State education officials insist schools will be safe, despite lack of COVID-19 screenings

For now, classes will be held in person, although parents can choose remote learning from home if they wish.

News 12 Staff

Jul 9, 2020, 7:08 PM

Updated 1,434 days ago

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State leaders say Connecticut schools are ready to reopen.
"There are no easy solutions here. Don't let me kid you, there are no easy solutions," said Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel Cardona. "We're going to put our heads together. We're going to do what's right. We're going to do what's best for our kids and our staff."
For now, classes will be held in person, although parents can choose remote learning from home if they wish.
Kids will have to wear face masks, with regular breaks, but they won't face temperature checks. That decision has drawn a lot of criticism from parents.
"With doing temperature checks, you can get bottlenecks at the entrance to the building, which actually might sort of defeat the purpose of picking up somebody who might be entering the building with a fever," said Deidre Gifford, acting Connecticut public health commissioner.
Schools will not offer regular COVID-19 tests.
"Mostly because it doesn't tell you three or four days from now who might be infected in that school," said Gifford.
Many questions remain unanswered -- like how and when will parents be notified of COVID-19 cases, and what situation would force a school to shut down, forcing students to go back to distance learning.
Gov. Ned Lamont says students need the stability of in-person classes.
Many teachers are worried about having enough masks and gloves, which could be a problem because the state stockpile is running low.

BRIEFING UPDATES:
-8,171 tests were administered; 101 came back positive
-Cases continue to hold steady, around a 1% positivity rate
-90 people are hospitalized (increase of 2)
-There have been 5 fatalities
-Gov. Ned Lamont said Connecticut is one of the best states in the country when it comes to testing capacity.
-Because the state's testing capacity, Lamont said schools can reopen in September.
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