When the first round of vaccines began to roll out in December 2020 for those at most risk to COVID, it signaled the beginning of the end of mandated masks and remote-learning. Washington State’s Governer Inslee announced school reopening plans to have every school offer at least partial in-person learning by April 2021. All schools shifted to offer at least a hybrid model mix of in-person and remote learning for students at every school level in the following months, with many school districts exceeding expectations by having complete in-person attendence.
The area chart shows the overall population of in-person attendence compared to enrollment at Elementary, Middle School, and High School levels for Washington State. Since initial plans were put into effect to shift learning back to in-person, there has been a gradual increase in population of in-person attendence across all school levels.
All school levels experienced similar increase percentage to in-person attendence between the months of January to April. Elementary school level has the greatest percentage of in-person attendence both before and after initiating plans to shift more students to in-person learning. This is followed by middle schools, with in-person attendence at the high school level being the lowest. This trend is seen due to experienced educators determining that in-person learning is more crucial for students at the elementary level for their learning development.
The maps of Washington State’s school district boundaries gives insights into each school district’s shift towards in-person attendence. Direct comparisons in rate of in-person attendence between the months January and April can be seen by toggling between the data for the two dates.
Overall, there is greater in-person attendence in school districts located in Eastern Washington, compared to the West.
We see from the line graph displaying the trends in people staying at home/not staying at home in Washington State that before COVID-19, the total population staying at home did not fluctate greatly day to day.
However, we see that shortly after 2020, the trends changed drastically as when all schools closed the total population who stayed at home drastically increased in the following days.
This can be explained by the lack of trips made to schools by students and parents since it was announced that schools were closed.
Since those increases/decreases, the total population staying at home remained relatively constant daily until vaccinations became available.
When vaccinations became available, the total population who did stay at home started to gradually decrease daily, as vaccinations meant that more people could go out safely with little chance of being infected with COVID-19.
With the current trends, it appears more and more people are no longer fearing COVID-19 due to the vaccine.
This final graph serves as a reminder that the rollout of the vaccine is still in its early stages.
Showing states with less than 50% of their population vaccinated in orange, and over 50% in blue, the number of states with a majority of the population vaccinated is extremely small.
We still cannot rely on herd immunity to protect the young and elderly from COVID-19, so despite all the positive upward trends in the visualizations that you have seen today, the pandemic is far from over.
If anything, the upward trends in school enrollement and travel are concerning, so please remember to practice all health guidelines, stay home whenever possible, and to get vaccinated - otherwise, we may need to spend additional time learning remotely next school year...