Rockford, Illinois News

Disease doctor says Illinois schools won’t last a week with COVID-19

CHICAGO — An infectious disease professor says he gives Illinois schools one week before they close because of COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Murphy, an infectious disease professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the executive director of The Institute for Global Health told WGN News that it’s “risky” to send children back into classroom environments.

He said it’s so risky, it won’t be long before students, especially those attending college on campuses across the state, are infected in large numbers.

“One week,” Murphy said, referring to how long it will take before they close. “The first week of school. You are going to see them go like dominoes.”

Murphy said large parties will likely be the reason colleges universities end in-person instruction. As for elementary, middle and high schools, the risk lies in potential long-term effects of carnivorous that experts have yet to figure out.

“We don’t know what is going to happen to young people who get COVID,” he said. “…It’s not that they don’t get sick. They get infected. The virus may go to all parts of the their body. They are having some long-term complications, and this is disturbing.”

Murphy is also a supporter of face coverings, saying if everyone wore a mask, the virus could be contained safely. But when people ignore mask mandates, cases will rise, something he says is true across the globe, not just the United States.

“When you see this pictures of college kids in the bars and they’re all like packed in there, of course it’s going to spread,” he said. “And this has happened everywhere in the world, even countries that controlled it really well, like South Korea. When they have a little blip in cases, it’s always because of close get together(s) without masks.”

College students have already begun traveling back to Illinois campuses. Local school districts are also ready to begin the 2020-21 academic year. Rockford Public School District 205 starts Sept. 2. The Harlem School District reopens Sept. 8. Both districts offer are offering remote and in-person learning.

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