IDAHO - Leaders in Idaho's education system have released a joint statement about the impact COVID-19 has had on schools.

The letter starts off by saying that the pandemic has impacted nearly every part of the way people live, work and celebrate. 

"Our students and educators are no exception," it reads. "Their lives were turned upside down last spring when they were sent home to finish out their education in virtual environments."

United States Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Brix recently visited Idaho. In that visit, the statement says Brix said schools are not super spreaders for the virus. Instead, the virus is spreading in the community and during gatherings where people aren't social distancing and aren't wearing masks. 

"The quickest and most effective way to mitigate this virulent spread is simply to follow the science-based public health protocols of washing hands, maintaining six feet apart and wearing a face mask," the statement says. "Adult behaviors do impact our ability to operate schools."

The statement continues by saying: "Idaho’s confirmed cases are on a perilous trajectory. As education policy leaders, we urge and plead with communities large and small across Idaho to do their part to help our students be able to stay in school. The pandemic is not partisan. Enabling our students to go to school, with all the developmental and extracurricular opportunities it has to offer, is not partisan either. It is a moral and economic imperative."
To read the full statement, click here.