US teachers at a greater risk of coronavirus, new data shows

Data is showing that nearly a third of all public school teachers in the US is over 50 years. The severity of coronavirus in this demographic is worrying, as data from the CDC indicates.

The data from the National Center for Education Statistics showed that 37 percent of private school teachers were over 50 percent. The percentage for teachers over 50 for charter public schools was 21 percent and 29 percent for traditional public schools.

This demographic is more likely to have pre-existing conditions that accelerate the severity of the coronavirus. The nature of the job also involves dozens of interactions per day and placing these teachers in classes full of students increases their rate of catching the disease and transmission.

A new report from researchers at Child Trends called for schools, teachers, and education stakeholders to weigh their options before the decision of reopening schools is considered. In a statement, they said that the health of the students and staff should be the central consideration in decision making.

High-risk coronavirus severity

The severity of the disease was put into perspective by new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which showed that 92 percent of all US fatalities were people over the age of 55. The US has already recorded more than 60,000 fatalities from the virus and reopening of the school would help accelerate the rate of spread and mortality from the virus.

The debate on whether to reopen schools and the country has gained steam in the last few weeks with President Trump putting pressure on states to start reopening. Protests against the lockdowns have also increased with many taking to the streets.

The economic impact of the lockdowns, however, is taking a toll on school staff who have either been furloughed or laid off. The unemployment benefits are also dwindling and more states are beginning to consider reopening the economy.

The American Federation of Teachers placed a guideline to be followed by states that want to reopen the schools. The guideline stated that states should have at least 14 consecutive days of declining coronavirus cases before reopening.

 

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