It’s nearly impossible to find a snapshot of how schools across the U.S. are dealing with the coronavirus, so theater teacher Alisha Morris decided to make one. Morris started a crowdsourced spreadsheet of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and quarantines in K-12 schools across all 50 states. Now, that massive list, complete with more than 4,000 cases in more than 1,000 schools, is available as an interactive map.
The easy-to-understand map visualizes COVID-19 cases in schools from March until August 23. Different colors represent the total number of school-related cases in each state and city. Rolling over the map breaks down how many cases were in teachers vs. students, and you can filter out cases from the spring if you want to focus on newer info. Since March, Morris has tallied 4,282 verified cases in 1,081 schools. She has also counted 75 deaths.
Contributors have also submitted unverified accounts of cases in their district. “I absolutely get the suspicion based on the anecdotes that people have sent me, [that] there have been tons of schools that have been purposely trying to keep this on the down-low,” Morris told NPR.
The state with the most verified COVID-19 deaths tied to schools is Texas, which also stakes a claim to the state with the most affected schools. Though Florida has far fewer schools affected, it is the source of many more cases — the most out of any state and about 29 percent of all school cases in the U.S. Texas is the runner-up for number of cases but has about half as many as Florida.
The map, created by a volunteer, may not be updated past August 23 because Morris’s spreadsheet has folded. When her teaching duties resumed, Morris handed over control to the National Education Association, which is now keeping their own spreadsheet of cases in each state. The NEA is currently updating their site with Morris’s information, and it’s list is incomplete. But that’s the place to watch for updates throughout the semester.