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Schools are closing for millions of kids as teachers get sick and COVID cases surge

USA Today |

In many cases, schools are closing because too many teachers are quarantined or infected with COVID-19. Others are responding to high rates of virus transmission in their communities. Kentucky’s governor announced a statewide closure of schools to take effect Monday, a move that followed Michigan closing all high school classrooms and New York City schools — the largest district in the country —  moving back to all-remote learning.

Already, just over 40% of schoolchildren are attending only virtual classes, a figure that’s risen from 36.9% Sunday, according to Burbio, a company that aggregates school calendars. 

Adding to the confusion and stress of the moment: The metrics used for closure, and the scope of the shutdowns, diverge wildly, sometimes even within the same county. Schools can be considered safe in one town or state and ordered closed in another, even though that area has less community spread of the virus.