The coronavirus struck hard at the elderly at the beginning of the pandemic and now increasingly infecting American children and teens. Authorities say that appears to be fueled by school reopening and other activities.
That’s why the largest school districts in the US roll out ambitious, costly plans to test students and staff for COVID-19 amid a rise in infections among children.
“Every single school will have testing. It will be done every single month. It will be rigorous,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
New York City is set to begin testing 10-20 percent of students and staff in every building once a month. Its school-based testing plan goes well beyond safety protocols seen in most other districts.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Unified School District has launched a similarly comprehensive, $150m testing program to determine when it will be safe to resume in-person instruction.
In both cities, leaders say regular testing is needed in districts of their size and areas of the country that previously witnessed unnerving surges of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the incidence of COVID-19 in school-age children began rising in early September because many returned to classrooms. Children of all ages now make up 10 percent of the 7.2 million cases in the US, up from 2 percent of the country’s total infections in April, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported.
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