Story at a glance

  • A tally shows about 1,500 Americans died on Wednesday due to coronavirus-related infections.
  • This comes as schools make the decision to reopen in-person or remotely.

The U.S. just saw its deadliest summer day in terms of coronavirus fatalities, reporting approximately 1,500 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, according to a tally conducted by The Washington Post. That’s the highest it has been since mid-May.

The most recent outbreaks have come up across Southern states, including Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas and Texas as they begin sending students back to school. A Georgia school that returned to in-person classes recently required 800 students and faculty to quarantine following a COVID-19 outbreak. 

In Mississippi, at least 100 students were sent home after a teacher exhibited symptoms consistent with a coronavirus infection. A Louisiana school also reported sending 150 students and staff home after detecting positive cases, per The Advocate


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States have largely taken a stratified approach to reopening schools, with New York reopening schools for in-person classes but New Jersey continuing with remote education, and many are allowing individual counties to decide how to reopen based on their respective rates of transmission. 

In contrast, President Trump has staunchly advocated reopening schools for in-person classes, saying that children are not likely to catch the virus.

“There may be a case, a tiny, a tiny fraction of death, tiny fraction, and they get better very quickly,” Trump told press. “I think schools have to open. We want to get our economy going.”

Yet data contradict this; new information from Florida shows that coronavirus infections in children have increased by 137 percent in Florida alone. Hospitalizations and fatalities have also increased over the same period. Nationwide, confirmed COVID-19 cases in children under 17 jumped by about 90 percent between July and August. 

Figures like these have prompted the majority of voters to oppose schools reopening, with roughly 6 in 10 survey respondents saying that they do not support reopening classes for in-person learning at the risk of further spreading the virus.


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Published on Aug 13, 2020