“The more and more data that I see, the more comfortable I am that children are not, in fact, driving transmission, especially in school settings,” said Brooke Nichols, an infectious disease modeler at the Boston University School of Public Health…

The risk among older children in middle and high schools is less clear, but many experts believe that these schools may be able to contain the coronavirus, provided the community prevalence is low and the schools take abundant precautions.

Weighed against the substantial harms to children and parents from keeping schools closed, elementary schools should at least offer in-person learning, said Dr. David Rubin, a pediatrician and infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I think there’s a pretty good base of evidence now that schools can open safely in the presence of strong safety plans, and even at higher levels of case incidence than we had suspected,” he said.