As the virus continues to ravage across the United States, and the calendar turns to July, the focus turns now to returning school-aged children to the classroom this fall. And for government officials, it's going to be a decision that isn't going to be made by just one person.
For medical providers like Sanford Health infectious disease physician Avish Nagpal, the decision to return kids to school "is a hard decision."
"We will probably need to make a decision closer to the opening date here," he says. "If you ask my personal opinion, I think schools probably should open, because we have to take care of kids education."
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum says the key is going to be keeping the students and staff safe as they look at reopening schools across North Dakota. Important will be the 175 local school boards across the state, who Burgum says "are going to be key in making decisions about how we operate safely and do education in the best way we can."
"It was relatively easy to decide to shut schools down," he says.
Burgum says that state and local public health also have a responsibility in keeping the kids safe.
Funding also plays a factor, as some funding may have regulation on it. 75 percent of funding for education comes from the State of North Dakota, Burgum says.
The return to school this fall is likely to be one that will require teamwork and collaboration.
"2020 is the year people will remember," Burgum says.