Uncertainty lingers a week after Philadelphia schools open

A week after students started classes the School District of Philadelphia reports there are no major COVID outbreaks in city schools. 

Although there is still a bit of uncertainty about what happens if an outbreak does occur. 

"When is too many cases enough to shut down a school?  Or what happens if there’s a positive case in the classroom? What do the kids in that classroom do? asked Philadelphia school teacher Lauren Pollack.  

The middle school teacher and parent of a toddler says she’s thrilled to be back among her students in-person but admits it’s been quite an adjustment.

 "It is different you know, we’re not allowed to do a lot of the small group instruction, you have to keep your kids as spaced out as possible. We’re not really sharing supplies like pencils" said Pollack. 

She and many other teachers are wondering how many cases it will take to close down a school building?

In response to questions, a School District spokesperson tells FOX 29,  "The decision to close or dismiss students and/or staff from any District facility does not rest with the District. Philadelphia Department of Public Health will work closely with the District’s appointed designee(s) to make the determination that best addresses the specific circumstances. Decisions about closures will be made carefully, and with the health, safety, and needs of our students and families in mind" according to the District statement.


"We are going to see cases in our schools. I said this before. Our school's team is working with the school district on how to address those. We’ve got over 100,000 kids in schools so we would expect some cases" Cheryl Bettigole, M.D., Philadelphia’s Acting Health Commissioner said.

 "The school district is having us weekly testing for staff members to that give me peace of mind doing that and so that makes me feel good and all the kids in my class are wearing their masks so I feel safe in my classroom" said Pollack.

If you have questions about the thresholds for closing schools in your area call your local school district or refer to the Health and Safety plan on most districts' websites.



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