Across the United States, at least 1,000 schools in 35 states have canceled in-person classes since the start of the school year, with tens of thousands of students forced to quarantine due to community spread of the coronavirus. A disproportionate number of closures have come in the Deep South, where vaccination rates are lowest and public health measures in schools are lax to nonexistent. Cases are rising fastest in school districts where students have been back in classrooms for weeks.
The U.S. is now averaging over 1,500 COVID-19 deaths and 150,000 positive tests per day. In Idaho, Republican Governor Brad Little said hospitals are preparing to adopt “crisis standards of care,” with medical workers set to ration care as hospitals fill beyond capacity with COVID-19 patients.