With Delta Attending School A Difficult Dilemma

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See:
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.10.21261726v1

'Without interventions in place, the vast majority of susceptible students among K12 schools will become infected, and school absences will increase, followed by additional cases in communities as infected students transmit to household members. Universal masking can reduce student infections by 26-78%, and testing biweekly along with masking reduces infections by another 50%. Self-quarantine among exposed students or virtual-by-choice options may further reduce infections. Interventions should remain until most students are fully vaccinated. Jurisdictions need time to reduce inequities in vaccine uptake, and they may periodically need interventions when community spread is high. The link between Delta and long-Covid or multi-inflammatory syndrome is unknown, and the risk of the most severe disease is lower among children but may exist. However, there are mental health concerns, learning gaps and other implications if schools remain closed. The multitude of direct public health and indirect social and economic benefits make layered interventions worth the investment.'

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Bill
 
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  • #2
jim mcnamara
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If it is not completely clear about children in the US:

1. We did a good job of isolating them example: more distance learning last year
2. Vaccines are not approved (do not have an EUA) for children under 12.
3. Because of the good job done in 2020 (#1), few pediatric Covid-19 patients were seen. People now mistakenly believe children are much less likely to contract Covid.
4. Currently that vulnerable pediatric population is not being protected by vaccines or interventions - example: Florida schools and the issue with masking. 2021 pediatric Covid patients are increasing compared with 2020.

I'm not sure that we should assign all the blame to the delta variant for the pediatric surge. Human behavior is a powerful primary driver for transmission.
 
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There is no easy answer to this. Just my view and quite possibly will not happen. Lockdown schools until all have had not just the second dose, but the third as well. There are some wonderful videos available for children and young adults for learning from home, such as Wondirum:
https://www.wondrium.com/home

And even an HS curriculum built around it. The Great Books Honors Program.

The issue is social isolation.

Thanks
Bill
 
  • #4
nsaspook
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Another general school lockdown IMO would be horrific to the mental health and academics of most school kids.

When I read stories like this:
https://edsource.org/news-updates
Half of the 24 students in a K-8 elementary school tested positive for the virus after an unnamed unvaccinated teacher removed a mask, contrary to policy, to read a story from the front of the class. That was on May 21. Two days earlier, the teacher had felt fatigue and nasal congestion but attributed the symptoms to allergies. On May 23, the test proved to be Covid.


All five students seated in the front row of desks subsequently tested positive, along with three students in the second row (one student in the row wasn’t tested) and four more students in the remaining three rows. The teacher was one of only two at the school who were not vaccinated.

It tells me that vaccination must be mandatory for teachers and the HVAC system in the room was totally inadequate in the level of air exchanges needed to keep people safe even it the teacher/students are wearing masks while infected.

https://www.ed.gov/improving-ventilation-schools-colleges-and-universities-prevent-covid-19
Clean air is essential for living and learning, and effective ventilation is an important part of COVID-19 prevention. We know that even before the pandemic, some schools, colleges, and universities had indoor air quality challenges, which many school, district, and higher education leaders worked to address as they reopened schools for in-person learning over the course of the last year.


As we move into the 2021-2022 school year, ventilation continues to be a top concern for many communities. Proper ventilation is a key prevention strategy for maintaining healthy environments and, along with other preventive actions, can reduce the likelihood of spreading disease. Wearing a well-fitting, multi-layer mask helps keep virus particles from entering the air and protects mask wearers. Good ventilation is another critical step to help reduce the number of airborne virus particles.
 
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It tells me that vaccination must be mandatory for teachers and the HVAC system in the room was totally inadequate in the level of air exchanges needed to keep people safe even it the teacher/students are wearing masks while infected.

Yes. But until it is in place, schools should not open. I know the issues with mental health, socialisation, falling behind educationally etc. They, too, are horrid. That is why there is no easy answer. I, too, heard the story about the teacher removing their mask, leading me to the paper I posted.

Thanks
Bill
 
  • #6
atyy
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https://www.huffpost.com/entry/geor...sk-irwin-bernstein_n_612c0d08e4b02be25b5d456c
Georgia Professor Quits During Class After Student Defies His Mask Policy
The University of Georgia professor reportedly informed the student he had underlying health conditions and could die from COVID-19.

