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San Francisco Schools Avoid COVID Outbreaks With No Weird Tricks, Just Common Science
Seems like Texas, Florida, others could learn something here.
As the new school year has resulted in coronavirus outbreaks and school closures in many places with low vaccination rates and political aversions to mask mandates, the San Francisco Department of Public Health announced late last week that, since classes resumed on August 16, there haven't been any COVID-19 outbreaks in the city's public schools. Not one.
Just to get all technical, the health department press release defines an outbreak as "three or more cases in non-related households in which the source of infection occurred at the school, and not another setting." The health department said that as of September 8, there have been 227 cases of COVID-19 reported by the school system, out of roughly 52,000 student and nearly 10,000 staff, but that the "vast majority of these infections are occurring outside of schools."
So what's San Francisco's secret? The high rent? All those bridges? Dykes on Bikes? The ice cream magic of Nancy Pelosi? Don't be silly: It's the vaccines and the masking. The health department said that an "estimated 90% of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated," and also noted that the school system's detailed masking and health protocols for schools are key to keeping schools "a low risk environment for children and youth."
San Francisco has a success story to continue, too; the department noted that in the 2020-2021 school year, there were just seven cases of in-school transmission once in-person classes resumed, "including the height of the winter surge."
This school year, the press release said, the number of suspected cases of in-school transmissions has "been so low it cannot be publicly reported without concern for privacy and confidentiality."
In addition, while the Delta variant of the virus has resulted in rising numbers of infections and hospitalizations among kids in many (unvaccinated) parts of the country, San Francisco continues to see very low rates of the disease in children, with cases among kids under 18 remaining
less than 20% of overall cases throughout this pandemic, including the most recent surge due to the Delta variant. The vast majority of COVID-19 cases have been in adults.
Serious cases are even rarer; since March 2020, San Francisco has seen only 13 children hospitalized, with no more than five kids in hospitals at any given time. And at a time when pediatric intensive care units are running out of beds in some states, the press release said no children in San Francisco are currently hospitalized at all.
Again, it's all about the vaccinations: San Francisco's city government reports that 87 percent of the city's population over the age of 12 have received at least one dose, with 81 percent fully vaccinated. Of the kids who have tested positive for the virus, the health department says, most have had mild or no symptoms, even with the Delta variant. When kids have gotten sick, the
majority of pediatric COVID-19 cases in San Francisco were from an unvaccinated adult in the household getting COVID-19 and transmitting it to their family members, including children.
That all seems like information that could be extremely useful to leaders in states like Texas, Florida, Idaho, and elsewhere, since it makes abundantly clear that getting kids back to school safely required controlling the virus in the community, but also keeping them safe when they're in school.
You want to talk about freedom? The kids in San Francisco schools are free to learn and goof around and make fart jokes on the playground without worrying about ending up on a ventilator, a word we hope doesn't enter their vocabulary for a long time. They're learning from teachers who don't have to wonder so much that they'll be listed in a roundup of teachers who have died.
But red states just know that San Francisco is hell, and has nothing to offer decent Christian people.