July 21, 2020 | Flags representing COVID-19 patients

Laura Garcia, a public health specialist with the Yakima Health District, places a red flag in the ground Tuesday, July 21, 2020, near Chesterley Park in Yakima, Wash.

To the editor — Just a day or two ago, a longtime friend and former colleague in the YVC English Department and I were commenting on how unusual it seemed that YVC, unlike, we thought, most if not all other colleges and universities in the state, would not be conducting classes on campus in the fall. Then, I saw the July 17 front-page story, “COVID surges in Valley with restrictions lifted.”

Notably, the only information in the story from the Yakima Health District confirmed that such a surge should be expected. No advice about how the surge might be curtailed. No encouragement that nonvaccinated people in the Valley get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible.

Of course, we should not be surprised by the unhelpfulness of the Health District, dominated as it is by Amanda McKinney, a radical, right-wing ideologue.

Linda Kaminski, YVC president, should be commended for understanding that a college in Yakima is no place to open classes prematurely, given the politics of the city and county. She was right to decide that classes on campus should not resume until winter quarter. She might want to hedge that bet and not start till spring.