As the Omicron version of the coronavirus pushed COVID-19 infections to record levels, tens of thousands of Schools across the United States postponed or switched to remote learning this week. Officials in other districts moved forward with preparations to reopen, notably in hard-hit New York City, where one out of every three COVID-19 tests conducted in the previous week was positive for the virus, according to city data released on Monday.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 18 percent of tests in the United States result in a positive result. Despite the spread of the illness, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who took office over the weekend, pledged to keep the nation’s largest Schools system open. A month ago, the city’s positive rate was less than 3%, and mounting infections have crippled the subway system, forced Broadway performances to cancel, and pushed businesses to postpone office returns.
For tens of thousands of kids, cities such as Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Detroit either introduced online education or cancelled Schools altogether this week, citing both personnel shortages and Omicron constraints. Most metropolitan Schools districts in New Jersey, including Newark, the state’s largest city, have deployed virtual classrooms to begin the new year, despite the fact that the state has witnessed some of the highest case rates in recent weeks.