Special Report

How Each State Is Managing Schools During the Pandemic

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Several months into the academic year, many school districts across the country are scrapping their original plans for the academic year amid the pandemic, aimed to keep as many schools as possible open. Though indoor gatherings and rather than in-person instruction are largely blamed for the third — and worst — COVID-19 wave, many education officials are shutting down school buildings as a precaution. 

24/7 Wall St. reviewed guidelines released by state governors and health and education departments as well as news articles to create a current list of school restrictions and re-closures in every state.

Daily temperature checks at the door, mask wearing, and staying socially distant were already the new normal. Sudden closures after students or staff tested positive for COVID-19 have become part of the routine, too. 

However, over the last two months, school closures have lasted more than a few days, with some moving to full-time online instruction at least until the end of the fall semester. With the coronavirus pandemic still intensifying in the U.S., switching to remote learning until further notice is increasingly an option. 

The parameters for shutting down schools for in-person instruction are not uniform and are up to each school to determine. At the beginning of the school year, some schools decided to go fully remote only after one confirmed COVID-19 case. Now, more school districts don’t shut down a school until dozens of COVID-19 cases are confirmed in the school.

The pandemic continues to worsen across the country, and the coronavirus and the COVID-19 vaccine are dominating the news. Information on social media sites and other media platforms has also been spreading, but much of it is not accurate — these are 20 major myths about COVID-19.

Click here to see how each state is managing schools during the pandemic.

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Alabama
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended for nurses and school visitors
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Close to 8.4% of all cases in Alabama have been traced back to schools and kids ages 5-17. Several schools have moved classes either fully remote or hybrid until the holiday break as a precaution as COVID-19 infection rates increase
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,095 per 100,000 people — 18th highest (total: 297,895)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 9.5% — 23rd smallest increase (from 269,877 to 295,631)
> Population: 4.9 million

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Alaska
> Mask or face covering rules: Encouraged whenever possible
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature and symptom screening for all
> Re-closing schools: At least 1 school district in Fairbanks went fully remote on Nov. 16. Anchorage School District delayed plans for in-person instruction, which was supposed to start in November, until further notice.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,579 per 100,000 people — 25th highest (total: 41,143)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 11.1% — 18th largest increase (from 37,036 to 41,143)
> Population: 737,000

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Arizona
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Mesa Public Schools, the largest public school district in Arizona, will move to remote learning for the beginning of the next semester. Sunnyside District, the second largest in Southern Arizona, returned to remote-only after Thanksgiving.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,860 per 100,000 people — 21st highest (total: 420,248)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 12.1% — 13th largest increase (from 364,276 to 408,442)
> Population: 7.2 million

Source: Courtesy of Valley View Schools

Arkansas
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for children 10+ on buses, drivers, required for adults and students 10+ in school buildings
> Health screening precautions: Have screening stations, screening signs
> Re-closing schools: At least 21 schools have changed learning plans in November and moved to remote learning. At least one school in the Earle School District closed indefinitely, classes were moved online. More schools are going remote for a few days due to COVID-19 concerns.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,162 per 100,000 people — 17th highest (total: 185,702)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 8.6% — 17th smallest increase (from 170,924 to 185,702)
> Population: 3.0 million

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California
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for adults and Grade 3 and up
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks, hand-washing required before entering school
> Re-closing schools: Many schools are still in zones where transmission is widespread and are not allowed to open for in-person instruction. Schools are required to close when at least 5% of staff and students test positive for Covid-19 within a 14-day period. Also, if 25% of schools in a district are closed due to COVID-19 cases, the school district, too, must close.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,007 per 100,000 people — 11th lowest (total: 1,585,044)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 15.7% — 5th largest increase (from 1,341,700 to 1,551,766)
> Population: 39.6 million

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Colorado
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended for students 11+, required for staff and if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: At-home or on-site symptom screening, temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Gov. Jared Polis has said he would consider closing all schools closed again if that’s needed to get coronavirus cases under control. Many of the biggest school districts in Colorado are conducting remote instruction.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,060 per 100,000 people — 24th lowest (total: 288,193)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 12.0% — 14th largest increase (from 257,347 to 288,193)
> Population: 5.7 million

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Connecticut
> Mask or face covering rules: Masks required for all when inside school
> Health screening precautions: Maximize social distancing, students bring their own water
> Re-closing schools: All Bristol schools transitioned to full distance learning. At least 7 school districts switched to fully remote until mid-January.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,108 per 100,000 people — 13th lowest (total: 146,761)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 14.9% — 7th largest increase (from 127,715 to 146,761)
> Population: 3.6 million

