Future of schools still unclear as COVID-19 cases increase in many states

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON (CNN) – On lazy summer days, school seems like a distance memory, especially when the last day inside a school was in March.

In Greenbourgh, New York, teachers are cleaning out classrooms and searching for clarity about the fall.

“We’re packing up, and do I set up for fall? Clean up and set up? I don’t know,” English teacher Mary Mekeel said.

The question is simple: How do you keep teachers and students healthy while ensuring educational standards? The answer is a bit more complex.

“Number one, schools are going to look a lot different than anything anyone has ever imagined before,” Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers said.

Governors around the country are planning for either partial or full reopenings in the coming months. In Iowa, officials say regular school activities can restart by July 1.

In Connecticut, Governor Ned Lamont will allow schools to host in-person instruction by fall.

“We wanted to have as close as possible to a normal school day,” Lamont said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in 32 states, some health experts say a sense of normalcy won’t be in session until May or June of 2021.

“The single biggest determinate of whether kids are going to be able to go to school or are not is not the plan of the school, not how much deep cleaning they’re doing, temperature checks, it’s about how much virus there is in the community,” Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard Global Health Institute said.

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