State Aims to Keep In-Person Learning On the Table As Long as Possible

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Gov. Ned Lamont said he and the governors of the surrounding states are doing everything they can to keep in-person learning on the table, even as COVID-19 numbers continue to climb.

"Whatever restrictions we have to take, we're doing it so we can keep our schools open," Lamont said in a video tweeted Wednesday.

Connecticut's COVID-19 positivity rate came in at 5.98% Wednesday, with a net increase in hospitalizations and more deaths reported. The metrics have been trending upwards as we move into the holiday season.

Several school districts have moved students to fully remote learning due to COVID-19 concerns. Some districts are coping with staffing shortages brought on by quarantine requirements. In New York City, the nation's largest school system is moving to remote learning to curb the spread of the virus.

The state rolled back on its reopening several weeks ago, to a modified version of phase 2 that put capacity limits on restaurants and event venues, as well as a curfew. Additionally, the CIAC announced Tuesday that it was postponing the start of the winter sports season until at least January.

Despite the spread of the virus, public health officials in Connecticut have repeatedly said that it does not appear that transmission is happening in schools, but rather schools are being affected by transmission happening in the community.

"We all know that it's probably the safest place to be, wearing a mask in a classroom. Certainly the best opportunity for a good education as well," Lamont said.

The governor stressed that even if districts take it each week at a time, every week of in-person learning is beneficial. He also took the time to thank teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians and food service staff that have been working to keep in-person learning going.

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