Thousands of students, staff sent home nationwide as COVID gnarls school reopenings

The U.S. attempt to return children to the classroom this fall has turned into a slow-motion train wreck, with at least 2,400 students and staff either infected with COVID-19 or self-isolating because of exposure, and the vast majority of large school districts opting to go online this summer amid rising cases of the virus…

Schools in neighboring states this week seemed to make the same point as they struggled to stay open within days or weeks of reopening — many students without masks and walking in crowded hallways. Georgia’s Cherokee County –which was hit the hardest — reported that nearly 1,200 students and staff were self-isolating after known exposures.

There were other schools too. A community college in Mississippi told 300 of its students to quarantine after nine positive cases were confirmed, along with students in Gulfport and Corinth districts. Indiana schools were also hit with an estimated 500 students in quarantine across several districts, as administrators expressed concern that there would not be enough staff available to continue instruction.