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97,000 children reportedly test positive for coronavirus in two weeks as schools gear up for instruction

Pediatrics group releases grim virus figure
More than 338,000 U.S. children tested positive for coronavirus as of July, AAP finds 03:34

Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds. Just over 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus from July 16 to July 30, according to the association.

Out of almost 5 million reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., CBS News' Michael George reports that the group found that more than 338,000 were children.

Vanderbilt University's Dr. Tina Hartert hopes increased testing of children will help determine what role they play in transmission, as school districts around the country return to some form of school. She is leading a government-funded study that saw DIY testing kits sent to some 2,000 families.

"The kits are shipped to the families, they are taught how to collect these samples, and then the samples are sent back by the families to a central repository," she said.

In New York City, home to the nation's largest school district, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a return to in-person schooling in the fall and pledged officials "have worked incessantly to get this right."

"They've looked at examples from all over the world of what will keep the school community safe, and they've made a series of choices of how to do things from the health and safety lens first, while also making sure we can educate our kids," he said in a Friday press conference.

De Blasio gave parents until Friday night to register students for in-person instruction, remote learning or a hybrid.

More than 25 children died of the coronavirus in July alone. Pressure to get kids back into the classroom has left superintendents in more than 13,000 different school districts across the country to figure out how to keep children safe amid a myriad of public health advisories, and handle learning differences.

Niles, Michigan Superintendent Dan Applegate is hoping Plexiglas could be a solution for children with speech impediments to be able to participate in class.

He demonstrated by speaking behind a transparent slate at a press conference.

"As I'm sitting here and I can articulate," Applegate said. "The student on the other side will be wearing a mask. Then I can put my mask on, and that student can drop their mask and articulate as well."

Indiana's Lawrence Township is cleaning school buses with a hospital-grade disinfectant spray for students still needing rides to school.

"You're going to see a very clean and disinfected bus," Transportation Director Matt Miles said. "We actually have fogging machines."

However, they are not expecting many students to get on the bus — 35% of children in the area are expected to learn remotely, while other school districts in the U.S. will not open at all.

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