Spread of COVID-19 variant reinforces need to remain vigilant with safety measures

AFT members polled respond positively to vaccinations

Rising infections and hospitalizations hitting the upper Midwest with a COVID-19 variant are a warning sign that safety requirements still needed to fight the pandemic have been lifted prematurely. Officials are seeing increasing numbers of infections in the K-12 population with a higher transmission susceptibility from the B.1.1.7 variant.

“The last thing Texas needs is a spike in COVID-19 variant cases heading into the end of an already devastating year for schools,” said Zeph Capo, Texas AFT president. “We urge all school districts to keep their safety guidelines in place, increase their vigilance against stopping outbreaks, and ensure that they give district employees the accommodations they need to stay safe.”

An AFT professional poll of members released last week showed an overwhelming majority of members stepping up for vaccinations. The poll also showed most AFT members nationwide are back on campuses now. “There is still a race between the vaccine and the variants,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “But this polling shows AFT members know the importance of in-school learning. They want to return, the road map to reopening is robust, and if we instill trust and meet fear with facts, we can finally end this national nightmare.” 

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