Millions more children in the US learned on Friday that they are unlikely to return to classrooms full time in autumn because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The country’s two most populous states each reported roughly 10,000 new cases and some of their highest death counts since the pandemic began, while big numbers in Florida and Arizona are also helping drive the US resurgence that is forcing states to rethink the school year.

California Governor Gavin Newsom laid out strict criteria for school reopenings that makes classroom instruction unlikely for most districts.

The Democrat’s rules mandate that students above second grade and all staff wear masks.

Texas gave public schools permission to stay closed for more than 5 million students well into the fall.

Under the guidelines, schools can hold online-only instruction for up to the first eight weeks, potentially pushing a return to campus in some cities until November.

Most Chicago children would return to the classroom just two days a week and spend the other three days learning remotely under a tentative plan outlined by officials from the nation’s third-largest school district.

A final decision for fall classes for the district’s more than 300,000 students will not come until late August.

Meanwhile Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican, announced she will override school districts and require students to spend at least half of their schooling in classrooms, drawing criticism from the state teachers union.

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