Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Millions of kids are about to head back to school, but students, teachers, administrators and parents still don't have a clear picture of how it's going to work.

The big picture: Even the best-laid plans for in-person classes will likely be full of holes because the coronavirus will make even the simplest, most intuitive routines extremely difficult — or impossible. And schools will be trying to figure out new structures basically on the fly, with everyone's health on the line.

“I can't walk around and kneel next to a student to see how they're doing. That's where the teaching and learning magic happens, but now it's all going to be antiseptic. And it's gotta be."
— Larry Ferlazzo, a high school teacher in Sacramento

Instruction: Social distancing at school means less group work, more lectures, and no contact between students and teachers — all in classrooms that were not designed to keep 20-plus kids anywhere close to 6 feet apart.

  • “They were kind of thinking of it in terms of, 'We'll just make the classes smaller.' The problem with that is that they don't have the teachers for that or the classrooms for that," said Jori Krulder, a high school teacher in Paradise, California.

Meals: "Our cafeteria was already crammed to capacity before the pandemic," said Aaron Phillips, a third-grade teacher in Amarillo, Texas.

  • That means breakfast and lunch may have to be in classrooms, which raises new questions about cleanliness and extra work for teachers.

Health care: Temperature checks may be frequent. But a majority of schools no longer have a full-time nurse on site, which makes monitoring student and staff health impossible for some areas.

  • "[Schools] are going to need the expertise of trained medical personnel on staff," said Melissa Perry, a public and occupational health researcher at George Washington University.

On top of all of that, teachers predict it'll be difficult to get kids — young and old — to maintain 6 feet of distance and keep masks on.

  • "You can paint arrows on the floors, but you can’t make kids not run over and jump on each other and hug each other in the hallways," Krulder said.

What we're watching: All of this planning may get tossed out if coronavirus cases escalate in a community and force schools back to remote learning — which presents its own challenges for both families and teachers.

The bottom line: Schools are opening back up the same way they closed down in the spring: in a frenzy where nobody knows what to expect.

  • "This is not me teaching," fifth-grade teacher Katie O'Connor said in a viral video in which she rearranged her classroom to meet social distancing standards. "This is not how I want to go back, and I want to go back so bad."

Go deeper

Updated Nov 10, 2020 - World

In photos: Coronavirus restrictions grow across Europe

A waiter stands on an empty street in downtown Lisbon on Nov. 9, after Portugal introduced a night-time curfew for 70% of the population, including the capital and also the coastal city of Porto. It'll last for at least two weeks, per the BBC. Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP via Getty Images

Portugal and Hungary have become the latest European countries to impose partial lockdowns, with curfews going into effect overnight. Governments across the continent are imposing more restrictions in attempts to curb COVID-19 spikes.

The big picture: Over 9.2 million cases have been reported to the European Centre for Disease Control. Per the ECDC, France has the most (almost 1.8 million) followed by Spain (over 1.3 million) and the United Kingdom (nearly 1.2 million). The COVID death rate per 100,000 of the population is highest in the Czech Republic (25), followed by Belgium (19) and Hungary (10.4).

Ben Carson tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson tested positive for COVID-19, ABC News first reported on Monday.

Why it matters: Carson is the latest in a string of White House officials to contract the virus — days after Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also tested positive. Like Meadows, Carson attended the White House’s largely mask-free election night party last week alongside a group of other top officials in President Trump's Cabinet.

Nov 10, 2020 - Health

FDA grants emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly COVID-19 treatment

Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The FDA announced on Monday it has issued an emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly's antibody therapy, bamlanivimab, to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

Why it matters: The treatment is authorized for people "who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization," including people who are 65 and older, and/or people with certain chronic illnesses.