California Accounts for 12% of U.S. Students, but Only 1% of Covid School Closures

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California Today

The authorities has done remarkably good limiting outbreaks, adjacent earlier its pupil vaccine mandate has been enactment into place.

Soumya Karlamangla

Oct. 19, 2021, 8:31 a.m. ET

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A parent  and girl  attended a genitor  gathering  astatine  Arleta Senior High School successful  Los Angeles.
Credit...Allison Zaucha for The New York Times

The signs astatine scattered rallies crossed California connected Monday were acquainted to anyone who has followed the state’s yearslong puerility vaccine wars.

“Our kids are not laboratory rats.” “My body, my choice.” “Coercion is not consent.”

California has mandated that each schoolchildren indispensable yet get Covid-19 vaccines, the archetypal and lone authorities to bash so. In protest, immoderate parents pulled their children from schoolhouse connected Monday and took to the streets successful Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Vacaville, Sacramento and more.

At the bosom of this combat is simply a analyzable truth: California’s caller pupil vaccination requirements haven’t yet begun, but the authorities already has a remarkably debased fig of outbreaks astatine schools.

Of the 2,321 nationwide schoolhouse closures since August due to the fact that of Covid-19, astir 1 percent person been successful California — adjacent though the authorities accounts for 12 percent of the nation’s K-12 students, according to information from Burbio, a exertion institution that monitors outbreaks.

So immoderate parents whitethorn beryllium wondering: If masking, investigating and different prevention strategies are moving truthful well, wherefore is the authorities adding an immunization requirement?

Simply stated, vaccines are the champion instrumentality for sparing radical from coronavirus infections. You’re astir apt acquainted with these numbers by now, but the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines prevented roughly 95 percent of symptomatic illnesses successful objective trials.

And portion experts accidental California’s classroom information measures are highly effective, the autumn semester has besides coincided with a precipitous driblet successful coronavirus dispersed statewide. In different words, much extortion whitethorn beryllium needed if cases statesman to ascent again.

Linda Darling-Hammond, the president of California’s Board of Education, told maine she saw vaccines arsenic the adjacent signifier of the state’s pandemic response. Gov. Gavin Newsom has often been criticized for introducing restrictions, specified arsenic successful July erstwhile helium mandated cosmopolitan masking successful schools — lone for the determination to beryllium aboriginal endorsed by national officials.

“The subject works, if you are very, precise persistent and purposeful astir implementing it,” Darling-Hammond told me. “I deliberation there’s a quality inclination to accidental — arsenic soon arsenic things look bully — ‘OK, we tin instrumentality our ft disconnected the gas.’ We can’t.”

Darling-Hammond said the authorities needed to beryllium prepared for the emergence of much variants. Vaccinating children volition not lone confer them extortion from infection, but besides bounds microorganism dispersed that tin pb to caller mutations.

Statewide, 71 percent of Californians 12 and implicit are afloat immunized, 1 of the highest rates successful the nation, according to a tracker by The New York Times. The percent is little for the youngest property radical eligible for vaccines, those betwixt 12 and 17, astatine astir 57 percent.

But there’s a batch of variation crossed the state, and schoolhouse outbreaks person typically deed places wherever sum is low, Darling-Hammond told me.

Counties wherever aggregate schools person closed this autumn see Kern (where 43 percent of radical 12 and implicit are afloat vaccinated), Tehama (41 percent) and Lassen (32 percent).

There aren’t azygous guidelines crossed the authorities for erstwhile a schoolhouse indispensable unopen down successful effect to an outbreak, truthful the closure numbers aren’t a cleanable measurement of however galore students and teachers are falling sick. Still, they supply a snapshot of wherever and however often large outbreaks are overwhelming districts.

Statewide, the pupil vaccine request isn’t expected to instrumentality effect until July — archetypal for seventh people and up, followed by kindergarten done sixth people — and lone aft the vaccines get afloat support from the Food and Drug Administration for those property groups. (Currently, lone the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has received afloat F.D.A. support — and that’s lone for radical 16 and older.)

For different puerility vaccines, California barred parents successful 2016 from citing their spiritual views to get retired of vaccinating their children, aft the fig of unvaccinated students crept dangerously high.

But for the Covid-19 vaccine, officials say, parents volition beryllium allowed to opt retired if they consciousness it conflicts with their idiosyncratic beliefs.

For more:


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Credit...Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
  • Reparations task force: Members of a statewide task unit studying reparations for Black residents are undecided connected who should qualify, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

  • A surfing icon: Tom Morey, the inventor of the Boogie Board, died astatine property 86, NPR reports.

  • #MeToo: Activists accidental that an autarkic sheet acceptable up to analyse workplace misconduct successful the State Capitol isn’t autarkic enough, The Sacramento Bee reports.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • A funny collection: The magician Ricky Jay near down much than 10,000 uncommon books, posters and ephemera successful his Beverly Hills location aft his death. What was his woman to bash with it all?

  • Mark Ridley-Thomas: After being indicted connected national bribery charges, Mark Ridley-Thomas, a Los Angeles metropolis councilman, said helium would measurement backmost from participating connected the Council but would not resign, The Los Angeles Times reports.

  • Vice president’s visit: Vice President Kamala Harris visited Lake Mead, which has reached immoderate of the lowest h2o levels successful its history, to transportation the Biden administration’s plans to code clime change, The Los Angeles Times reports.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

  • House race: Assemblyman Rudy Salas, a Democrat, announced helium was moving to correspond the 21st Congressional District successful the Central Valley, a contention that could go 1 of the astir competitory successful the country, The Associated Press reports.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • Weather warning: Gusty winds, rainfall and snow are expected to statesman connected Tuesday nighttime successful the Lake Tahoe area, arsenic good arsenic parts of Lassen, Plumas and Sierra Counties.

  • Scandal-plagued schoolhouse board: San Francisco volition clasp a peculiar callback predetermination for 3 members connected the city’s Board of Education, The Associated Press reports.


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Credit...Craig Lee for The New York Times

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Credit...Stella Kalinina

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Credit...Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

For years, the contributions of Chinese immigrants to the instauration of Yosemite National Park went unrecognized.

Toiling successful snowy conditions successful the precocious 1800s, Chinese workers helped physique the steep and winding roads that pb into the park. One Chinese migrant worked arsenic caput cook of the expansive Wawona Hotel for fractional a century. Others were hired arsenic gardeners and laundry workers astatine hotels, The Fresno Bee reports.

This month, Yosemite officials formally honored these Chinese workers with the unveiling of a restored 1917 Chinese laundry building, wherever visitors tin larn much astir this mislaid history.


Thanks for reading. I’ll beryllium backmost tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: End of a well-known bid (3 letters).

Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You tin scope the squad astatine CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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