4 News Now Q&A: Benefits versus risks of reopening schools

Your Questions Answered

Q: Do the benefits of reopening schools outweigh the risks or vice versa?

A: Kids have been kept home from schools in an effort to protect them, their families and school staff.

But, is it worth it?

Just this week, NPR released findings from a few studies looking into this question. It found that two new international studies show no consistent relationship between in-person K-12 schooling and the spread of the coronavirus. A third study from the United States shows no elevated risk to childcare workers who stayed on the job.

Good Morning Northwest Anchor Robyn Nance asked ABC Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Jennifer Ashton about the topic.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics and multiple public health officials and epidemiologists are recognizing and drawing attention to the fact that the harms of keeping  children out of school really may outweigh any of the possible benefits,” Dr. Ashton said.

But, would Dr. Ashton herself feel comfortable sending her own children to school?

“I think when you talk about younger children, they’re really losing some very valuable developmental, intellectual and academic experiences here,” Ashton said. “So, risk benefit, I would feel comfortable. But everyone is entitled to make that decision for themselves.”

We want to continue this conversation throughout the school year. If you have your own questions, submit them here.