Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Infections among children spike as schools try to reopen; in rural areas, in-person instruction is more likely

A new analysis by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association says "more than 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a 40 percent increase in the number of children who have been reported to have the virus," Emma Coleman reports for Route Fifty. That could complicate schools' efforts to resume classes, especially in rural areas, which are more likely to reopen with in-person classes but are seeing increasing infection rates.

One rural Oklahoma school held in-person classes for two days, but then moved to online-only after a cafeteria worker tested positive, reports KXII-TV in Sherman, Texas. A photo of a crowded hallway in a high school in Paulding, Georgia, went viral after nine people in the photo later tested positive for the coronavirus, Laura Maggi reports for Route Fifty. The school moved instruction online.

Much still remains unknown about the virus's risk to children and their possible role in spreading the disease, The Washington Post reports.

But this is known: rural schools' "crumbling infrastructure" has been a health threat even before the pandemic, Whitney Kimball Coe and Mary Sketch write for The Daily Yonder. Coe and Sketch coordinate the Rural Assembly, a project of the Center for Rural Strategies. Rural Strategies also publishes the Yonder.

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