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America’s largest school systems announce full-time return to in-person learning this fall

Women pass a billboard showing the words “All people participate in building a line of defense against the epidemic, please get the vaccine in time” outside a shopping mall in Beijing on Monday. (Andy Wong/AP)
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The two largest school systems in the United States will fully reopen for in-person learning this fall, officials announced Monday, a major step in the country’s pandemic recovery.

The public school districts in New York City and Los Angeles — which together educate more than 1.6 million students — became the latest to announce their planned transitions away from virtual learning, which will also allow parents who have been supervising their children’s online classes to go back to work.

“You can’t have a full recovery without full-strength schools, everyone back sitting in those classrooms, kids learning again,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

New York City will eliminate its remote-learning option and all students and adults will have to wear masks, unless guidance from federal health officials changes. In Los Angeles, school district leaders said they expect most students, teachers and staff to be present every day, but an online option will be available.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Amid a brutal second wave, India recorded 4,454 deaths on Monday, making it the third country, after the United States and Brazil, to surpass more than 300,000 coronavirus deaths.
  • Three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough to require hospitalization a month before the coronavirus outbreak in China, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing an undisclosed U.S. intelligence report. China has called the report a lie.
  • Chinese health experts are calling for all high-risk groups to take a third dose of the country’s vaccines, saying the shots’ protection recedes after six months.
  • The Biden administration is moving toward making the pandemic work-from-home experiment permanent for many federal workers, a sweeping cultural change for the slow-moving federal bureaucracy.
  • For the first time in 11 months, the daily average of new coronavirus infections in the United States has fallen below 30,000 amid signs that most communities are emerging from the worst of the pandemic.
  • Fatal opioid overdoses increased in Washington, Maryland and Virginia over the past year because of the disruptions and isolation of the pandemic, say experts.
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Here's what to know:

Amid a brutal second wave, India recorded 4,454 deaths on Monday, making it the third country, after the United States and Brazil, to surpass more than 300,000 coronavirus deaths.
Three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology became sick enough to require hospitalization a month before the coronavirus outbreak in China, reports the Wall Street Journal, citing an undisclosed U.S. intelligence report. China has called the report a lie.
Chinese health experts are calling for all high-risk groups to take a third dose of the country’s vaccines, saying the shots’ protection recedes after six months.
The Biden administration is moving toward making the pandemic work-from-home experiment permanent for many federal workers, a sweeping cultural change for the slow-moving federal bureaucracy.
For the first time in 11 months, the daily average of new coronavirus infections in the United States has fallen below 30,000 amid signs that most communities are emerging from the worst of the pandemic.
Fatal opioid overdoses increased in Washington, Maryland and Virginia over the past year because of the disruptions and isolation of the pandemic, say experts.

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