Outdoor classes to avoid Covid-19

When the fall semester begins on Aug. 18th in Los Angeles, all instruction in the Los Angeles Unified School District will be distance learning.  It’s hard to understand why in light of what we learned at the beginning of the 20th century when tuberculosis was rampant (“Schools Beat Earlier Plagues With Outdoor Classes. We Should, Too,” The New York Times, July 17).

Despite harsh weather, New York City and other cold-weather cities set up open-air classes. Few children or teachers got sick.  Yet in Southern California, where the climate is near-perfect year-round, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest, will provide only distance instruction when the fall semester begins.

It makes no sense.  If students can learn in wintry climate, then why can’t they learn in clement climate?  The fact is that the risk of contagion is severely diminished outside.

(To post a comment, click on the title of this blog.)

2 Replies to “Outdoor classes to avoid Covid-19”

  1. Seems like the science is still developing re how contagious covid is in an outdoor setting where a relatively large group stays together for 30+ minutes. You’d think, given covid’s world-wide spread, that there would be some reliable info re exactly this issue. If so, I have not seen it. Certainly, covid is much less contagious outdoors than indoors. But, 25 people sitting near each other for 45 minutes (or 6 hours in elementary grades)? The media certainly publicized the large mass gatherings outdoors over Memorial Day and July 4 holidays as posing covid threats — but that was prospective reporting rather than retrospective scientific data.

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  2. Labor Lawyer: Yet New York City in the early 1900s held classes outside even during the coldest days and reported no flu. Of course, Covid-19 is worse. But I think it’s worthwhile holding classes outdoors.

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