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Addressing rumors, Wolf says he will not shutter schools in the fall

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during his press conference at PA CareerLink in York Tuesday, July 28, 2020. Wolf was highlighting the importance of job-finding resources in light of the unemployment cause by the COVID-19 outbreak in the state. Bill Kalina photo

Gov. Tom Wolf took to Twitter Friday to stress that he has no intention of unilaterally closing school buildings or canceling classes in the fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wolf's statement came as "widespread rumors" circulate about how he might take it upon himself to dictate how school districts operate in response to the pandemic, he tweeted.

"School governing boards and administrators will determine if school buildings reopen and if classes resume in person, remotely, or a combination of the two," Wolf wrote.

More:Coronavirus pandemic: Here's what York County's data looks like

More:Perry: 'Generally speaking,' kids won't transmit COVID-19 to teachers

School districts have already begun to unveil plans to ensure the safety of both teachers and children, including in York County.

Multiple school districts, including South Western, have opted for "hybrid plans" that combine online classes with in-person instruction.

West Shore School District, on the other hand, plans to reopen entirely online come August.

While some politicians, such as U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, have claimed that its unlikely that children would infect teachers with the coronavirus in arguments to reopen schools, studies have shown that's not the case.

For example, a recent South Korean study of nearly 65,000 people suggested that school reopenings would very likely contribute to more outbreaks, The New York Times reported. 

The study also found that while children under 10 years old were about half as likely to spread the virus, those between 10 and 19 can spread it just as easily as adults.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.