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We Asked Dr. Dawn Nolt, One of Oregon’s Top Pediatricians, If Children Should Return to School This Fall

She’s been studying the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health—and its effects on others more vulnerable to the disease.

WW presents “Distant Voices,” a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they’re doing during quarantine.

Nearly everyone in Oregon is talking about whether children should return to school this fall. Few people can assess that question with the authority of Dr. Dawn Nolt.

Nolt is the medical director for infection prevention and control at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital.  Since the pandemic began, she's been studying the effects of COVID-19 on children's health—and its effects on others more vulnerable to the disease.

That's information that will weigh into the decisions being made by Gov. Kate Brown in the coming weeks. Brown has said she'll decide whether to return children to in-person classrooms on a district-by-district basis. Her choice is being watched closely by Oregon teachers, parents and employers.

WW Editor Mark Zusman asked Nolt: If you were the U.S. secretary of education and had to advise whether to reopen classrooms this August, what would you do? Her answer was a little unexpected.