Many schools are preparing for the impact of the New Years’ surge of coronavirus cases before students make their way back into classrooms. Morehouse College recently announced that they would be starting the 2022 Spring Semester online, according to the AJC, while Howard University pushed back their return to class date altogether, WTOP reported.
The Omicron variant has presented even more challenges to our society as it tries to prevent this virus from causing more damage. But the contagiousness of Omicron will put many people at risk of catching COVID-19 and could potentially increase the number of hospitalizations and pressure on medical staff.
“When our largest school system gets back, I think we are going to see our numbers increasing even more unfortunately as a result of that,” Dr. Stanley Spinner, chief medical officer at Texas Children’s Pediatrics told CNN.
However, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said students of all ages should be getting back to class. Cardona believes the science regarding the virus has improved since the pandemic began and with vaccines being available for school-aged children, this opens a door for kids to be back in class.
“Our expectation is for schools to be open full-time for students for in-person learning,” Cardona said on Fox News Sunday. “There’s a level of urgency that we shouldn’t lose around making sure that our children learn in person.”
While there is a push for getting back to in-person and in-person events, others are skeptical about what the rush to get back into school and the office will do to American hospitals and medical workers.
“We’re seeing a surge in patients again, unprecedented in this pandemic,” said Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital told CNN. “What’s coming for the rest of the country could be very serious. And they need to be prepared.”
While many health professionals have said that the Omicron variant is less severe than previous ones, the contagiousness of the variant can still end up being detrimental to hospitals because of the number of people the virus could impact.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN Sunday that with so many cases arising from Omicron the American public could still be in trouble.
“Even if the rate of hospitalization is lower with Omicron than it is with Delta, there’s still the danger that you’re going to have a surging of hospitalizations that might stress the health care system,” said Fauci.
The fact of the matter is that COVID-19 is still posing a threat to the American public and it’s going to take all of us finally coming together to stop this pandemic from persisting.