In July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published online why they strongly favor the reopening of schools. Recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci gave two reasons why schools and college campuses can reopen soon with appropriate safety precautions--for psychological and nutritional benefits.
Fauci said that the safety and welfare of children and teachers should be 'the primary consideration' to avoid infection spreading to parents and family members. For college campuses, it's vital to include plans for mass testing even before students arrive in school and require returning students to undergo quarantine for two weeks.
Fauci said that if it is done properly, letting students return to school "would not be a risk...they should be fine" as long as guidelines are followed and maintained.
Students & Employees Tested Positive
Gwinnett Country Public Schools in Georgia have readjusted their plans to reopen in August after officials reported that about 260 employees are infected with coronavirus or had been exposed to infected persons. Several parents have previously protested in favor of schools reopening.
"We have people who have called in to report who have not been at school or work," assured Sloan Roach, the school's spokeswoman. She said that given the spread of cases in their county, they had expected several employees to test positive for the virus.
In early July, Central Indiana schools decided to reopen schools at the end of the month under guidelines from the Indiana Department of Education and health officials. However, one student tested positive on the first day of school, who is currently undergoing isolation as officials are tracking everyone the student came in close contact with.
When asked if Central Junior High School in Greenfield would close, Superintendent Harold Olin said it would not be necessary. Since the list of people the student came in contact with had been narrowed down, there is no reason to disrupt the educational process for the larger group served within the school.
In Florida, which became the world's new epicenter in early July, had reported several deaths of minors already. Officials from the state's health department said that online classes would continue until October. Testing sites that had closed due to Tropical Storm Isaias will reopen on August 4.
While the CDC guidelines indicate that children are less likely to transmit the virus compared to adults, Haseltine stressed the importance of taking personal responsibility very seriously. "You have to do more than just wear masks and keep social distancing. It's not that complicated. But it is hard to do psychologically. It's hard to do sociologically. And it's extremely hard to do for young people," he said.
Currently, around 30 states are reviewing reopening plans and have considered new restrictions as infection rates and new cases continue to spike. Governor Phil Murphy reminded the public the avoid gatherings, especially crowds that do not practice physical distancing, or people don't wear masks.
Dr. James Phillips from the George Washington University Hospital said, "I'm concerned that the complacency that we've seen with coronavirus has led to these mass gatherings and a general disagreement with the science."
The ongoing debate of schools reopening in the midst of the increasing number of cases across the country will 'compound our problem significantly.'