Connecticut officials plan to return students in classes K-12 to their classes this fall on Thursday, but the spread of the coronavirus with safety measures ranging from a mandatory face mask for students and teachers to a proposed “cohort” of students with a teacher.
The Democratic Government Ned Lamont said that Connecticut is now on its way to a safe re-opening of schools in late August and early September, considering the state has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the US.
“My number one benchmark was the public health lens,” he said. “Just as we said when we reopen our business, nothing makes sense unless people feel safe and secure.”
Students in Connecticut have been out of class for months. Lamont originally signed an executive order, which came into force on March 17, directing all face-to-face lessons at all K-12 schools in the state. This pushed students and educators into a new world of online learning for the rest of the school year.
Lamont and State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona stressed that Thursday’s announcement was the first step in reopening, and said plans could change if COVID-19 infections reappear in Connecticut. Cardona said that school districts should be prepared for “reopening” models with fewer students and more online learning if the coronavirus is expanded in the community in the future and also in the future.
Local school officials should also consider options for parents who may not feel comfortable sending their children back to school in the fall.
The regions’ details take about a month to review state plans, which will be released Monday. They will need to determine how the recommendations fit into individual school buildings and where the extra space is for social withdrawal measures. The districts will then provide the government with their estimated costs to make the necessary changes. Cardona said that she expects many schools to restructure the existing space, such as gyms and auditoriums, so that students can sit apart.
The plan includes the necessary masking, social distance, frequent hand washing and advanced cleaning, as well as students in their district K-8 and 9-12 if possible. It strongly encourages students in class to bring them together. Lamont said this was an important suggestion from his duty of re-assignment.
Lamont said, “5. they wanted the class to remain as a group… so they didn’t have to go around the corridors, go to other classes ”. “So, if God forbids, if there’s an infection, you know who those 25 kids and that teacher are, and that’s more independent.”
On Thursday, Lamont’s management said there are about 46,000 positive COVID-19 and 4,289 COVID-related deaths, with an increase of 11 since Wednesday. The number of hospitalizations dropped to 122.
For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. Others can cause more serious illnesses or lead to death, especially for older adults and people with existing health conditions.