School year 2021-22, Week 6

Fall is in the air…

Oct 1, 2021 | COVID in Schools

For the 7 days of September 23 to September 29, 2021:

New COVID Cases

Currently Quarantined

This week, I’m writing the BVSD COVID update from brisk-aired Vermont as the school district holds the first of 82 school closures for parent-teacher conferences. (Don’t get me wrong, I love a long weekend as much as everyone else, but come on — the next one is in two weeks, followed by another two weeks after that, followed by Thanksgiving break three weeks after that, followed by…) Being displaced from the day-to-day provides me with an opportunity to think more broadly about things, to try to put them in perspective.

For example: Johnson County, Kansas has an estimated population of a little over 600,000 residents. The state of Vermont has a population of around 625,000. Vermont is a miniaturized Kansas City metro, with a downsized urban center (the Burlington metro is about half the population of KCMO city limits), sprawling rural areas spread across two-lanes roads, and a similarly unhealthy relationship with the weather. It’s not a perfect comparison, but it’s not bad either, and they have a stellar COVID track record compared to JoCo:

Johnson County, KS Vermont
Population 610,949 648,560
Total COVID cases 58,500 (9.6%) 32,368 (5.0%)
Total COVID deaths 887 (145 per 100k) 301 (46 per 100k)
Vaccination rate (age 12+) 68% (1 dose) / 63% (2+ doses) 88% (1 dose) / 79% (2+ doses)
COVID cases in public schools
(2021-22 school year)
1,457 (source) 524 (source)

To summarize, Vermont has (relative to Johnson County):

  • slightly larger population
  • half the number of COVID cases
  • one-third the number of deaths
  • one-third the number of public school cases
  • a much higher vaccination rate

Vermont has a stade-wide mask mandate in public school for ages 12 and under, and a strong recommendation for masks at all ages. Hmm.

On a brighter note, Merck announced today they are seeking emergency use authorization for a new COVID therapeutic — a pill to be prescribed to COVID-positive patients that reduces the risk of hospitalization by 50%. Science! This is a great addition to the arsenal, and the first bit of medical news in a while that has the potential to change the shape of things.

See Also:

BVSD COVID Dashboard

Graph visualizations of COVID cases in the Blue Valley School District


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