Transcript for Top university halts in-person reopening 1 week after classes begin
And of course, all of this playing out amid this pandemic and amid this debate over how and when to safely send children back to school. Tonight, the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. Now more than 5.4 million and the number of lives lost now more than 170,000 American lives. The major reversal tonight at the university of North Carolina at chapel hill, just one week into classes, because of an outbreak there already. Scenes like this at an offcampus party at North Carolina state in and the concern for younger students, as well. Los Angeles tonight launching a massive test and trace program for all of its students. And tonight, what Dr. Debra bishg said today, what she wishes the U.S. Had done, pointing to another country that was hit hard. Here's ABC's Tom llamas. Reporter: Tonight, a stunning reversal at unc chapel hill. They announced after just one week of school, a covid outbreak is forcing them to cancel in-person classes. There's a lot of college students here who, you know, choose not to wear their mask and who choose to go to parties and I think we kind of knew that ahead of the game that that was something that was going to happen. However, unc chose to reopen anyway. Reporter: The apparent challenge facing some universities, when students return to campus, so do the parties. Like this crowded offcampus gathering near North Carolina state in Raleigh. The university looking into the situation. And the administration at the university of north Georgia warning students after scenes like this near campus. And now, an entire Oklahoma state university sorority house in quarantine after nearly two dozen members tested positive. It's a wakeup call amid the debate about whether to reopen schools. ABC news getting a first-hand look at how New York City plans to safely teach children in the pandemic. From these sprayers to redesigned classrooms. When school starts for New York City public school students, they're going to notice two things that are very different. The first, less desk ISES. Just 11 in this one alone. And throughout the year, there's going to be at least two windows open. This is across the city and even in the winter. It's one easy and natural way, they say, that can circulate fresh air. New York City is opening its schools despite protests from the teachers and principles union. At ps-532, the principal says they'll be ready. What keeps you up at night? Obviously, I take the safety of everybody in my community really seriously and in spite of my confidence in this plan, there is, of course, the reality that this is a scary and unknown virus. Reporter: New York state has seen a covid-19 infection rate below 1% for the tenth straight day. But in California, they're still seeing an increasing rate of positiity and a rise in cases. Public schools in Los Angeles going all remote for now and officials announcing a plan to regularly test all students and staff, as well as for family members who test positive or have symptoms. The program costing nearly $240 million. We can isolate even just a few cases and keep others from the harm the virus causes, it will be worth it. Reporter: These efforts, as the nation's top public health experts warning now is the time to get the pandemic under control. Dr. Deborah birx saying she wishes the country locked down like Italy did earlier in the pandemic. We've learned what Americans were willing to do in combatting the virus. Americans don't react well to that kind of prohibition. Dr. Birx and the new she made late today. I want to get to Tom llamas. There are new and early studies looking at how long any immunity might last, and you got a headline in the race for a vaccine? Reporter: That's right. First, David, on reinfection. Scientists are encouraged by what they're seeing. Scientists say, from the studies they're seeing, that there is lasting immunity. But the big question still is for how long. We don't know that just yet. On the issue of vaccines, today, the fda commissioner says they want the most effective vaccine possible, but they will take at minimum a vaccine that is 50% Tom, thank you. And now, to the stunning images coming in tonight, the
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