Back To School: Tennessee Students Return Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Students in Alcoa, Tennessee returned to school Wednesday with new coronavirus protections in place. NBC's Chris Pollone reports.

(NBC News) — As school districts across the country try to figure out the safest way to reopen in the midst of a global pandemic, children in one district returned to the classroom Wednesday.

It comes as COVID-19 infections and deaths continue to grow, especially in the South and West.

Besides reading, writing and arithmetic there were temperature checks and lessons in staying safe from COVID-19 in Alcoa, Tennessee.

Students are attending in-person classes just one day a week.

“We felt like if we staggered them and only brought a few back at a time we could safely follow most all CDC guidelines,” says Alcoa City Schools Director Becky Stone.

It’s just one approach to education in a nation struggling to contain the coronavirus.

As Alcoa students returned, the U.S. saw 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day for the third time this month.

In Florida, one of the world’s biggest virus hotspots, a teachers’ union is suing to overturn what they say is a mandatory back-to-school order.

“Two weeks our kids are supposed to go back to the first school districts. We are simply not ready,” says Florida Education Association President Fedrick Ingram. “There will be people who will die from this coronavirus, they are dying everyday here in Florida. We are the epicenter of the world.”

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