Coronavirus Pandemic Readiness: U.S. School Districts Ranked [2020]

School districts surrounding Washington, DC, are especially well-prepared to face a public health crisis. Schools in Detroit and Memphis lag behind.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Sep 24, 2020

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Here’s What You Need to Know:

  • Nine out of 10 children worldwide are now at home due to coronavirus school closures
  • School districts in several of the suburban counties around Washington, D.C., are especially well-prepared to face a pandemic
  • In areas where average household incomes are low and the percentage of single-parent families are high, schools face more problems

Coronavirus Readiness School Districts Ranked

The coronavirus pandemic has us all worried and looking for answers. When will the crisis subside? Does our family health insurance cover such public health crises? Is it safe to return to work?

And if you’re a parent, you’re facing a unique set of challenges in balancing your own work-life and sanity with now, most likely, the task of homeschooling. This got us wondering: What is the coronavirus pandemic readiness for U.S. school districts?

In this article, we’ll rank the 20 biggest U.S. school districts and their preparedness to face a public health crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Then, we’ll look at the 10 best hospitals for pediatrics across the country, medical centers where research on children and the novel viral pandemic is at the forefront of both urgency and progress.

Along the way, we’ll cover some school protocols for COVID, CSC guidelines for COVID-19, and some CDC guidelines for reopening schools and other topics.

Of course, when it comes to the spread and danger of COVID-19, children aren’t the only ones at risk during the pandemic when the school districts open. Teachers, administrators, family, and friends all have the possibility of catching the virus.

If you’re looking for insurance, either health or another kind, to lessen the financial burden if you were to become sick, plug in your information into our FREE online quote generator at the top of the page. It’ll give you the best rates for you and your area.

Now, let’s get to the ranking. We’ve done the research, and we’re ready to share it with your family.

Table of Contents

School Districts Ranked for Pandemic Readiness

Sadly, we know that not all school districts are equal.

Some schools outperform others when it comes to standardized test scores or college admissions. And some schools innovatively train students on issues such as science and technology or the environment, while others are still wed to a traditional curriculum of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

In the United States, most school-age children are now home as we fight COVID-19. Schools are physically closed, and many have turned to online learning and relying on parents to teach their kids.

So what about school districts’ readiness to face a public health crisis like the current global coronavirus pandemic? For this study, we decided to take a look at the 20 largest school districts in the United States.

Coronavirus Readiness 20 Largest School Districts Ranked

How prepared, we wondered, are these school districts to face a pandemic like COVID-19?

What we found surprised us: A school district’s preparedness has less to do with the schools themselves than the demographic, economic, and geographic conditions of where they are located.

In the table below, we’re ranking the 20 largest school districts in the United States from best to least prepared to face and fight a novel virus outbreak based on three data points:

  1. The average household income in that school district
  2. The percent of children living in single-parent households in that school district
  3. The medical infrastructure score of that school district or the nearest accessible metropolitan area (out of 100)

20 Biggest U.S. School Districts & Coronavirus Preparedness
School DistrictLocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical ScoreRank
Fairfax County Public SchoolsFairfax, VA156,412$122,22732%80.891
San Diego City UnifiedSan Diego, CA141,804$79,64633%88.672
Montgomery County Public SchoolsRockville, MD134,180$108,18834%80.893
Prince Georges County Public SchoolsUpper Marlboro, MD133,723$83,03434%80.894
Houston Independent School DistrictHouston, TX208,462$63,80245%80.845
New York City Public SchoolsNew York, New York1,066,516$57,78240%88.686
Hawaii Department of EducationHonolulu, HI184,360$84,42330%20.837
Palm Beach County School DistrictWest Palm Beach, FL153,871$61,69139%49.358
Los Angeles UnitedLos Angeles, CA721,346$55,90940%88.679
Orange County School DistrictOrlando, FL150,681$58,58839%49.3510
Hillsborough County School DistrictTampa, FL164,311$58,48039%49.3511
City of Chicago School DistrictChicago, IL435,261$57,23846%82.5412
Broward County School DistrictFt. Lauderdale, FL251,129$57,27839%49.3513
Philadelphia City School DistrictPhiladelphia, PA201,190$46,11659%88.6814
Dallas Independent School DistrictDallas, TX161,548$52,21045%70.5515
Clark County School DistrictLas Vegas, NV231,655$52,07041%016
Dade County School DistrictMiami, FL368,625$52,20549%49.3517
Duval County School DistrictJacksonville, FL125,846$55,83247%018
Detroit City School DistrictDetroit, MI162,194$26,24971%57.9319
Memphis City School DistrictMemphis, TN113,730$37,09968%020
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As you can see, three of the top four school districts prepared to fight a public health crisis are in the commuter suburbs surrounding our nation’s capital: Fairfax County Public Schools (Virginia), Montgomery County Public (Maryland), and Prince Georges County Public Schools (Maryland).

