Thousands of Florida students return to school, masks not required

Nine students and staff tested positive for COVID-19 at one Atlanta high school with the same policy and parents in Wisconsin protested for a return to classrooms.
2:58 | 08/11/20

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Transcript for Thousands of Florida students return to school, masks not required
coronavirus and the American academy of pediatrics reporting nearly 100,000 children testing positive with the virus in juice the last two weeks of July just before American parents decide whether to send their children back to school. So tonight here my interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci. Is he comfortable with children going back to school here in the U.S. Of course, all of this comes as the number of deaths is still rising in 25 states. At least 163,000 lives now lost. And with the number of confirmed cases now topping that 5 million mark, that new report, 339,000 children have tested positive nearly 100,000 of them this just the last two weeks of July. And so ABC's Victor Oquendo tonight on the debate over how and when to return to school. Reporter: Across Florida today thousands of students were back in the classroom in some rural counties. Masks encouraged but not required. We're encouraging if possible the face to face 'cause we know that's the best our children can receive. Reporter: In this hard hit state the biggest school districts will start the year online but they are required to open classrooms by the end of the month and teachers are suing the state. We've been reckless with bars and beaches and restaurants, and we simply cannot be reckless with our public schools. This is not a petri dish. This should not be an experiment. Reporter: With the U.S. Topping 5 million cases, a new report shows 339,000 cases in children since the pandemic began. Nearly 100,000 in the last two weeks of July. Today this megatesting site opening in Atlanta, a covid hot spot, where they hope to test 5,000 people a day. After images from this high school west of Atlanta went viral, nine students and staff tested positive. The school now turning to online learning while the school is cleaned. In cherokee county more than 500 students quarantined after 28 students and staff were infected. Outside Atlanta teacher dibette Lopez is afraid of going back to the classroom. Lots of anxiety, lots of concern, especially for me. I am a type 1 diabetic living in a multigenerational home. Reporter: Nearly 600 kids have already been sickened with multisystem inflammatory syndrome around the country like 8-year-old Zane Wampler in Florida who grew so sick he had to be put on a ventilator. He's finally home after weeks in the hospital. Kids need to be at school. They need the interaction. But also the decision needs to not be made on the falsehood that children are not affected Reporter: But across the country so many parents are facing difficult choices. In wausau, Wisconsin, this protest for a return to the classroom. I'm really concerned about the kids that are just trying to learn how to read. They either don't have internet access because we're in such a rural environment, or they just don't have the family structure that they need to be safe and to really learn anything. Reporter: Of the children tested in Florida so far 15% have been positive for the virus. That's why schools are closed. Here in miami-dade, the earliest classrooms will re-open for in-person learn something October. Victor Oquendo on the schools tonight, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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