© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Miller, a fourth grader at Cottage Lake Elementary, works with his grandmother Brackett to find out how to navigate the online learning system that the Northshore School District will use for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns
By Lisa Shumaker
(Reuters) – With coronavirus infections and deaths increasing in many parts of the country, U.S. educators from California to Wisconsin choose online learning rather than returning to the classroom when the school year starts in a few weeks.
Florida reported a record increase in 133 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state's death toll to over 4,500. The previous record increase was 120 on July 9th. Alabama reported a record increase of 40 deaths, increasing the state's total to over 1,100.
Schools from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Fort Bend County, Texas, along with California’s two largest school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, announced plans to keep teachers and students from the close contact that classrooms require.
The decision puts the districts in conflict with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to withhold federal funds or waive tax exemption status if he refuses to reopen classrooms, despite the fact that most schools are financed by state and local taxes.
Trump's campaign sees the reopening of classrooms that allow parents to get back to work as the key to economic recovery and increasing his re-election opportunities on November 3.
According to a Reuters analysis, US coronavirus cases increased in 46 out of 50 states in the past week and the number of deaths increased last week for the first time since mid-April and about six weeks after the cases began at the national level.
FIRST IN CASES PER CAPITAL
With more than 3.3 million COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis, the United States is the world's number one case per person and, with 135,000 deaths, seventh place per person among the 20 countries with the most cases.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for an interactive Reuters program.)
The state of New York plans to reopen its schools in areas where the daily infection rate is below 5% of all COVID tests. According to a Reuters analysis, the state has an average infection rate of around 1% over several weeks and is one of only four states in which the number of cases declined last week. In New York City, where social distancing and wearing masks are widespread, no new COVID deaths have recently been reported in 24 hours for the first time since March.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo added Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin to the state's quarantine list on Tuesday. Travelers (NYSE 🙂 coming to New York from a total of 22 states must now be quarantined for 14 days.
Florida continues to plan to have its schools learn personally in August. The state saw over 9,000 new cases on Tuesday, compared to 12,000 on Monday and a record 15,000 rise on Sunday.
Teachers in Loudoun County, Virginia protested Monday in front of school headquarters against a woman who was fully encased in a white lab suit and face mask, and who had a sign that read "Our New School Uniform." In order to stay away physically, the teachers honk together with their car horns, according to a video.
Faculty members protested a school board plan for hybrid classes that would include two days of personal classes, according to local media.
After nearly 16,000 new cases occurred in the past two days, California continued to withdraw from the reopening of its economy.
Californian governor Gavin Newsom, a democrat, ordered bars to be closed and restaurants, cinemas, zoos, and museums in the country's most populous state to shut down. Gyms, churches and hairdressing salons must be closed in the 30 most affected counties.