Vermont schools are about a month away from the start of the new year, after abruptly closing in late March.
Based on hospital data, Dr. Stephen Leffler, President of University of Vermont Medical Center, says there is about one positive case for every 1,000 asymptomatic people tested. Burlington Mayor, Miro Weinberger, says those numbers make him feel a little more positive about sending kids back to the classroom. “It’s not quite zero… you don’t quite know the person you’re engaging with, there is a chance. It kind of reinforces I think the feeling we all have, that we have to be careful where as we go about our lives. Risk is low but not zero.”
There are some new findings about potential spread. According to a large study done in South Korea, children under the age of nine have a lesser chance of spreading the virus, while children age ten and older could spread it like adults. “The size of your lungs, the size of your airwaves, the strength of your cough, probably has an impact on how easily you’re able to spread COVID-19,” says Dr. Leffler.
And while that may be good news for Pre-Schools and Elementary Schools, for Colleges and High Schools things might look differently. He says “we’re gonna have to build things into our school system in ways to lower our transmission rates.”
As of now, UVM and Champlain College are set to open in the Fall. A coordinated effort is underway with both schools, the State and the City to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Weinberger says to expect a detailed update for the Burlington School District, in early August.