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Delaware
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for staff and grades 4-12, recommended for Pre-K – 3 grade
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks at home, the state will provide testing for staff and students
> Re-closing schools: Gov. John Carney recommended that schools pause in-person learning from Dec. 14 to Jan. 8, with plans to return to hybrid learning on Jan. 11. Sports competitions have been canceled. At least 63 public school students and 110 staff had tested positive for COVID-19 since the beginning of the academic year.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,803 per 100,000 people — 20th lowest (total: 46,457)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 13.9% — 10th largest increase (from 39,912 to 45,460)
> Population: 967,000

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Florida
> Mask or face covering rules: Up to each school
> Health screening precautions: Set up secondary clinic for kids showing symptoms
> Re-closing schools: Some Florida schools went fully remote for 2 weeks following Thanksgiving, and will go again for 2 weeks following the Christmas and New Year break. A new executive order has been issued extending remote and hybrid learning options.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,326 per 100,000 people — 25th lowest (total: 1,134,383)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 6.4% — 7th smallest increase (from 1,058,074 to 1,125,931)
> Population: 21.3 million

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Georgia
> Mask or face covering rules: Personal choice
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks for all
> Re-closing schools: Scattered school closures have happened all over the state. Windsor Forest High School in Chatham County is among the latest to shut down due to the rising number of COVID-19 infections until Jan. 11, 2021.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,557 per 100,000 people — 17th lowest (total: 479,340)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 7.3% — 11th smallest increase (from 443,822 to 476,044)
> Population: 10.5 million

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Hawaii
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screenings
> Re-closing schools: Some schools are extending the first phase of reopening for in-person instruction, which consists of half-day classes for vulnerable students.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 1,354 per 100,000 people — 3rd lowest (total: 19,235)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 4.0% — 2nd smallest increase (from 18,842 to 19,599)
> Population: 1.4 million

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Idaho
> Mask or face covering rules: Required by some districts
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks for all
> Re-closing schools: Valley County is the third to be moved to a “red” category, indicating that transmission is very high; all schools in Boise School District went fully remote after Thanksgiving break. The Emmett School District now requires all students and staff to wear masks.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,908 per 100,000 people — 8th highest (total: 121,179)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 9.7% — 24th smallest increase (from 110,510 to 121,179)
> Population: 1.8 million

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Illinois
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for all students age 5+
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screenings and temperature checks for all
> Re-closing schools: At least 10 schools have confirmed coronavirus outbreaks. Chicago Public Schools will return to in-person learning beginning in January, but high school students will continue remote. Catholic schools now have the option to transition to remote learning if they choose
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,719 per 100,000 people — 11th highest (total: 856,118)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 7.8% — 13th smallest increase (from 787,573 to 848,904)
> Population: 12.7 million

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Indiana
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended for school staff
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: All schools in Marion County are going fully remote at least until mid-January. At least 17 school districts — or about half of school districts in Indiana — have moved to full-time virtual learning for various periods of time.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,432 per 100,000 people — 15th highest (total: 430,401)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 11.5% — 15th largest increase (from 381,617 to 425,434)
> Population: 6.7 million

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Iowa
> Mask or face covering rules: Not recommended but allowed
> Health screening precautions: Up to each school
> Re-closing schools: All schools in the Iowa City Community School District went fully remote as of Nov. 16. More schools are applying for waivers to hold all classes remotely for 2 weeks. The governor is pushing for a requirement that all districts offer an option for 100% in-person instruction.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 8,140 per 100,000 people — 3rd highest (total: 256,902)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 5.0% — 3rd smallest increase (from 243,931 to 256,249)
> Population: 3.2 million

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Kansas
> Mask or face covering rules: REquired for staff, visitors, and most students
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks for staff
> Re-closing schools: Schools in small and big towns have moved classes online full-time; Johnson County schools are all in the Red Zone, meaning transmission is very high. Wichita school district may soon close schools due to a shortage of teachers, too many need to quarantine.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,526 per 100,000 people — 14th highest (total: 190,018)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 10.1% — 24th largest increase (from 168,295 to 185,294)
> Population: 2.9 million

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Kentucky
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended or required, depending on local virus transmission level
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: All Kentucky public and private K-12 schools were moved to online instruction. Middle schools and high schools will remain in remote learning until Jan. 4, 2021. Schools in Perry County were closed for in-person and virtual learning, adding makeup days at the end of the academic year.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,938 per 100,000 people — 22nd lowest (total: 220,660)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 11.4% — 16th largest increase (from 198,065 to 220,660)
> Population: 4.5 million

