We are in the midst of the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic with an extremely contagious Delta variant that may more than double the risk of hospitalization for the unvaccinated, according to a new study published this week in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases in the U.K.
And one of the biggest groups of unvaccinated people in this country is kids. The Centers for Disease Control reports only one third of children in the US between the ages 12 to 15 are fully vaccinated, and younger kids under aren't yet eligible for the vaccine.
So it's not surprising, and somewhat worrying, that 22 percent of the US COVID cases reported in the third week of August were all children. 180,000 children in fact, which is a 14 percent increase since the pandemic began. And as we've seen in headlines across the country in recent weeks, this is putting a strain on pediatric units across the US.
So how are school districts dealing with going back to school in the middle of this situation?
Earlier this month, one school in southern Ohio had to close just days after starting the school year, following 14 and a half percent of the district being absent due to illness. This included COVID-19 but also other illnesses; like RSV.
How will schools deal with covid outbreaks this year? Will some of them return to hybrid or fully remote learning?
On the Sound of Ideas, we'll talk to an education reporter and a national education leader about some of these back to school questions.
Then, we'll learn about the pardon process in Ohio's criminal justice system, reporting that's part of a new initiative between public media stations across the state called "Justice Matters."
Later, we'll hear the latest in our Applause Performances series, and meet singer and certified music therapist, Liz Bullock.
-Jenny Hamel, Education Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Nina Rees, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
-Kabir Bhatia, Reporter, WKSU
-Liz Bullock, Singer & Music Therapist
-David C. Barnett, Senior Arts Reporter, Ideastream Public Media