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Omicron Outage


Students and teachers are both suffering from the effects of the new highly contagious Omicron variant

Classrooms are becoming desolate, both students and teachers are being forced to stay at home for days or even weeks on end. This is not something new, but rather a resurgence of something we’ve all seen before, this time in much more severe numbers than before such as what numbers. With the emergence of the latest variant of COVID-19, known as the Omicron, this virus sees much higher rates of transmission than previous variants of the virus.

The Omicron variant was first seen in the United States in early December, and the virus took only a few weeks until it started to have a major impact on the population. Cases had been averaging between 34,000-265,000 per day, and had not really spiked until the holiday break had begun. At the beginning of January, cases had spiked to upwards of 1.4 million cases like that on Jan 14. The spike resulted in over a 500% increase in covid cases compared to before the variant was introduced into the United States. 

This is amid a rising number of people in the US receiving full vaccination against COVID-19. According to the CDC, over 60% of the country, more than 210 million people, have received both doses of any COVID vaccine. Omicron is a special variant, in the fact that the standard vaccine does not have full immunity against the virus, as seen in a study performed by Harvard. Therefore, a special booster has been recommended for those looking for omicron protection. So far, only 86 million people have received the booster, which represents only about 41% of the fully vaccinated population, according to CDC statistics.

Due to this, along with the high rate of spread, this is why omicron has been spreading across the United States so exponentially.

“It has been extremely difficult for my science academy 1 class though. We do a lot of labs that have to be modified and often I have to make a “present” assignment and an “absent” assignment.

Amanda Lincoln

Students have also been forced to quarantine for up to weeks on end, whether they have caught the virus, or have simply just been exposed to it. According to the CDC, most incubation periods for the virus are within two weeks, and symptoms for the virus also last around two weeks after the first sign of symptoms. Due to this, students are having to stay home for days or weeks on end due to exposure to the virus, and this time is harming students and teachers alike. 


“I need to be able to give work to my present students as well as my students who are absent due to being sick,” said Lincoln. “Before, only a few kids were out of class in a whole day, but after coming back during covid I have an average of 4 kids out every period.”

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