Although studies have shown COVID-19 transmission is rare in classrooms, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona says it is "premature" to determine if schools can resume in-person instruction in this fall.
According to Cardona, the rate of COVID-19 transmission in a community would play a role in determining whether K-12 students will receive face-to-face instruction.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes asked Cardona whether remote learning should continue at the start of the next school year.
"It's premature to tell," said Cardona. "One thing I know as a former commissioner of education, COVID-19 numbers will dictate how we move to reopen schools. So it's not just about what's happening in the schools. It's about what's happening in the community."
Educators from across the United States discussed safe reopening strategies at the Education Department's National Safe School Reopening Summit just hours before Cardona's comments.
That same day, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced that families would not have an option to continue remote learning in the fall unless "the world goes sideways."
A January study from top infectious disease experts found that COVID-19 outbreaks in classrooms have been "rarely reported." Similarly, an American Academy of Pediatrics study asserted that coronavirus transmission is "extremely rare" in the classroom setting.