Schools facing two and a half times more Covid cases than before break

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) In the last two weeks, 51,000 cases were reported amongst students and staff across Massachusetts public schools.

Baystate Health reports 284 COVID-19 patients, 27 in critical care

That accounts for 4 percent of students, and roughly 9 percent of staff with Covid as the debate over remote learning takes shape.

Governor Baker and Education Commissioner Riley are pushing back on the use of remote learning.

At the same time, the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association is calling for more testing, PPE and greater access to vaccines and booster shots.

“Teachers and nurses are taking the brunt forces of this pandemic and it seems like and it seems like so many kids are calling out, maybe that’s a sign that remote learning is unfortunately the way to go,” said Lux Steinberg of Manhattan, NY.

Remote or in-person is a discussion systemwide, from pre-school to college.

In fact, a number of colleges are now opting for some form of remote learning when they return for the spring semester like Harvard.

UMass Amherst has not made any announcement that they plan to switch to remote learning.

However, on Thursday they did put out an email to staff and faculty encouraging remote work flexibility up to the start of classes.

22News spoke with a UMass student who wishes the University would make a decision.

“We need to know whether or not we’re going to be in person or not because that really helps the students decide or not if they’re going to go back in the spring,” said Sam Battisti.

Boston Public Schools saw a number of call outs this week, many related to Covid, to a point where the superintendent had to substitute teach a class.

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