reopening plan
July 8, 2020

It looks like President Trump got through to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Not long after Trump both threatened to cut education funding should classrooms stay closed in the fall amid the coronavirus pandemic and criticized the CDC for issuing "impractical" guidelines for reopening schools, Vice President Mike Pence announced Wednesday the agency will revise its advice. "Well, the president said today, we just don't want the guidance to be too tough," Pence said. "That's the reason why next week, the CDC is going to be issuing a new set of tools, five different documents giving even more clarity on guidance going forward."

CDC Director Robert Redfield backed up the Trump administration's push for in-person instruction, explaining that the current guidelines were never meant to be "used as a rationale to keep schools closed" and that the agency always viewed reopening safely as the primary goal. Tim O'Donnell

May 18, 2020

What's happening in France's schools is calling into question whether kids can return just yet.

About 40,000 preschools and primary schools in parts of France hit less hard by COVID-19 reopened last week, while another 150,000 junior high students return to class on Monday. But while class sizes were capped at 15 students and only about a third of the country's students went back, some schools saw a "worrying" flareup of new coronavirus cases and had to quickly shut down again, The Associated Press reports.

A total of 70 new COVID-19 cases linked to schools were reported since they'd reopened, French Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said Monday. Affected schools, including seven in northern France, were quickly closed again. The coronavirus' incubation period can be upwards of two weeks, so those 70 people were probably infected before they went back to school, Blanquer said.

Blanquer didn't say whether those infected were students or teachers. Some people — President Trump included — have suggested opening up schools would be less problematic than other businesses because young people generally haven't gotten as sick from COVID-19. But children's potential to spread coronavirus, as shown in France, coupled with the inflammatory Kawasaki disease spreading among young people and thought to be connected to COVID-19, call into question whether that's safe and possible. Read more at The Associated Press. Kathryn Krawczyk

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