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Louisiana
> Mask or face covering rules: Required, students who can’t wear them will be in static groups
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Several schools in the Baton Rouge area are closing again before the Christmas break due to a rise in COVID-19 infections. Some will remain fully remote until the end of the fall semester. High school students across the state are required to go in-person testing.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,786 per 100,000 people — 22nd highest (total: 269,643)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 7.0% — 9th smallest increase (from 251,123 to 268,613)
> Population: 4.7 million

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Maine
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for adults, required for students age 5+
> Health screening precautions: Daily self-checks for students and staff
> Re-closing schools: All schools in Westbrook were closed until Dec. 3, at least 2 Oxford Hills schools moved classes online for 2 weeks. Some schools are forced to move fully remote due to staffing shortages created by the increasing number of staff having to quarantine.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 1,222 per 100,000 people — 2nd lowest (total: 16,349)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 19.3% — 2nd largest increase (from 13,348 to 15,923)
> Population: 1.3 million

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Maryland
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks for staff
> Re-closing schools: Many schools districts are canceling plans to move to in-person instruction any time soon.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 3,921 per 100,000 people — 10th lowest (total: 236,961)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 9.1% — 22nd smallest increase (from 215,027 to 234,647)
> Population: 6.0 million

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Massachusetts
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for grade 2 and up, encouraged for the rest
> Health screening precautions: Temperature checks are not recommended
> Re-closing schools: Public schools in Boston moved classes online, in-person instruction will resume when there are 2 full weeks of falling infection rates. The state started a free rapid COVID-19 testing program at 134 schools.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,210 per 100,000 people — 14th lowest (total: 290,578)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 13.1% — 12th largest increase (from 256,844 to 290,578)
> Population: 6.9 million

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Michigan
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for some
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks recommended
> Re-closing schools: Michigan shut all high schools and colleges on Nov. 18 and they will remain closed at least until Dec. 8. High school sports and group fitness classes will also be cancelled. Many schools in the most populous counties will stay closed until after the winter break.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,730 per 100,000 people — 19th lowest (total: 472,780)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 9.0% — 21st smallest increase (from 426,576 to 465,159)
> Population: 10.0 million

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Minnesota
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for students, staff, and others in schools, offices, and transportation
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: At least 17 of the state’s 20 largest school districts are in distance learning for middle and high school students, at least 30 schools across the state reported coronavirus outbreaks
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,618 per 100,000 people — 13th highest (total: 371,342)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 7.6% — 12th smallest increase (from 342,403 to 368,534)
> Population: 5.6 million

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Mississippi
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Natchez-Adams School District shut down all schools until after the Thanksgiving break due to a COVID-19 outbreak, sports are on hold as well
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,064 per 100,000 people — 20th highest (total: 181,095)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 8.8% — 19th smallest increase (from 164,931 to 179,447)
> Population: 3.0 million

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Missouri
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening.
> Re-closing schools: At least 4 schools in Jefferson County shut down temporarily after the county moved into a “red zone”; new mandates says that if people were wearing mask correctly and show no symptoms, they don’t have to quarantine for 14 days if exposed
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,674 per 100,000 people — 24th highest (total: 347,603)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 7.1% — 10th smallest increase (from 322,298 to 345,041)
> Population: 6.1 million

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Montana
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended for all students and staff
> Health screening precautions: Visitor temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: At least 2 more schools in Billings moved classes online temporarily in November. Montana City schools moved classes online until Nov. 30. Montana Tech suspended its basketball program after players tested positive.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,900 per 100,000 people — 9th highest (total: 73,303)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 8.0% — 14th smallest increase (from 67,875 to 73,303)
> Population: 1.1 million

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Nebraska
> Mask or face covering rules: Up to each school
> Health screening precautions: Visitors wash hands before entering the school, symptom self-screen
> Re-closing schools: Teachers union Nebraska State Education Association called on Gov. Ricketts to enact more restrictions amid a new surge of cases. The Millard school district closed schools for a week.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 7,716 per 100,000 people — 4th highest (total: 148,861)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 6.6% — 8th smallest increase (from 138,568 to 147,688)
> Population: 1.9 million

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Nevada
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended for staff and students
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks recommended, post signs about proper hand-washing and other ways to stop the virus
> Re-closing schools: Secondary students in schools in Washoe County School District moved to full distance learning until Jan. 4. Schools will begin testing symptomatic students and staff with an antigen test.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,242 per 100,000 people — 16th highest (total: 189,412)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 11.1% — 17th largest increase (from 168,139 to 186,833)
> Population: 3.0 million

