Central Florida families face decision to send kids back to school

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on children and not just their health.

Coronavirus has made many changes to education and impacted families in a way that few could have ever anticipated. 

"I would love, love, love, love the children to be back in school. And I think that they would love to be back in school as well," Lynne Ormsby, a parent in Virginia, said. She wants her kids back in school but she also is concerned about reopening schools. 

Then in Florida, many students are learning remotely with an upcoming deadline to choose how they will handle the spring semester. 

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Experts say that students learning remotely risk falling behind, have internet access challenges, mental health concerns, and widening economic disparities. 

Miranda Turner, a parent and member of an advocacy group pushing in-person instruction with COVID precautions, told FOX 35 that "there's research, there's data, there is evidence, and there are natural experiments happening all the time in other school systems that we ought to be paying close attention to and seeing what we can do for our kids."

She points to a nationwide survey of schools and COVID-19 showing in-person class is not a super-spreader event. The study, led by a Brown University Economist, finds virus rates for students and staff reflect the rates in their broader communities.

Top government scientists also say that resuming classroom learning should be a priority. Dr. Fauci said "we should, right now, to be the best of our capability... [be] trying to get children back to school. I think children getting back to school will be much, much sooner than getting people into theaters at full capacity."

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Doctors do acknowledge children can still spread COVID-19 between each other and adults, which is a serious concern for students with compromised immune systems and vulnerable or elderly people at home. 

Bottom line: Sending your child back to school is a personal family choice. Scientists recommend schools enforce mask-wearing, monitoring those with symptoms, and keeping buildings ventilated and clean. 


Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest coronavirus news.