Thousands of students and teachers have become sick with covid-19 since schools began opening last month, but so far, public health experts have found little evidence the disease is spreading inside buildings, and the rates of infection are far below what is found in the surrounding communities.

This early evidence, experts say, suggests opening school may not be as risky as many have feared and could guide administrators as they charter the rest of what is already an unprecedented school year.

“Everyone had a fear there would be explosive outbreaks of transmission in the schools. In colleges, there have been. We have to say that to date, we have not seen those in the younger kids and that is a really important observation,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

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