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New Hampshire
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screenings for staff, students
> Re-closing schools: One high school suspended sports indefinitely after several students tested positive. Interstate hockey competitions have been suspended until the end of 2020 for all public and private schools as well as youth leagues.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 2,282 per 100,000 people — 5th lowest (total: 30,956)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 25.0% — the largest increase (from 24,771 to 30,956)
> Population: 1.4 million

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New Jersey
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for school staff and visitors
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and history of exposure
> Re-closing schools: Schools in Paterson extended online learning until Jan. 19, 2021. Clifton’s school district shut down all schools and moved classes online as of Nov. 9. at least until January 2021. 18 new in-school outbreaks were reported in the week leading up to Dec. 10.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,551 per 100,000 people — 16th lowest (total: 405,448)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 8.9% — 20th smallest increase (from 368,016 to 400,650)
> Population: 8.9 million

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New Mexico
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for students and staff
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: The Public Education Department paused the reopening of schools for in-person instruction, no districts are allowed to start a hybrid model during the new, tighter restrictions. Rio Rancho Public Schools are moving to full-time online instruction until Jan. 18, 2021.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,717 per 100,000 people — 23rd highest (total: 119,800)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 10.8% — 20th largest increase (from 108,088 to 119,800)
> Population: 2.1 million

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New York
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks for all
> Re-closing schools: NYC schools were closed until Dec. 7. After that, only elementary schools opened for students whose parents agree to a weekly testing regimen for the coronavirus.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,013 per 100,000 people — 12th lowest (total: 784,204)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 9.8% — 25th largest increase (from 705,827 to 775,160)
> Population: 19.5 million

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North Carolina
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for teachers and students K-12
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Some Cumberland County Schools schools will reopen in January 2021. The Johnston County school board voted 5-2 to suspend in-person classes.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,251 per 100,000 people — 15th lowest (total: 441,365)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 10.5% — 22nd largest increase (from 394,990 to 436,595)
> Population: 10.4 million

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North Dakota
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended, especially if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Testing for COVID-19 based on risk level
> Re-closing schools: The state started free rapid testing for K-12 teachers, staff and administrators. Fargo and West Fargo school districts were first. High school winter sports and extracurricular activities were suspended statewide until Dec. 14.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 10,965 per 100,000 people — the highest (total: 83,342)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 0.4% — the smallest increase (from 82,981 to 83,342)
> Population: 760,000

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Ohio
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for staff
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening
> Re-closing schools: At least 7 school districts in Northeast Ohio went fully remote in November due a spike in positive cases in the district.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,881 per 100,000 people — 21st lowest (total: 570,602)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 18.5% — 3rd largest increase (from 475,024 to 562,727)
> Population: 11.7 million

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Oklahoma
> Mask or face covering rules: Encouraged for staff and students
> Health screening precautions: Daily temperature checks at home recommended
> Re-closing schools: At least 17 schools districts in the state are moving to online learning due to a rise in coronavirus cases. More than half of all Oklahoma schools districts have reported COVID-19 cases.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,081 per 100,000 people — 19th highest (total: 239,767)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 9.8% — 25th smallest increase (from 216,486 to 237,668)
> Population: 3.9 million

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Oregon
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for staff and students
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Schools can reopen for grades 4-12 if counties have 10 or fewer positive cases per 100,000 residents, and up to 30 cases per 100,000 for other students.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 2,181 per 100,000 people — 4th lowest (total: 91,420)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 11.1% — 19th largest increase (from 84,496 to 93,853)
> Population: 4.2 million

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Pennsylvania
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening
> Re-closing schools: All Montgomery County public and private K-12 schools moved to full-time remote learning until Dec. 6. Public school teachers must follow face-covering mandates. Schools must close if they reach a certain number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 3,902 per 100,000 people — 9th lowest (total: 499,764)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 17.1% — 4th largest increase (from 420,114 to 491,802)
> Population: 12.8 million

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Rhode Island
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: At-home or on-site symptom screening, temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Cranston, the state’s second-largest school district, is moving all classes online until the end of 2020 due to staff shortages
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 7,006 per 100,000 people — 7th highest (total: 74,071)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 14.0% — 9th largest increase (from 62,137 to 70,818)
> Population: 1.1 million

