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Mt. Vernon’s School-Aged (5-17yrs. old) Covid-19 Positivity Is 8% and Rising.

Schools Reopen Without Increased Covid-19 Safety From Gov. Hochul's Intended Mandates - An Op-Ed by Robert D. Jones

As of September 7, 2021, active Covid-19 cases in Mount Vernon were 219, down from 233 a week ago. More importantly, Mt. Vernon had 110 new cases over the past 7 days which translates to 162 new cases per 100,000 people. This is 62% above the Center for Disease Control (CDC) threshold of 100+ new cases per 100,000 people for High Transmission Category. Of the 219 active Covid-19 cases in Mt. Vernon, 27 are school-aged children (5-17yrs old). 

Meanwhile 45% of Mt. Vernon’s censused population of 68,000 is unvaccinated. Given Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard’s real population estimate of 105,000, Mt. Vernon’s actual unvaccinated rate is higher, somewhere between 45% to 64%! The worst case estimate of 36% of Mt. Vernon’s total population having only 1 dose assumes all of the non-censused population is unvaccinated. If Mt. Vernon were a state in the United States, Mt. Vernon would be last in vaccination rate! 

Last 7-day positivity for Mt. Vernon’s school-aged children is 8% and rising.  To me the statistic means that if we were to test all 25 students in a given class, we should not be surprised to find 2 students being positive. What were the sources of the spike in school-aged cases three weeks ago, where last 7-day positivity peaked at 11%? Was the spike related to in-person summer school activity among 3,000 students in the Mt. Vernon City School District (MVCSD)? If so, what extra precautions are we taking when all 7,500 students return on Sept. 9th? Dr. Hamilton, MVCSD Superintendent, did not answer or provide commentary on these questions that were posed to him 11 days ago.  

New York Governor Hochul’s intended mandates, specifically mandating vaccines for school employees and Covid-19 testing in schools, will not occur soon enough to provide increased Covid-19 safety for the opening of Mt. Vernon’s schools. The CDC recommendations for testing in schools are shown in Table 1 below. MVCSD administration declined to follow NYC schools Covid-19 safety standards, and has been unwilling to spend significant district monies on Covid-19 testing in schools despite having 100+ cases per month among Mt. Vernon’s school-aged children in January, February, and March of this year. Each parent will make the daily attendance decision that is best for their child.        

Robert D. Jones is a MVCSD parent, MVCSD staff member, and candidate for president for CSEA Unit 9161, MVCSD

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1 Comment on Mt. Vernon’s School-Aged (5-17yrs. old) Covid-19 Positivity Is 8% and Rising.

  1. Stephanie S. Swann // September 13, 2021 at 5:00 PM //

    Why is it so difficult for people to understand the severity of the COVID-19 and the New Delta Variant which is a more transmission-able virus, not to get vaccinated or tested?This highly contagious new variant is attacking the most vulnerable population our children who have not been vaccinated and are in the hospitals now, because family members are giving them home remedies that hinder them from seeking medical help, which is so vital in the first hours of contact. One person effected can swipe out a household. Ignorance and lack of knowledge is killing our future generation.

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