School districts face tough decisions amid rise in COVID-19 cases

Camden City School District announced they'll be going virtual due to the rise in COVID cases.
WARRINGTON, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The surge of COVID-19 cases has put a lot of pressure on school boards and superintendents as they decide if they will alter their normal back-to-school routines.

Camden City School District announced they'll be going virtual due to the rise in COVID cases.

Reading School District posted on their district website, students will be virtual for the first week and are expected to return in person after that.

Cheltenham Township School District is meeting Thursday night to discuss if they should go virtual or not.

Dr. Jennifer Coren of Hatboro Pediatrics says the problem is, so many people are exposed right now, and the virus is so contagious that it's hard to know who has it and who doesn't.

She says their office is seeing an influx of COVID cases among children.

Although most patients have mild to minor symptoms, she believes numbers will rise when kids head back to school in January.

"It really is a terrible decision to have to make, but this virus is just so contagious," Coren said.

She questions if schools will be able to keep the teachers in if they catch it and if they'll be able to keep the kids in the classroom without spreading it.

The Superintendent of North Penn School District tells Action News their plan remains the same, to resume in-person learning.

However, their mandatory mask mandate, robust mandatory testing for employees, and testing for exposed students will remain in place.

Parents and students have mixed reactions to the rise in COVID-19 cases and heading back to school.

"Personally, I'm fine to go back as is. I had a lot of trouble with online learning. It's a lot harder to get yourself motivated," said Caden Sailer, a ninth-grader at Council Rock South.

Coren recommends limiting the number of people you see to risk exposure.

"This is going to be a tricky one, and I am so glad I don't have to make those decisions. This virus is infectious like nothing I've ever seen," said Coren.

Parent Shannon Collins says anytime germs pop up-- they try hard to get tested and be extra cautious.

"It's a little nerve-wracking for sure, but I feel like they have good policies in place with masks and everything," Collins said.

Coren believes, ultimately, things will get better.

"This surge is going to come, and it's going to go. Whatever goes up must come down. It's going to get better. It always does," said Coren.

Action News also reached out to the Philadelphia School District. Their current plan is to resume in-person learning in January after the holiday break ends.

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