Dr. Rossana Rosa, an infectious disease specialist for the UnityPoint health system in Des Moines, said countries that have reopened schools successfully during the pandemic did so with much more stringent thresholds.
Under Iowa’s rules, schools must have a positive coronavirus test rate of at least 15% in the county where they are located over the previous 14 days and at least 10% absenteeism among students before they can apply for a two-week waiver to transition to full online learning.
As of Monday, four of Iowa’s 99 counties had a rate that exceeded 15% over the past two weeks. The positive test rate, or positivity rate, measures the number of positive COVID-19 tests against the total number of tests given.
Rosa, who watched the news conference, questioned how the state of Iowa arrived at its figures.
“The places that have successfully opened up their schools did so when their positivity rates were much, much, much lower than what they are currently in Iowa,” Rosa said. “Even in some of those places, like Australia, they’ve had to go back to take significant measures after reopening schools more broadly.”
The thing to consider is why the push for opening these large buildings and bringing staff in to hold in person classes? The buildings are very costly and will take a far larger cleaning budget to keep them clean of the Covid virus. The reason for this seems inertia to change. This is what these people know so they are pushing it. However it is a really costly system for today and many other countries see that. But the reason states want it is because it has two big functions. It is a massive child care system, giving parents a place to park their kids for 8 hours or more five days a week. Those parents are then free to go to work, feeding the economic system keeping the wealthy … well wealthy. The other thing they do is provide a job source for local areas. Beyond teachers there are thousands of jobs in schools. But the future is in smaller pod learning tailored to kids abilities, remote learning is the future. The wealthy are already doing this. We need to fix the clear digital divide and then move boldly into the future, which is online remote learning along with other innovative ideas for teaching both young and old. Hugs