Q&A – Should Florida’s schools open or follow the CDC’s guidance? Part 2
Bottom Line: The CDC’s new guidelines suggest most schools across Florida and the United States should primarily be engaged in remote learning. The fact of the matter remains that the classroom is safer for kids than remote learning. Take for example a recent study conducted by the American Institute of Physics, which found school closures haven’t significantly reduced the number of infections or deaths related to COVID-19. Moreover, they said: School closures are not largely beneficial in preventing serious COVID-19 cases. Yet, it’s not just the American Institute of Physics which is contradicting the CDC’s new guidance on school reopening's. It’s actual outcomes in South Florida. I’ve reviewed the outcomes for school aged children in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Here’s what I found.
Broward: 1,542 students detected with COVID-19 on campus. That’s 2.2% of the 69,000 kids in the classroom into date. However, 7.1% of Broward residents between the ages of 5-18 have had COVID-19 to date. That means 69% of Broward students who’ve contracted COVID-19 haven’t been on campus during the pandemic. Be mindful that it’s likely most of the students who tested positive for COVID didn’t contract it at school but rather were detected at school.
Palm Beach: 1,416 students detected with COVID-19 on campus. That’s 1.9% of the 76,500 kids in the classroom to date. However, 5.7% of PBC residents between the ages of 5-18 have had COVID-19 to date. That means 67% of Palm Beach County students who’ve contracted COVID-19 haven’t been on campus during the pandemic.
The bottom line is clear. Kids have been far more likely to contract COVID-19 outside of schools than in them. That would be true even if you attributed all of the cases detected on school campuses to the schools themselves. There are two sides to stories and one side to facts. I don’t know what the CDC’s new guidance is based on but it isn’t based on the facts.
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