What we’ve learned so far from school reopenings in the US

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Connecticut students return to school with a hybrid model during the Covid-19 pandemic. | John Moore/Getty Images

K-12 school reopenings are going mostly fine. College and university reopenings aren’t.

America is now in the middle of a big experiment: reopening schools and colleges during the Covid-19 pandemic. And so far, how things are going depends on which type of school is involved.

At the K-12 level, while there have been some outbreaks, reopenings haven’t led to the explosion of cases that some feared. Still, this comes with a big caveat: Many schools haven’t fully opened up yet, partly or entirely limiting teaching to virtual sessions. And for schools that have opened, we still don’t have very good data on K-12 schools’ reopenings, and there’s still a lot we simply don’t know about how kids transmit the coronavirus.

According to the Covid Monitor, there have been more than 52,000 cases in K-12 schools as of October 15. That’s significant, but a small portion of the 3 million coronavirus cases in the US since August. At the very least, K-12 schools don’t seem to be a primary driver of Covid-19 in the US right now.

“It hasn’t been as chaotic…


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