If Coronavirus Closes U.S. Schools, What to Expect

Mar 9, 2020 by

We can get a sense of what to expect from Hong Kong, where students have already been out of school for more than a month.

On Wednesday afternoon, Pete Lewis—the superintendent of the public-school district of the small town of Colville, in the northeast corner of Washington State—was awaiting the test result that would determine whether Colville schools would stay closed for a fourth consecutive day.

Over the previous weekend, administrators had received word that a member of the Colville School District community was being tested for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19 (for privacy reasons, Lewis did not specify whether it was a student, staff member, or another affiliated person). After consulting with health officials, Lewis and his colleagues decided on Sunday night to close the schools starting Monday, until further notice. Colville schools’ staff and their 1,700 K–12 students stayed home while the schools—as well as administrative buildings, buses, and other vehicles and properties associated with the school district—underwent a two-day deep cleaning.

On Wednesday, the cleaning process had been completed, and Lewis was sitting in his recently disinfected office, waiting for the call. “We’re at the mercy of waiting for those results,” he said. In the meantime, he was thinking through the logistics of getting student-athletes back to practice. If negative test results came in soon enough, he reasoned, perhaps some could be back on the field later that afternoon.

Source: If Coronavirus Closes U.S. Schools, What to Expect – The Atlantic

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