Are there measures/indicators we should use to determine if it is safe to reopen schools? Any measures/ indicators to guide us in determining if we need to close schools?

Are there measures/indicators we should use to determine if it is safe to reopen schools? Any measures/ indicators to guide us in determining if we need to close schools? Are there measures/indicators we should use to determine if it is safe to reopen schools? Any measures/ indicators to guide us in determining if we need to close schools?

1 Expert Answer

Terry Adirim, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.

Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Chair of the Department of Integrated Biomedical Science,  Florida Atlantic University

In general, the community is ready for schools to reopen when new cases per day are declining and the case rate within the community is low. There are a number of frameworks for assessing readiness, including the White House/CDC “Opening Up America” guidance that recommends “gates” or criteria for reopening. Based on these and other frameworks (e.g. from the Harvard Global Health Institute), communities should have 14 days in a row of declining new cases and less than or equal to 10 new cases per 100,000 people per day. If cases begin to increase, testing is not easily accessible and/or case numbers rise so high that contact tracing becomes ineffective after schools reopen, then closure of schools and switching to online learning should be considered.

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