Hawaii teachers union asking for improved COVID-19 modeling

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) asked the State to improve the standard used to determine school COVID-19 models on Friday, Jan. 8, in light of the recent spike in cases.

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The current models are based on two sets of seven-day averages ending on Wednesdays.

The 322 cases reported on Thursday, Jan. 7, will not be fully factored in because of the lag and will not cause any changes to schools’ instructional models until two weeks from now.

The HSTA says, the current process is not responsive enough and the State should use rolling data instead.

“What we’re really worried about is during those two weeks, so many of our students and our teachers and all of our employees at the schools will be exposed before they actually start taking action,” HSTA President Corey Rosenlee said. “The equivalent would be literally is if a hurricane is hitting Hawaii and we wait two weeks later to close down our schools.”

The HSTA said in a statement:

“In addition to the state Department of Health reopening guidance, schools and complex areas are constantly monitoring the daily state case counts and are continuously planning for potential adjustments that prioritize the health and safety of their school community. 

It should also be recognized that the potential uptick in cases following the holidays was taken into consideration while planning for third-quarter learning models. Schools were careful to plan for any transition to different stages in their reopening plans to avoid moving in and out of learning models.”

HSTA statement on Friday, Jan. 8.

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