Medical experts warn the highly-contagious Delta variant is pushing back California’s timeline to reach herd immunity

This editorial is the opinion of Gilroy Life

The first day of school often comes with its own set of anxieties without adding the life or death threat of a global pandemic. Many students in Gilroy’s public schools will be returning to classrooms for their first day of instruction Aug. 18. They, their parents/guardians, teachers and school staff will need to adjust to a “new normal” in terms of the education environment.

The past year has been difficult for young people who were forced by COVID-19 to learn away from campuses, often without adequate technology needed for online education. Adjusting back to in-person education will also be challenging for many. The re-opening of classrooms will require schools and families to work together even more than before.

The Gilroy Unified School District will be closely monitoring the spread of the Delta variant now endangering lives throughout the United States and take action such as social distancing, mask-wearing and hand sanitation to limit the transmission of this COVID-19 virus.

Teachers and staff can teach and encourage preventive behaviors at school. These include washing or sanitizing hands, social-distancing and wearing masks when appropriate.

Likewise, families will need to emphasize and model healthy behaviors at home and empower students to adjust to changes this school year. One of the lessons the pandemic has taught us is that we can never predict what will happen next with this virus. We’re seeing a dangerous rise in the Delta variant throughout the nation. Experts say this is caused by people who, for whatever reason, have not received their vaccination. This variant makes up as much as 93 percent of U.S. cases, according to the CDC. And the FDA has not yet approved vaccinations for children younger than 12, putting them at risk.