Montco officials weighing bringing students back into classrooms

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Officials in Montgomery County say if schools are thinking about bringing children back into the classroom, this might be the best time to do it.

Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh says this could be a window of opportunity for kids to get back in the classroom as the level of virus in the county remains low.

"It's possible that we are in pretty good shape now and four or five months from now, we might not be in as good of shape," said Arkoosh.

But she insisted schools need to have safety plans to keep the virus from spreading and plans in case they need to go back to virtual learning.

And while colleges and universities across the country struggle with COVID-19 cases, colleges in Montgomery County seem to be doing okay. According to Arkoosh, they seem to doing well so far with COVID-19 case counts.

"I think all of them worked with our Office of Public Health on plans and so far those plans seem to be working," she said.

The county's COVID-19 numbers are different than the state's numbers, Arkoosh explained, because if student at a college outside of the county tests positive and has a Montgomery County home address, it shows up in the Pennsylvania Department of Health's numbers as a case in Montgomery County. But the Office of Public Health cross checks them so the county's numbers are more accurate.

She said so far, it does not appear like there will be a Labor Day case spike like there was following July Fourth and Memorial Day. There are 28 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Montgomery County, she reported, down from about 400 in April.