Cooper: If the objective is to keep students in the classroom, vaccines offer the best strategy

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Robin Hoffecker fills doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine during a student vaccination event at Chattanooga State on Aug. 20 in Chattanooga. The event, put on by the city in partnership with Lifespring, was the first of a new incentive program that offered students 12 and up $100 to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

No one wants to go backward.

That's why Hamilton County Schools are using snow days to give students an extra two days away from school after their Labor Day off to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The thinking obviously was the total of five days away from classrooms would prevent the spread of the virus, allow many of the sick to get well, permit some of those eligible to get vaccines and stave off a return to online classes.

Elsewhere, Grundy and Marion County schools will be closed all this week, and Bledsoe, Meigs, Polk and Sequatchie County schools all have closed at some point this year due to illness or from staff shortages due to illness.

The 2021-2022 school year is now the third straight to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.