DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – There are hard decisions being made in Texas and across the nation as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spike to record levels, bus drivers and teachers quarantine, students get sick and the holidays loom.

Facing equally grim conditions, some school districts are ending in-person teaching and switching to remote learning — at least temporarily.

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Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has been watching and worrying as case numbers rise around him. Texas surpassed 1 million cases this week. Health and Human Services officials reported 808 additional positive COVID-19 cases in Dallas County on November 12.

Many of the district’s 150,000 students are from disadvantaged families, and about half attend at least some in-person classes. Switching to all-remote learning could mean a loss of state funding, Hinojosa said, but if schools reach a crisis point, “we have to be able to pivot on a dime.”

Five schools in the district had to revert to all-remote education briefly when cases were detected in students and staff. School numbers have been relatively low; just 2% of the district’s 22,000 teachers and staff have been infected, and the rate among students is well below that.

But Hinojosa fears that bubble could burst over the holidays.

“We are a very blue city in a purple county in a red state. The governor wants all restaurants open,” he said.

Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis and Philadelphia are among those that are closing classrooms or abandoning plans to offer in-person classes later in the school year, and New York City may be next.

Such decisions are complicated by a host of conflicting concerns — namely, safety versus the potential educational and economic damage from schooling children at home, in front of computers, under their parents’ supervision.

The virus does not appear to be rampant within schools themselves. Instead, many of the infections that are proving so disruptive are believed to be occurring out in the community. Educators fear things could get worse during upcoming holiday breaks, when students and staff gather with family and friends or travel to other hot spots.

The nation has entered “an extremely high-risk period,’’ said experts at PolicyLab, a Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia team that develops guidance. They shifted their advice this week, advocating online-only instruction for areas with rapidly rising rates, at least until after Thanksgiving.

Newly confirmed infections per day in the U.S. are shattering records at nearly every turn, hitting more than 153,000 on Thursday and pushing the running total in the U.S. to about 10.5 million, with about a quarter-million deaths, by Johns Hopkins University’s count. The number of people now in the hospital reached an all-time high of over 67,000 on Thursday, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

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Weekly reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association show there have been more than 900,000 COVID-19 cases in children and teens in the U.S., and they have been steadily rising. Almost 74,000 cases were recorded during the week ending Nov. 5, an all-time high.

Severe illness among children and teens is rare, particularly in younger ones, but they can often spread the disease without showing any symptoms. When schools are disrupted, it’s often because teachers, staff and other adult employees have gotten sick.

The academy has stressed the importance of in-person education but says uncontrolled spread in many areas means that cannot happen safely in many schools.

By some estimates, more than half of U.S. schools have been offering at least some in-person classes.

In New Mexico, where cases and hospitalizations are at record highs, Amy Armstrong and her husband face a dilemma. They have been sending their 7-year-old son, Damien, to school four days a week since September. But the district outside Albuquerque announced this week that classes will be online-only starting Monday.

Quitting their jobs to watch over their children — she’s a bank employee, he does electrical work — could mean losing their house.

Armstrong said she understands the rationale for shutting schools.

‘’But do they understand the impact financially, emotionally and physically it’s having on people, on families, on the kids especially?’’ she said.

In Europe, most schools reopened to a degree in September, only to see the virus spike and hospitals start to fill with COVID-19 patients. Greece reluctantly closed all but elementary schools this month, while Italy kept high schools on a partial schedule.

France, which has suffered more infections than anywhere else in Europe, kept schools open even after closing restaurants, bars and all but essential stores. The number of children under 19 testing positive has dropped markedly since the semi-lockdown began on Oct. 29 but remains high.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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