Across US, communities grapple with decision to reopen schools

New York City presented a blended plan for in-person education with the option of remote learning. In Mississippi, a teacher and coach died of COVID-19 this week.
4:13 | 08/07/20

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Transcript for Across US, communities grapple with decision to reopen schools
And good evening. Thanks for joining us on a busy Friday night. I'm Tom llamas, in for David. A chilling new model predicting 300,000 American deaths from coronavirus in December. And New York state taking a step forward. The U.S. With more than 4.9 million cases, racing towards 5 million. More than 160,000 lives lost. California surpassing 10,000 deaths. The New York governor authorizing all schools to reopen for in-person classes this fall, if they feel it's several states already reporting setbacks just days after reopening schools. Whit Johnson here in New York will lead us off. Reporter: Tonight, New York state giving the green light for children to return to the I miss talking to my friends at the lunch table. Reporter: But parents weighing the risks. I think about what if they're exposed? What are the procedures? Reporter: In New York City, a blended plan, with the option of all remote learning. The original epicenter of the pandemic, now with a positive test rate of just 1%. If our average goes above 3% infection in New York City, we would not open schools. If it happened during the school year, we will close them. Reporter: School districts across the country grappling with tough decisions, as the university of Washington releases a new dire projection -- a possible death toll reaching 300,000 by December, unless most people wear masks. California now surpassing 10,000 deaths from covid, and reporting more cases than any other state in the country. Some parents stressing the need for in-person learning. But one student in Georgia raising concern about social distancing, saying she was suspended after posting this viral video showing a crowded high school hallway. Many teens not wearing masks. When I walked in on Monday, it was worse than I thought it would be. Because I thought more kids would be wearing masks. Reporter: Hannah Watters was suspended for posting the video. Now she says the school is reversing course, and she can go back to class on Monday. Also in Georgia, a 7-year-old boy without any known pre-existing conditions dying of covid-19. 16-year-old high school wrestler Frankie quintana of California was healthy when he contracted covid-19. The noises he would make trying to reach for a breath was horrifying. Reporter: His lungs then started to fail. It hit him so hard where it brought him down to his knees. This big, strong kid. Reporter: His mother a plasma donation helped him to recover. In Mississippi, 42-year-old teacher and coach nacoma James died of covid this week. Contact tracers now reaching out to athletes who might have been exposed during football workouts. And an entire high school football team in Alabama is now quarantined for a second time this summer, after at least one player tested positive and several others showed symptoms. The oneonta head coach bluntly expressing his fears. Literally, I looked my wife in the eyes before I went to bed Monday night and said, I sure hope we didn't kill anyone's grandmother today. It is the fear coaches and educators across the country have now. Whit, we have some new studies out from the CDC about children and the mysterious illness associated with covid-19? Reporter: They're reporting about 570 cases across 40 states. Another study shows children with much less likely to suffer severe illness, but among those hospitalized, about a third ended up in the icu. But deaths are still very rare in children.

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