NC lawmakers, health experts gather to discuss COVID-19 ahead of public school openings next week

COVID-19 and schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – State leaders say they’re trying to lessen the COVID-19 risk as schools reopen.

College students are already starting class and K-12 public schools will start next week.

Lawmakers gathered at the General Assembly Tuesday to hear more about the potential issues ahead as schools get ready to reopen.

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North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Dr. Mandy Cohen says the state’s COVID-19 numbers are stable – but she called that stability “fragile.”

Cohen said that with schools opening, she wants to see if that stability is maintained before moving forward with another reopening.

When public schools start next week, the majority of kids will be learning remotely, at least to start the school year.

Some school districts are opening with in-person learning at reduced capacity and with masks required.

New data from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows a 90-percent increase in COVID-19 cases among kids in the last four weeks.

“We know that there is risk out there. We’re working hard to mitigate those risks or decrease risks with face coverings, social distancing, washing their hands. All of those protocols. But, we know risk is out there,” said Cohen.

Experts from the North Carolina Pediatric Society (NCPeds) will also weigh-in on the issue today. They’re going to point out that COVID-19 transmission among kids in schools and daycares is “substantially less” than by adults.

But, according to NCPeds, when there aren’t adequate controls in place, COVID-19 can spread “aggressively” between kids and adults.

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