The vaccines are being administered and schools in Texas are opening up. However it's still very early on in the vaccine process, which means we can't get too comfortable. We still need to abide by the guidelines and protocols. We should not be opening schools yet. The numbers show that in the state of Texas, teachers and school staff are contracting COVID-19 at a higher rate than the rest of their community. 

The numbers are cut and dry about the amount of cases, but it's also not as simple as teachers in school equals more cases. It doesn't necessarily prove that opening the schools has led to more cases. It could be that more teachers are getting tested because they're in school. Either way, we've made it this far with kids in virtual learning, why are we rushing them back to school all of a sudden?

Emily Oster, a researcher at Brown University who is fronting the analysis and data collection of teachers returning to schools said:

The fact that the staff rates are growing at a faster rate than the community rates is something we should be paying attention to

Back in November, Oster drew attention to a study that showed teachers in New York were no more likely to contract COVID-19 than anyone else, despite being in class. This is no longer the case for New York or Texas. These two states have some of the best data in regards to COVID-19 and reopening schools. Oster said last year when the numbers didn't show a spike among teachers or school staff:

What should worry us is if we start to see infection rates among staff or students that are higher than in the surrounding community.

Well, those rates are going up. Remember, this doesn't exactly relate to teachers in school catching the virus in school. But is an alarming trend that it seems a lot of school districts are ignoring. **COUGH** EPISD ** COUGH**

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