As the nation’s first wave of schools reopen, the viral photos and headlines tell an alarming story: High school hallways crammed with maskless teenagers. Schools or classrooms shuttered, and hundreds of people quarantined, when officials learn that students or staff have tested positive for coronavirus.
It’s a problem that looms large for thousands of schools. Most schools haven’t begun yet, but many are currently planning to provide at least some in-person instruction. Many that have already ventured into that territory are quickly finding COVID-19 is circulating inside.
Scientists don’t fully understand yet children’s roles in spreading COVID-19, so it’s hard to tell whether schools could become major coronavirus spreaders. The prospect is worrisome. But should it prompt schools to reconsider letting students return in person, when legions of parents are begging for it?
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