Reopen

C.D.C. Calls On Schools to Reopen, Downplaying Coronavirus Risks

WASHINGTON — The nation’s top public health agency issued a full-throated call to reopen schools in a statement that aligned with President Trump’s pressure on communities, listing numerous benefits of being in school and downplaying the potential health risks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published the statement, along with new “resources and tools,” Thursday evening, two weeks after Mr. Trump criticized its earlier recommendations on school reopenings as “very tough and expensive.” His words ratcheted up what was already an anguished national debate over how soon students and teachers should return to classrooms.

“Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets — our children — while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families,” the agency’s new statement said.

Mr. Trump, pummeled with criticism over his handling of the pandemic, sees reopening the nation’s

Read More

Scientific Panel Urges That Schools Reopen

Wading into the contentious debate over reopening schools, an influential committee of scientists and educators on Wednesday recommended that, wherever possible, younger children and those with special needs should attend school in person.

Their report — issued by the prestigious National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, which advises the nation on issues related to science — is less prescriptive for middle and high schools, but offered a framework for school districts to decide whether and how to open, with help from public health experts, families and teachers.

The committee emphasized common-sense precautions, such as hand-washing, physical distancing and minimizing group activities, including lunch and recess.

But the experts went further than guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other groups, also calling for surgical masks to be worn by all teachers and staff members during school hours, and for cloth face coverings to be

Read More

How to Reopen Schools: What Science and Other Countries Teach Us

In one community in northern France, Crépy-en-Valois, two high school teachers became ill with Covid-19 in early February, before schools closed. Scientists from the Institut Pasteur later tested the school’s students and staff for coronavirus antibodies. They found antibodies in 38 percent of the students, 43 percent of the teachers, and 59 percent of other school staff, said Dr. Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist at the institute who led the study and is a member of a committee advising the French government.

“Clearly you know that the virus circulated in the high school,” Dr. Fontanet said.

Later, the team tested students and staff from six elementary schools in the community. The closure of schools in mid-February provided an opportunity to see if younger children had become infected when schools were in session, the point when the virus struck high school students.

Researchers found antibodies in only 9 percent of elementary students,

Read More

Coronavirus Live Updates: All 50 States Have Begun to Reopen

All 50 states have begun to reopen, but vast discrepancies remain.

In Connecticut, flags that had been lowered to half-staff during the somber peak of the pandemic were raised high again to signal the state’s return to business.

In Kentucky, gift shops opened their doors.

And across Alaska, restaurants, bars and gyms, which have already been seeing customers for weeks, were getting ready to rev back up to full capacity. “It will all be open,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced, “just like it was prior to the virus.”

As of Wednesday, all 50 states had begun to reopen to some degree, two months after the outbreak thrust the country into lockdown. But vast variations remain in how states are deciding to open up, with some forging far ahead of others. Many began to reopen despite not meeting White House guidelines for progress against the virus, and newly reported cases have been

Read More