I hope the schools do not go remote as omicron cases increase. They should continue mask mandates and require vaccines for anyone eligible who is not harmed by the vaccine.

This situation is totally different from the original virus: There was no vaccine then and there was a substantial risk of death to teachers or school workers, in particular, who were older or had health conditions. There has been only one death worldwide so far from omicron and those vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer generally are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

Now is the time for the union and administration to plan together for the reality that nearly everyone will eventually get this. If this is put off until the situation is urgent, it will be another failure of leadership and imagination on the part of the administration and the union.

Scott White

Montclair Local coronavirus dashboard

Editor's note: Very early reporting around the initial appearance of the omicron variant of the coronavirus reflected few or no known deaths caused by the variant. On Dec. 20, an unvaccinated individual in the Houston area became the United States' first confirmed fatality from omicron, the Associated Press reported. Several other deaths had been reported worldwide by then. Because not all cases are sequenced, it's impossible to know a true number for how many deaths have been caused by the omicron variant.


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