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Miami superintendent: ‘Conditions may be appropriate’ to reopen in six weeks if masks worn, social distancing practiced

an empty school hallway

A Miami school superintendent said Sunday that the “conditions may be appropriate” for schools to reopen in six weeks if social distancing is practiced effectively. 

Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the school district is “going to obviously do our very best in our community” when starting the school year with an increasing positivity rate for COVID-19 cases.

“It is quite possible if the social behavior and the restrictions in place, if people wear masks, if people exercise social distancing that conditions may be appropriate and healthy for students to return to the very best model of teaching and learning which is in-person,” he said.

 “But we need the community’s collaboration, we need the science to drive the practice rather than politics influencing what is legitimately a community concern,” he added.

The superintendent acknowledged that “some provisions” in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations “may be costly,” but added that “obviously we take them very seriously.”  

Carvalho said mask wearing will be mandatory and nontraditional spaces will be used for learning like cafeterias, auditoriums and gymnasiums. 

{mosads}“I think we came up with a reopening plan that, quite frankly, lifts the best possible practices for implementation with aggressive mitigation strategies when those practices are impossible to implement in Miami-Dade,” he said.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and President Trump both threatened last week to withhold federal funding from schools if they do not reopen in the fall. Some public health officials have expressed concern for the administration’s threat. 

Miami-Dade County has recorded 64,444 positive COVID-19 cases, leading to 1,139 deaths, according to state data

Florida as a whole reported a record increase of 15,299 new COVID-19 cases confirmed Saturday, the highest daily increase of any state. In total, the state has 269,811 cases and 4,242 deaths. 

 Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that “it won’t be long” before the hospitals in the country are at capacity. Six are already at capacity, CNN reported. 

The president visited the county Friday and did not wear a face mask, but he wore one in D.C. Saturday.

Tags Betsy DeVos Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Education Florida Miami Miami-Dade County Pandemic reopening Reopening schools schools schools reopening Sunday shows

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