Low COVID numbers mean more Burlington kids can go back to class

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Leaders in Burlington are cautiously optimistic following a low number of COVID cases in the city.

It comes a little more than a month after thousands of college students returned to school.

In a virtual press conference Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Miro Weinberger said the outcome from this transition month of September is better than they could have expected when it comes to coronavirus cases.

The case count remains extremely low compared to the amount of testing that continues to be done at the University of Vermont and Champlain College. Between the two schools, there have been nearly 70,000 tests since August. Of those, 27 total student tests have come back positive. No faculty or staff have tested positive at either school.

The low case count in the city is also allowing younger students in grade school to start going back to the classroom more often.

“The numbers in our schools, in the city and the state are suggesting that it’s time to move back to more in-person instruction. The state just moved from step two to step three in their guidance, which allows us some additional flexibilities,” Burlington School Superintendent Tom Flanagan said.

Burlington students in kindergarten through second grade will transition from two days of in-person learning to four days starting Oct. 19. A week later, on Oct. 26, third through fifth graders will make the same transition.

Flanagan also says the district is working to get Burlington High School students back into some sort of classroom by the start of the second semester on Jan. 4. In-person locations have been identified for technical center students. We’re still waiting to hear where those are.

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