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New York City schools to end remote learning in the fall

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There's another sign of life returning to normal: New York City, the nation's largest school district, will end remote learning beginning this fall, bringing more than a million students back to the classroom full-time.

"It's time for everyone to come back," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.

But the school reopenings won't be exactly like pre-pandemic days: everyone must still wear a mask and social distance.  

"We're going to have plenty of protections in place, as we proved even during the toughest months of COVID that we could keep kids and staff safe with a gold standard of health and safety measures," de Blasio said.

Nearly 400,000 students returned to the classroom throughout the current school year and roughly 600,000 are still learning remotely, CBS New York reported

The teacher's union, United Federation of Teachers, said the organization wants "as many students back in school as safely possible," but said a remote option "may still be necessary" for students with "extreme medical challenges."

The news comes as nearly half the country's adults are now fully vaccinated, and the number of COVID-19 cases in children fell for a second straight week.

A small study has found that most children who suffer from the rare post-COVID multi-system inflammatory syndrome recover within about six months.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating several dozen reports of myocarditis — an inflammation of the lining of the heart — in teenagers who received the Pfizer vaccine. But as the FDA noted in a recent statement, "just because an adverse event occurs near time of vaccination does not mean that it is caused by the vaccine."

"Fortunately, they seem to be rare cases right now," Dr. Peter Hotez said. "It's something that needs to be followed."

Vaccine clinical trials continue for children under 12. Andel Good, 3, and 8-month-old Soren Good were given one-tenth of an adult dose. "We'll take the vaccine any day over the potential downsides of COVID," parent Otavio Good said.

The reopening of America comes with new questions about the origins of the coronavirus. Three workers at a lab in Wuhan, China, were hospitalized in November of 2019 with possible COVID-19 symptoms, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a U.S. intelligence report.

When asked about the report today, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the administration has been pressing for an international investigation into whether the virus could have escaped from the lab.

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