On Friday the Biden administration released an “Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Mitigation” plan that will leave about 83 percent of counties closed for sports and extracurricular activities. That amounts to 2,599 out of 3,138 counties.
The plan divides counties into statuses: blue for “low,” yellow for “moderate,” orange for “substantial,” and red for “high.” In the high red transmission category, “sports and extracurricular activities are virtual only.”
In other words, student athletes can kiss organized sports goodbye for the time being.
According to the most recent CDC guidance, which Biden is relying on for threshold definitions, 391 counties are in the orange phase (12.5 percent), 148 are in yellow (4.7 percent), and only one is in blue phase. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky urged schools to return to in-person learning as soon as possible in the new report, noting that “in-person learning in schools has not been associated with substantial community transmission.”
On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki contradicted her prior statement, made just a week ago, about only opening 5o percent of schools “one day a week,” shifting instead to claim the Biden administration “will not rest until every school is open five days a week.”
.@PressSec: "The president will not rest until every school is open five days a week. That is our goal." pic.twitter.com/nS4l3n8teN
— The Hill (@thehill) February 11, 2021
Unions continue to be a major barrier to reopening schools for in-person learning, with Philadelphia school district staff members organizing to protest the city’s reopening plan last Monday. In Phoenix, one union forced a cancelation of basketball and soccer this week, angering parents and students alike.
“They basically canceled the season without saying the season is canceled,” said Jeremy Soria, who coaches a varsity basketball team that was whispered to be making a run for the state championship.
More and more, any return to normalcy is being subverted by people unwilling to take a look at the clear science. In an interview with CBS that aired on Super Bowl Sunday, President Biden said that it is necessary for the U.S. to “reopen safely,” but actions speak louder than words.