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CDC Director Redfield says schools are among 'safest places' for children as cases rise

Some cities and states have already closed in-person learning for students, and Redfield says evidence shows schools are not a major virus spreader.

Updated: November 20, 2020 - 2:36pm

Some schools nationwide are preparing to shut down again as coronavirus cases surge, as the CDC director says they are among the "safest places" for children amid the virus.

In a White House COVID-19 briefing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robet Redfield said that evidence shows that children are contracting the virus from family gatherings and other events, as opposed to school. 

“The infections that we’ve identified in schools when they’ve been evaluated were not acquired in schools. They were actually acquired in the community and in the household,” he said Thursday.

Parents, educators, health expert and other have raised concerns about about the impact of students have for months had to largely learn online – away from classmates and teachers. Doing so again, they says, could be even harder on the students and potentially hinder their learning even more.

“The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school, and it’s really important that following the data, making sure we don’t make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close,” Redfield continued. “I’m here to say clearly the data strongly supports that K-12 schools – as well as institutes of higher learning – really are not where we’re having our challenges.”

Schools across Europe are remaining open for learning as their cases rise and some country's go into lockdowns however, many U.S. states are quickly deciding to shut down schools with little evidence of effectiveness.