Fears of the COVID Delta variant overshadow Oakland college students returning to their school rooms – CBS San Francisco
OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Students have mixed feelings about returning to class in the Oakland Unified School District on Monday during the new school year pandemic.
The sign outside Glenview Elementary School reads “Welcome” and “First Day of School August 9th,” but not all are ready to return to the classroom.
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“I feel extremely scared, I mean, I have nightmares every night,” said special education teacher Adarene Hoag. “I can’t believe we have a policy that basically means we’re ready to infect our under 12s after going through so much.”
Hoag said she applied for a sick leave and would be teaching virtually this year.
“I want all students to be vaccinated,” she added. “Just wear a mask and keep your fingers crossed – that’s unacceptable. Our children don’t deserve that, our teachers don’t deserve that, and our community doesn’t deserve that. “
The Oakland Teachers Union on Sunday ratified the security agreement with the Oakland Unified School District.
One of the highlights is ensuring that suitable ventilation systems are installed. Materials such as masks, gloves, and face shields are supplied to all. Classrooms are cleaned and disinfected regularly, and the district offers COVID tests every two weeks.
“I’m saying tonight the district has to postpone the opening of campuses and distance learning campuses on a large scale,” said special education teacher Mark Airgood.
Airgood says he chose to teach virtually.
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“We cannot send children back to communicate face to face. It’s going to spread and taper, it’s really criminal, ”he added.
The teachers union president personally encourages all members to be vaccinated.
“OEA, we don’t have a formal position, but I think it’s something that is needed,” said Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association. “Since there is no vaccine for our students, it is important that people at the school sites are vaccinated or that they have the opportunity and access to frequent tests.”
11-year-old Zelma Lopez is returning to the Ascend campus in seventh grade. She was last there as a fifth grader.
“I’m excited to see my friends and my new teacher. I’m a little nervous about the COVID, “she said.
Her younger sister Aury Lopez is in 3rd grade.
“I’m a little nervous about all these rules like wearing a mask.”
Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday he was confident about the state’s current plans to reopen schools without a vaccine mandate.
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Students have the option of distance learning instead of face-to-face teaching. The district said that at the end of July, several hundred of 36,000 students had done so.