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South Carolina
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for students and staff who ride the state’s pupil transportation system
> Health screening precautions: Up to each school
> Re-closing schools: Orangeburg County schools going online through the winter break. Greenwood School District 52 returned to the hybrid schedule due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Public schools across started testing for COVID-19 for free in an attempt to help keep classrooms open.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 5,011 per 100,000 people — 23rd lowest (total: 254,776)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 8.7% — 18th smallest increase (from 232,099 to 252,206)
> Population: 5.1 million

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South Dakota
> Mask or face covering rules: Strongly recommended
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: South Dakota’s positivity rate is around 40%, while the recommended maximum is 5%, suggesting testing is still very limited.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 9,520 per 100,000 people — 2nd highest (total: 83,986)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 5.3% — 4th smallest increase (from 79,535 to 83,714)
> Population: 882,000

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Tennessee
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for all staff, students in middle and high school
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: Schools in the state’s largest school districts — Shelby County Schools, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Knox County Schools and Hamilton County Schools — are finishing the fall semester with fully remote instruction.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,711 per 100,000 people — 12th highest (total: 454,305)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 10.6% — 21st largest increase (from 400,594 to 442,953)
> Population: 6.8 million

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Texas
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for adults and old enough students
> Health screening precautions: Symptom self-screening for staff
> Re-closing schools: At least 8 school districts in North Texas and 7 in Central Texas temporarily moved classes online due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Several schools in Fort Worth-area temporarily moved classes online due to a spike of COVID-19 cases
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 4,628 per 100,000 people — 18th lowest (total: 1,328,213)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 6.3% — 6th smallest increase (from 1,249,323 to 1,328,213)
> Population: 28.7 million

Source: RichVintage / E+ via Getty Images

Utah
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended
> Health screening precautions: Self-monitoring symptoms
> Re-closing schools: At least 51 Utah schools, including all schools in Salt Lake City, switched to remote learning until early December. Teachers wil be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in late December.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 7,399 per 100,000 people — 6th highest (total: 233,904)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 8.6% — 16th smallest increase (from 215,407 to 233,904)
> Population: 3.2 million

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Vermont
> Mask or face covering rules: Recommended for all staff
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening at home
> Re-closing schools: Asymptomatic teachers and staff members at all public schools in Vermont can take an on-site COVID-19 test.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 935 per 100,000 people — the lowest (total: 5,857)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 14.7% — 8th largest increase (from 5,015 to 5,753)
> Population: 626000

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Virginia
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screenings
> Re-closing schools: Chesterfield Schools returned to virtual learning at least until the end of 2020. Henrico County Schools delay in-person reopening. Fairfax County Public Schools in moving Group 3 students to full-time remote learning.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 3,348 per 100,000 people — 7th lowest (total: 285,149)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 10.5% — 23rd largest increase (from 255,053 to 281,909)
> Population: 8.5 million

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Source: 400tmax / iStock via Getty Images

Washington
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for staff, recommended for students
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: The state could require school children to be vaccinated. Health officials in Thurston County recommend holding off on expanding in-person learning due to resurgence of COVID-19 cases
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 2,681 per 100,000 people — 6th lowest (total: 202,063)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 13.6% — 11th largest increase (from 175,793 to 199,735)
> Population: 7.5 million

Source: Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for staff and students grades 3 and above
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks
> Re-closing schools: 51 of the 55 counties are “red zones,” meaning transmission is high and schools and schools must move to remote learning.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 3,566 per 100,000 people — 8th lowest (total: 64,394)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 14.9% — 6th largest increase (from 54,997 to 63,217)
> Population: 1.8 million

Source: THEPALMER / E+ via Getty Images

Wisconsin
> Mask or face covering rules: Required for teacher when close to other people, required for students in high-traffic periods
> Health screening precautions: Daily symptom screening and temperature checks recommended
> Re-closing schools: Racine Public Health Department ordered schools in Racine, Wind Point, and Elmwood Park to close until Jan. 15.
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 7,549 per 100,000 people — 5th highest (total: 438,895)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 6.0% — 5th smallest increase (from 412,177 to 436,773)
> Population: 5.8 million

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming
> Mask or face covering rules: Required if social distancing is difficult
> Health screening precautions: Up to each district
> Re-closing schools: All Wyoming Public Schools closed for in-person instruction until Nov. 30. Students don’t have to quarantine anymore if, when exposed, both the infected student and close contacts were wearing face coverings
> COVID-19 cases as of Dec 14: 6,813 per 100,000 people — 10th highest (total: 39,360)
> Change in trailing 7-day avg. daily cases, Dec 6 – Dec 13: 8.4% — 15th smallest increase (from 36,317 to 39,360)
> Population: 578,000

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