JP Schools Covid Safety is Irresponsible
Just this week, nearly two thousand children (ages 5-17) tested positive for Covid-19 in Louisiana. School aged kids now make up the third largest group of Covid-19 cases in the state.
This is a petition to change the Jefferson Parish School Start Strong program to include (at a minimum) last year's safety measures such as required masks in schools, a virtual learning option and more available sick leave for teachers.
Currently, pediatric cases are roughly 16%, up from 7% two weeks ago, which was up from 1% about a month ago. "Long Covid" is being seen more in younger children as well. Several studies have now reported cases with symptoms such as headache, fatigue and heart palpitations, in children, even though they rarely experience severe initial symptoms of COVID-19.
It is too early to know whether these effects will result in chronic conditions through the lives of these children.
The Delta variant of Covid-19 is much more contagious than previous strains and JP School Superintendent James Gray is currently loosening Covid-19 pandemic protocols in JP schools from last year.
Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at Ochsner, explains that "Children who can't get vaccines need to be protected by the adults around them who are getting vaccinations."
We are asking you to join us in saying that regardless of politics or social pressures, our children's health should be the number one priority for all of us who can protect them against this pandemic. This goes for our JP School officials as well, who will ultimately be responsible for deciding the fate of a large number of the children in our community, regardless of whether they choose to acknowledge that.