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Poll: 72% of U.S. parents fear COVID-19 danger at schools, daycare

A masked young girl waves before entering The Island School in New York City on September 29. The school, and many others in the city, reopened that day with a combination of blended learning and home schooling. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A masked young girl waves before entering The Island School in New York City on September 29. The school, and many others in the city, reopened that day with a combination of blended learning and home schooling. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Nearly three-quarters of parents in the United States say they're "somewhat" or "very" concerned about their children picking up COVID-19 at school or daycare centers, a Gallup survey shows.

According to the poll, part of the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Study, 45% of U.S. parents say they're "very worried" and 27% are "somewhat" concerned. Thirteen percent said they are "not too worried" and 9% said they're "not at all worried."

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More than half said school cleanliness and sanitation had a major impact on their feeling, and 47% cited requirements or lack of requirements for daily health screenings for students and teachers as a major influencing factor in how they feel about sending children to schools full time. Another 44% said class size was a "major" concern.

"Most parents who have one or more children enrolled in school would prefer that their child's school have some level of in-person learning, either full time or part time, with some distance learning," Gallup wrote.

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"However, about a third of parents would prefer that their child's school offer full-time remote learning, and that rate increases among those who are very worried their child will contract the virus."

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"Full economic recovery will remain out of reach until schools can safely instruct students in person, as parents have to be able to participate fully in the economy -- as consumers and as employees," it added.

Many schools nationwide have reopened for the fall term in some form, but some parents and teachers have expressed concern about returning with rises in coronavirus cases.

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Gallup said it polled more than 5,000 U.S. adults last month for the survey.

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