Referring to the student who didn't want to wear the mask properly:
And she’s talking about some “blessing in disguise” crap like ma’am I’m just trying to graduate
— Hannah Banana (@hannahhuffn) August 24, 2021
 
  • #7
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Georgia Professor Quits During Class After Student Defies His Mask Policy

And these were Seniors doing the class to graduate. I am in shock :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:.

Simple human decency should suffice. Legally deliberate Reckless Endangerment may also apply. If so hope the person concerned gets the book thrown at them.

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Bill
 
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  • #8
nsaspook
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Yes. But until it is in place, schools should not open. I know the issues with mental health, socialisation, falling behind educationally etc. They, too, are horrid. That is why there is no easy answer. I, too, heard the story about the teacher removing their mask, leading me to the paper I posted.

Thanks
Bill

It's a matter of risk. To me it's a total cop-out to simply give-up and close schools when there are effective methods that should allow for low risk operation of schools. For many it's actually safer for the kids in school than it is for them to be home with unknown virus protection conditions during this stage of the pandemic because most of the staff and teachers will be vaccinated with indoor mitigations and countermeasures enforced by state law.
 
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It's a matter of risk. To me it's a total cop-out to simply give-up and close schools when there are effective methods that should allow for low risk operation of schools.

Yes. The democratic process determines the risk vs reward. Even taking the most stringent precautions in the paper I posted (but I think they forgot one - more later), the infection rate was still high.

What I think they forgot is what you mention - ventilation. I have not heard of anyone getting it outdoors except on occasion in close-quarter mass rallies. Others may know of cases, but I can't recall anyone getting it in outdoor sports arenas. Certainly not with people reasonably distanced. That is definitely worth investigating.

In practice, what I think we should do doesn't really matter. I know for sure in Aus, there is mounting pressure to open schools fully. Our politicians pay a fortune to have 'minders' to gauge the public mood so that it will happen.

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Bill
 
  • #10
nsaspook
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Yes. The democratic process determines the risk vs reward. Even taking the most stringent precautions in the paper I posted (but I think they forgot one - more later), the infection rate was still high.

What I think they forgot is what you mention - ventilation. I have not heard of anyone getting it outdoors except on occasion in close-quarter mass rallies. Others may know of cases, but I can't recall anyone getting it in outdoor sports arenas. Certainly not with people reasonably distanced. That is definitely worth investigating.

In practice, what I think we should do doesn't really matter. I know for sure in Aus, there is mounting pressure to open schools fully. Our politicians pay a fortune to have 'minders' to gauge the public mood so that it will happen.

Thanks
Bill
Ventilation is absolutely critical IMO to keep things safer in the school environment over the entire school year.
https://www.centerforhealthsecurity...ubs-pdfs/2021/20210526-school-ventilation.pdf
Ventilation alone may also be more effective as a mitigation tool than low-quality or poorly fitted masks, and in combination with other mitigation measures (eg, the use of good quality, well-fitted masks; physical distancing), it can greatly decrease the probability of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In addition to mechanical ventilation in HVAC systems, natural ventilation (eg, opening windows) can provide air exchange that lowers infection risk. A study of aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in elevators found that the time for the number of aerosol particles to decrease 100-fold during normal operation was reduced by a factor of 3 to 9 when elevator doors were open. One modeling study found that an infected person speaking for 1 hour in a poorly ventilated room could lead to infection risk levels of 10% to 20%, but this risk would be reduced by a factor of at least 3 if the ventilation system was increased to 10 air changes per hour.

https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0057100

Experimental investigation of indoor aerosol dispersion and accumulation in the context of COVID-19: Effects of masks and ventilation
The results demonstrate that the apparent exhalation filtration efficiency is significantly lower than the ideal filtration efficiency of the mask material. Nevertheless, high-efficiency masks, such as the KN95, still offer substantially higher apparent filtration efficiencies (60% and 46% for R95 and KN95 masks, respectively) than the more commonly used cloth (10%) and surgical masks (12%), and therefore are still the recommended choice in mitigating airborne disease transmission indoors. The results also suggest that, while higher ventilation capacities are required to fully mitigate aerosol build-up, even relatively low air-change rates (2 h−12 h−1) lead to lower aerosol build-up compared to the best performing mask in an unventilated space.


I've worked in various semiconductor clean rooms for the last 30 years where the combination of filtration and air exchanges make modern technology possible. There needs to be both aerosol dispersion/reduction (masks/HEPA filters) and accumulation reduction (ventilation) to minimize exposure levels to the virus by reducing air recirculation and increasing the amount of outdoor air coming in.
 

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