There is a ton of talk about opening schools for in-person instruction while the pandemic is widespread in our community and new, more contagious, variants are showing up.
If people want schools opened up, then the pressure needs to be on the government to get vaccines into the arms of teachers.
The government could do this quickly, if schools were really a priority.
To reopen schools for in-person instruction, the state must ensure all employees required to report in person have been provided the opportunity to be vaccinated before students return to campus. Any path to bringing students back to campuses will also require implementing multi-layered mitigation strategies that consider community conditions and include robust cleaning and updated ventilation systems, asymptomatic testing of students and school employees, six-feet social distancing and enforcement.
We must take a comprehensive and data-driven approach to reopening schools that includes addressing community spread. After all, no matter how safe of a bubble we put around our schools, the students and staff inside go home at the end of the day.
If mitigation efforts are inadequate in the community, the risk of it being brought back to school increases significantly.
It is time to put pressure on the county and state to make vaccines available for teachers and put real safety measures into place.
There is no acceptable number of school employee deaths. Anything less than fully vaccinating teachers is immoral if you want to reopen schools.
San Jose, Calif.