizabeth Stuart, David Shortell and Paul P. Murphy contributed to this report.


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