President Donald Trump is pressing state and local officials to reopen schools this fall, despite coronavirus infections surging nationwide. While experts say there are significant social benefits to resuming in-person classes, they caution that schools will need to balance those against potential risks to provide a safe learning environment for students — as well as teachers and administrators.
Evidence suggests that children are not as susceptible as adults to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Even among those who have been infected, it’s relatively rare for children to develop serious complications or require hospitalization.
But this doesn’t mean classrooms can be exempt from social distancing and other safety precautions, particularly if schools intend to welcome kids back on site in less than two months.
“It really shouldn’t be a debate of getting kids back to school, but getting kids back to school safely,” said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, a pediatric