Insights for Education’s chief executive officer, Randa Grob-Zakhary, said that schools around the globe “did not seem to be the provocateur” of outbreaks and that those that reopen gradually and with practices such as social distancing in place seemed to fare best.

In the U.S., school openings have been complicated and confused by a White House that has downplayed the risks of in-person instruction and federal agencies that have never issued clear guidelines for safe practices. That’s left policy-making to state and local governments that are rushing to respond to the changing virus and what’s learned about it.

Whether it’s safe to open schools, said Rainu Kaushal, a clinical researcher at Cornell University’s  medical school, Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York City, depends largely on two factors: How serious the spread of the virus is in the community and how seriously the community is taking precautions against the virus.

She said schools also need to be nimble.

“This virus situation evolves so rapidly that one can only make the best decision for the next few weeks,” she said. “And then you really have to take stock again.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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