MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on Thursday that favor the opening of schools, saying children don’t suffer much from coronavirus, are less likely than adults to spread it and suffer from being out of school.
But the new guidelines do recommend that local officials should consider closing schools, or keeping them closed, if there is substantial, uncontrolled transmission of the virus.
With Miami-Dade clocking in Saturday with another 3,424 positive COVID-19 cases, which brings the total number of cases to 101,854, it is something Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho is watching very closely.
Saturday afternoon, he weighed in on the new guidelines.
“The revised CDC guidelines are pretty much common sense. It’s an evolution of the previous document,” said Carvalho.
The Superintendent says the districts’ plans for reopening schools follows all social distancing and preventive guidelines but at the moment, Miami-Dade County schools is not ready to open its school doors just yet.
“Our community right now there’s general agreement between the county mayor and Mayor Suarez, myself, that the conditions are not appropriate for an immediate grand scale return to the schools.”
According to the CDC, kids under 18 account for less than 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and represent less than .1 percent of deaths.
In Miami-Dade, the plans are to give parents a choice of traditional in school learning, distance learning or a hybrid version. But with the county still near 20 percent positivity rate some of those options could be affected.
“The return to physical schooling will be active but may be delayed until the conditions are appropriate,” he said.
“Needless to say, in Miami-Dade, we are one of the hottest spots in America, with a positivity rate of close to 20 percent with a 27 percent increase over the past two weeks in hospitalizations, with significantly high mortality rate and a critical issue facing hospitals, you know, the ICU capacity is at over 130 percent. Those are all criteria and metrics that cannot be ignored.”
Ideally, the level of infection for a full return should be near five percent. For that, Carvalho urges the community to do their part.
“In the community, if there are people interested in returning kids to school – behave yourselves. Adopt behaviors that actually will allow it. Maintain social distancing. Wear gloves if you need to. Wear masks.”
Carvalho says on July 29, an enhanced version of their reopening plan will be presented to the Miami-Dade School Board.
Carvalho says, “It goes without saying that the best way to teach children is in school,” but added, “rushing into a bad decision is far worse than being cautious.”