In the Friday newsdump of all Friday newsdumps, Education Secretary Dan French, seen above realizing he forgot to wear pants to the office, has thrown his school Covid policies into the dumpster and promised something new and better… sometime next week.
Holy fucking hell.
In a memo sent to school officials (and quickly leaked to the media), French advised them to stop trying to do contact tracing and PCR surveillance testing because both strategies are ineffective against the impressively virulent Omicron strain. He wrote of an “imminent policy shift,” so after a disastrous first week of the winter semester, our schools will sail blithely into week 2 with no policies in place whatsoever.
Also, the AOE is now trying to supply schools with enough test kits for all their students. Seven Days, which first broke the story, reports that it’s “unclear how many kits each school will get and whether the state already has them stockpiled.”
Yeah, AOE policy is known for its lack of clarity. And substance.
This isn’t the first time French has failed to foresee the eminently foreseeable. The Delta variant was a known threat by midsummer, but AOE didn’t devise new testing and screening policies until several weeks into the school year. And the crown jewel of the strategy — Test to Stay — has had a slow and trouble-plagued rollout because the schools lacked the resources to carry it out and the state offered zero help.
And now he’s done it again with Omicron.Continue reading