While the school year has not officially started, four educators succumbed to Covid-19 complications
As schools across the country begin to open for the fall semester, parents and educators alike remain concerned about the highly contagious Delta strain of Covid-19. Some unexpected people have emerged as strongly anti-mask and anti-vaccine, yet parents worry that their children (especially children under 12 who are too young to be vaccinated) are left vulnerable by those who remain unmasked and unvaxxed. With fewer hospital beds available in the South, health professionals warn there could be dark days ahead. And now, the week before classes begin, four educators in Broward County, Florida, have died within about 24 hours of each other from Covid-19 related complications, CNN reports.
The president of the Broward Teachers Union, Anna Fusco, told the news station that three teachers and a teaching assistant died from Covid-19-related complications within the span between Monday night and Wednesday morning.
At least three of the educators were unvaccinated, Fusco said. There was no immediate word on the vaccination status of the fourth.
Broward County, among the country’s largest school districts, is experiencing a coronavirus outbreak, which is being boosted by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates in the area.
A twitter user expressed concern about the upcoming school year.
CNN reports Broward County Public Schools has had 138 employees test positive for Covid-19 since August 1. It’s important to note that classes aren’t in session at the moment; they’re set to begin next week. Employees reported to work on Wednesday to begin planning.
A mask mandate that the school board approved last month was kept in place this week, despite an executive order from Governor Ron DeSantis effectively prohibiting such regulations in school districts.
A twitter user criticized DeSantis for digging in his heels on anti-mask legislation.
According to the order – which has been subject to lawsuits – school administrations should make rules that give parents, and not schools, the right to restrict mask use.
Broward County School Board Chair Rosalind Osgood spoke to CNN about vaccination rates in the county. “[…] there are a lot of people that have still not gotten the vaccination,” she said. “And it is becoming a deadly thing for them not to be vaccinated.”
“You need to get vaccinated,” Osgood said. “This disease will kill you or leave with you a lifelong complication that not only impacts you but also impacts your family and the people that you love and care about.”
“You can’t take a risk with peoples’ lives,” Osgood said. “We feel strongly that the lives of our students and staff are invaluable, and we’re not willing to play Russian roulette with their lives or take a risk of losing people because we have people in schools without masks.”