What Needs to Happen to Prevent More School Reopening Disasters

In many cases, reopening schools around the United States has not gone according to plan. Take Georgia, for example, which was one of the first places to kick off in-person learning. A week after opening, nearly 1,000 students and staff were quarantined after many people began testing positive for Covid-19. The same is being seen in other states, like Florida and Mississippi.

Is reopening schools in person a lost cause? Not necessarily. As Robert Roy Britt reports in Elemental, health experts say it’s possible to safely reopen schools where Covid-19 transmission rates are low, as long as extensive precautions are taken.

How low these rates need to be is still an open question. But the experts Britt spoke to say that classrooms can open if the local area is in the “green zone,” which means having fewer than one daily new Covid-19 case per 100,000 people. Another recommended threshold is a “test positive” rate below 5% for new infections in the community.

Testing limitations make it hard to have a definitive sense of an area’s transmission rate, but one recommended approach to reopening schools is focusing on how to keep community spread of Covid-19 as low as possible. This means keeping indoor gatherings to a minimum. Read the full story below for more solutions.

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