Large numbers of students are not returning to the classroom even as more schools reopen for full-time, in-person learning, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Biden administration.
The findings reflect a nation that has been locked in debate over the safety of reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic. Even as national COVID-19 rates continued to ebb in February, key measures around reopening schools barely budged.
The results do not indicate whether students are learning remotely by choice or because their schools do not offer an in-person option. The mismatch between what schools are offering and what students are getting is at least partly explained by big urban districts that have been slow to offer in-person options. But it's clear that at least some students are opting to stay remote even after their schools reopen classrooms.
Also today, the White House is pleading with seniors to get inoculated against the coronavirus amid signs the vaccination rate for the top-priority group is reaching a plateau even as vaccine supplies have dramatically expanded.
And more than a half million Americans have already taken advantage of the Biden administration’s special health insurance sign-up window that's keyed to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced Wednesday in anticipation that even more consumers will gain coverage in the coming months.
Also happening today around the world
- British authorities have recommended that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine not be given to adults under 30 where possible because of strengthening evidence that the shot may be linked to rare blood clots.
- Several migrant camps in Bosnia remain in isolation following outbreak of coronavirus and dozens of people testing positive. The Balkan nation is battling a surge in infections and a high death rate amid slow vaccination and a weak health system devastated during the war in the 1990s.
- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday there would be “no national lockdown,” ignoring growing calls from health experts a day after the nation saw its highest number of COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours since the pandemic began.
- Moroccan authorities have decided to enforce a night-time curfew during the holy month of Ramadan because of a recent rise in COVID-19 cases, as scientists announced the discovery of a new, local variant of the virus.
- French children, parents and teachers are battling with internet connection problems across the country after an abrupt nationwide switch to online learning saturated networks and embarrassed the government.
For many at the Reminiscencias home for the elderly in Argentina, the pandemic has been 15 months of isolation from those they love — of children kept at a distance, of human touch always at least a layer of plastic away. Here's a look at their lives in photos.