• 71% of parents of children under 18 said it is safe for students to go back to school
  • Less than 30% of Americans said schools should have social distancing and mask mandates
  • COVID-19 deaths have risen y 39% over the past two weeks

More than half of Americans say they want schools to reopen and in-person classes to resume even as COVID-19 deaths continue to increase across the nation.

In a recently released Quinnipiac poll, 66% of Americans said they believe it is now safe for students to attend K-12 classes in person despite the Omicron surge. Among parents of children under 18, at least 71% say they think it is safe for elementary, middle and high school students to attend classes in person.

In comparison, only 28% of Americans think it is not safe for students to attend schools. Among parents of children under the age of 18, only 25% said they believe it is not safe to hold in-person classes.

The number of parents who believe COVID-19 makes it unsafe for students to go to school is very different among groups -- 58% of Black Americans and 48% of Democrats say schools should not reopen amid the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

In a separate poll conducted by Fox News, 28% of Americans say schools should be fully open this term while 27% say there should be social distancing and mask mandates in place. At least 30% said they were in favor of mixing in-person and remote learning, while 14% said they prefer fully remote classes.

The polls come as the number of COVID-19 deaths rose by 39% in the last two weeks. Over the past seven days as of Monday, the country has recorded an average of 2,400 daily coronavirus deaths. The country’s death toll has also hit the highest level in a year, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Jennifer Nuzzo, head of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins COVID Resource Center, warned that the number of deaths may continue to rise, noting that some states have yet to see the Omicron variant peak.

“Any time we have deaths after the development of a vaccine — [which] largely takes off the table the possibility of death — is a tragedy,” Nuzzo told CNBC. “There’s no way around that this is a bad development for the pandemic.”

As of Tuesday, the U.S. has recorded a total of 75,300,156 infections and 890,291 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay