With the US school system agitated since the pandemic began, several governors are beginning to take sides in the debate between national leaders pushing for children to attend classes in person and local officials who hesitate to rally students before it’s safe.
“We all want to protect the safety of children in schools,” said Redfield. “We are really paying for a public health crisis by not having these schools open and I think we really need to strike that balance.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer told reporters that the numbers will determine whether the state has to step back a phase in its reopening plan, in which case students will not be able to return to the classroom as they currently plan.
Arkansas has delayed the first day of school from Aug. 13-24 to give districts time to adjust to a blended learning plan, Governor Asa Hutchinson told reporters Thursday.
In Florida, where there are particularly high cases of new cases and hospitalizations, Governor Ron DeSantis weighed the increase in cases against the educational gap that can arise from students learning at home. If Home Depot and Walmart can be open, so can schools, he said.
And while the American Academy of Pediatrics finally wants students to go back to school, Florida’s state mandate to reopen schools runs counter to its recommendations, President Dr. Sally Goza said in an interview in the morning edition of NPR on Wednesday.
“We know it has to be safe, and we know we have to try to decrease that transmission as much as we can,” Goza said.
Astonishing numbers show that the pandemic is not over for the U.S.
Although states have relaxed restrictions and more people have gathered in public spaces, the nation’s top infectious disease expert has been warning Americans all week that the nation is still “knee-deep” in the first wave. .
“We’ve never really gotten out of that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with SiriusXM Doctor Radio broadcast on Friday.
North Carolina set a record Thursday for the highest number of hospitalizations and recorded the second highest number of cases for the state, Governor Roy Cooper said.
“We continue to watch with concern as COVID cases and hospitalizations increase,” he said. “And while North Carolina is not a growing hot spot like other states, we could be if we don’t stay strong in our fight.”
Texas and California set their own bleak record with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in a day since the pandemic began. And Texas Governor Gregg Abbott does not anticipate that next week will bring any relief for the state.
“I think the numbers are going to get worse as we move forward next week, and we need to make sure that there are plenty of hospital beds available in the Houston area,” Abbott said in an interview with KRIV-TV.
Experts say the United States can remain open, but it has to be strategic.
While it is impossible to maintain strict coronavirus restrictions and return to a sense of normalcy, there is a compromise, Fauci said.
“Rather than thinking in terms of going back to full closure, I think we need states to pause their opening process. Looking at what didn’t work well and trying to mitigate that,” said the director of the National Institute. of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said The Hill general editor Steve Clemons.
“There are some governors and mayors who did it perfectly correctly,” he said. “But what happened is that many of the citizens said, ‘You know, well, I’m either going to be locked up or I’m going to let it all break.'”
Fauci has emphasized the risk of congregation, and recommended Thursday that the nation reevaluate recommendations on when to reopen indoor bars and restaurants, saying they pose one of the “real problems.”
Even with the restrictions currently in place, only half of Nevada’s bars were found to be compliant, Governor Steve Sisolak said. Starting at 11:59 pm local time on Friday, bars in certain counties will revert to similar restrictions set out in Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan.
Precautions become mandates in ‘a fight for our lives’
Also in the fight against increasing numbers, local leaders are shifting from encouraging precautions such as masks to imposing them.
At least 36 states plus DC and Puerto Rico have some sort of mask requirement order, and some cities require their use even when their states don’t.
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves made mandatory masks Thursday for the 13 counties that saw the biggest spikes in
of coronavirus cases. Businesses will not be required to close, but social distancing will also be required in those counties.
“Mississippi is fighting for our lives,” he said.
And for those who fear that taking precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus will have a negative impact on local economies, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told reporters on Thursday that wearing a mask saves both lives and businesses.
“If you’re waiting to wear a mask until the governor asks you to,” Polis said, “I hope you’ve heard what I’m saying, and I’ve made it clear. Wear an ad *** mask.”
CNN’s Jen Christensen, Slover Morrison, Raja Razek, Pierre Meilhan, Naomi Thomas, Jacqueline Howard, Eileen McMenamin, and Dave Alsup contributed to this report.