Covid -19 Far from Over – How Many Magnet Students are Vaccinated?

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Covid -19 Far from Over - How Many Magnet Students are Vaccinated?

 

Student Poll: Have you received the Covid-19 Vaccination?

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As the new strain of Covid-19, the Delta variant, has developed, South Carolina has seen a significant spike in the number of positive cases and deaths. According to the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and Hospital, the positive Covid-19 cases reported on August 25, 2021 have spiked to 5,155 cases (per 7 days) and 40 deaths (per 7 days), a huge leap from the 78 cases (per 7 days) and 2 deaths (per 7 days) reported on June 18, 2021. Although much about Covid-19 remains unknown, experts say this new spike can be attributed to the new Delta variant. The Delta variant is significantly easier to transmit, creating a more efficient and deadly disease.

 

Studies have shown that a majority of those contracting the Delta variant are unvaccinated, thus vaccination rates in South Carolina have taken a dramatic increase within the last several months. However, cases continue to exponentially increase. 42.7% of South Carolinans are considered to be fully vaccinated with both doses of the vaccine. Whil 52.5% of Americans across the country are considered to be fully vaccinated. Although it is true that the vaccine cannot fully protect against the virus, it does help substantially. Those who are in the vaccinated population that have contracted the Delta Variant report a significantly less amount of symptoms. Additionally the death rate of the vaccinated population that has contracted the Delta Variant is significantly lower than that of the unvaccinated population. Recently the age limit in order to get the Vaccine has decreased to the age of 12 where the previous age was 16 for the Pfizer shot. What does this mean you may ask? Well, currently a small percentage of the 12-16 age group have gotten the vaccine. A total of 171,462 people ages 12-19 have been immune, however, this is a small number compared to the 2,392,688 of the total vaccinated population. 

 

As of August 30, 2021 Charleston has hit a new low on the Covid spectrum. The number of cases has surplused to the highest it’s ever been. You might ask why now there is a spike in cases? Well there are a lot of answers. First off after a year of cancelled events and activities people jumped with eagerness as their favorite places and hobbies started to open back up to normal. With a surplus of people and Covid-19 restrictions beginning to be removed, the fast spreading disease began to rapidly take over. One major issue in Charleston would be the schools. Some schools in Summerville have seen over 100 students announced as close contact or positive with the virus. Why? Well in these schools masks are not mandatory. The lack of masks and other precautions have led to 4 deaths amongst the faculty as well. Recently Summerville high school cheerleading coach as well as Clair Baisley, a teacher who taught at Knightsville Elementary for seven years passed away due to the virus. Currently Dorchester District 2 ( Summerville) is virtual for 2 weeks.

 

This leads to the question, will CCSD schools be shutting down? When taking into account the rising number of cases in CCSD schools most would think it is not a question of will, rather a question of when. However, Mr. Cosgrove states “with our high vigilance of mask use, I am hopeful that we will not be shut down, however it is not entirely outside the realm of possibility as the Charleston County cases are pretty high.”  Currently, the CCSD policy regarding class quarentine maintains that if a specific class has three or more students test positive for Covid-19, the entire class must go into virtual learning. If 5% of a school test positive for Covid-19 (staff and students), then the entire school must go virtual for a minimum of 2 weeks. For Magnet, the 5% roughly represents 40 students and teachers. Currently 1 high school and 6 elementary schools in CCSD are virtual for the next 2 weeks.

 

With mask mandates beginning to be lifted, many people’s rationale is “herd immunity” a public health term that refers to the fact that, when enough people in a community have immunity from a disease, the community is protected from outbreaks of that disease. However, that statement can be refuted as the Infectious disease experts at The Johns Hopkins University explain that 70% of the population needs to be immune to the coronavirus before herd immunity can even be considered. Some part of the population believes that once you get the sickness you can become immune to it, but within the last several months this idea has been disproved. Several citizens have reported not getting Covid once, not twice, but, multiple times. The issue stands that viruses mutate very frequently as is actually how the virus started. A mutation from a sickness only seen in animals that quickly became a worldwide pandemic in humans. Hence, the connotation is that masks stand as a necessary precaution in public buildings. Especially with the rise of the Delta Variant, a mutation from the previous virus that we became very familiar with.

 

On August 23, 2021 the FDA (U.S Food and Drug Administration)officially approved the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 16 and older, removing it from emergency status. This is a small step for man and a significant leap for mankind some might say. But how does it affect you? Well, with a fully FDA approved vaccine and not just an emergency usage one it means people started investigating vaccine mandates. The Defense Department, for example, announced that service members will be forced to get the shot. Without the FDA approval it would have taken a presidential waiver in order to take this path of action. Shortly after the Defense Department declared their mandate the New York public school system as well as New Jersey quickly followed.