How Will the Delta Variant Affect Schools Across the Country in the Coming Weeks?

How Will the Delta Variant Affect Schools Across the Country in the Coming Weeks?

Sanaya Gupta

As millions of students are returning to the classroom there’s a new threat affecting us,  the delta variant.

The delta variant is a mutation on the novel coronavirus that has shown to be much  stronger and dangerous, especially to children. Previous variants were not considered to be too much of a threat to children, but this is not the case with the delta variant. According to the CDC, the delta variant is twice as contagious as other variants. Out of all the coronavirus cases reported for Aug. 10, children accounted for 15 percent of them. 

In Arizona, the Delta variant has accounted for 75 percent of the new coronavirus cases. Officials are predicting yet another wave of the coronavirus, a situation that will mirror the things we saw in the summer and winter of 2020. The coronavirus cases here in Arizona increased by 38 percent in one week. What happened ? The Delta variant.

So, how will this affect schools across the nation? Only children over the ages of 12 can be fully vaccinated. This leaves many children within the middle school and elementary school ages especially vulnerable. There isn’t a guarantee that kids over that age will be vaccinated either. Only 25 percent of children in the 12-15-year-old range are fully vaccinated, meaning they have recorded the least number of the fully vaccinated people in any age group. 

In the last week of July, coronavirus cases in kids had reached 72,000. That number doubled what it was in the previous week. 15 children were reported in the ICU at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. 

From this data we can come to the conclusion that kids have been contracting and contributing to the spread of the coronavirus. We have already seen rises in hospitalizations in children, and when school starts, it is very likely that we will see the hospitalization numbers of children grow exponentially. 

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Tennessee, Division of Infectious Diseases, cautions “Given that it is so very contagious, remember, the virus’ only job is to infect someone else so it can keep reproducing.” With this in mind, follow the necessary safety precautions, such as wearing a mask, and doing your part in helping to prevent the spread of the virus by getting vaccinated.