Where schools are reopening after coronavirus closures

Schools resuming classes in California and Pennsylvania; more closures in New York
By: | March 10, 2020

Several schools reopened after coronavirus-related closures Tuesday while many other districts ordered students to stay home as COVID-19 continues to spread in the U.S.

In Southern California, Murrieta Valley High School will reopen Wednesday after an employee who had traveled to a country with an outbreak tested negative for COVID-19, KABC-TV reported.

In Pennsylvania, five schools closed by the Central Bucks School District have reopened.

The schools closed Friday after members of the community were exposed to a confirmed case of the coronavirus that originated in another state.

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Health officials “advised us that our best defense is to control personal transmission through good hygiene, proper handwashing, and staying home when sick,” Superintendent John J. Kopicki wrote on the district’s website. “Education can help reduce the anxiety we feel and empower us to make calm, informed decisions.”

The district will continue deep cleaning buildings and buses, paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces such as bathrooms, desktops and doorknobs, Kopicki says.

An online education era begins

The Northshore School District north of Seattle is closed for two weeks, and Superintendant Michelle Reid reported that Tuesday’s first day of online education went “reasonably well,” KOMO News reported.

For starters, only 2% of the district’s 23,000 students were absent. “We are working hard to practice patience and not perfection because we don’t want the pursuit of perfection to stop progress,” Reid told KOMO News.

The district on Tuesday also provided breakfast and lunch for pickup at 21 locations, and they will continue to serve meals throughout the closure, according to KOMO News.

Are coronavirus closures necessary?

All schools in the Fulton County School District in Georgia were closed Tuesday after a middle school teacher tested positive for coronavirus.

The district announced late Tuesday that all schools will reopen Thursday, except for the two schools where that teacher works.

Several school districts on Long Island in New York were closed on Tuesday, Newsday reported.

But a health expert writing in The New York Times said administrators do not have to close their schools to combat the coronavirus.

“There have been very few reports of children contracting Covid-19. It’s not clear why. It’s possible that children do get infected, but so mildly that it is not noticed or tested,” Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, wrote in The Times. “If children don’t experience severe illness from or contribute to the spread of Covid-19—and so far we have found no clear evidence that they do—it’s likely that school closures will have little effect on its spread.”

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