Let’s take a closer look at the 20 largest school districts in the United States ranked for their readiness to meet a pandemic like the coronavirus head-on.

#1 – Fairfax County Public Schools

Topping our list of the school districts best prepared for the COVID-19 crisis is Fairfax County Public Schools, which governs public schools in both Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax, Virginia, a commuter area just outside Washington, D.C.

Fairfax County Public Schools
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Fairfax, VA156,412$122,22732%80.89
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Serving just over 150,000 students, Fairfax County, like several of the school districts at the top of this list, is in one of the fastest-growing regions of the United States and has the highest average household income on this list. That does not mean the school district is without controversy.

Following the 1954 Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, which essentially mandated the desegregation of public schools, Fairfax County opened two new high schools named for Confederate generals: Robert E. Lee High School and J.E.B. Stuart High School.

In July 2018, the school board voted to rename J.E.B. Stuart, changing the name to Justice High School. Robert E. Lee High School, however, retains its name, despite consistent recent calls for change.

#2 – San Diego City Unified School District

Heading to the West Coast for the second school district in our ranking, we found that students in San Diego City Unified schools have a high average household income and access to some world-class medical institutions.

San Diego City Unified
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
San Diego, CA141,804$79,64633%88.67
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The State of California was one of the first states to have a comprehensive statewide response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the video below, you can watch a virtual press conference, led by San Diego Unified Superintendent Cindy Marten, to see how the city’s schools are rising to meet student needs even while physical schools remain closed.

Dr. Marten is leading a team of professionals from teachers to health care workers in making sure the San Diego Unified School District is ready to meet whatever challenges come its way.

#3 – Montgomery County Public Schools

Heading back to the Washington, D.C., region, Montgomery County Public Schools finds itself as the third best-prepared school district to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in our rankings of the nation’s largest school districts.

Montgomery County Public Schools
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Rockville, MD134,180$108,18834%80.89
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With an average household income of $108,188, students in Maryland’s Montgomery County tend to be affluent with access to some of the United States’ best medical facilities.

Montgomery County Public Schools has over 200 separate educational facilities employing more than 13,000 teachers. Impressively, over 86 percent of these teachers hold a master’s degree. Every year, Montgomery County spends about half its budget to fund its top-ranked school district.

#4 – Prince George’s County Public Schools

Remaining in the Mid-Atlantic region, the fourth spot in our ranking of schools ready to face a public health crisis is Montgomery County’s neighbor to the east: Prince George’s County Public Schools.

Prince Georges County Public Schools
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Upper Marlboro, MD133,723$83,03434%80.89
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It’s a good thing Prince George’s County Public Schools, with a high average household income and great access to medical facilities, is so well-prepared to face a public health crisis. As you can see in the video from WUSA9 below, the county has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Given the concentration of coronavirus cases in Prince George’s County, you might be wondering if you and your family have the right insurance coverage to protect you in case of an emergency. We recommend contacting one of these Maryland insurance agencies to make sure you’re prepared.

#5 – Houston Independent School District

Serving the fourth-largest city in the United States and over 200,000 students, the Houston Independent School District is number five on our list of the country’s largest school districts’ preparedness to face the coronavirus.

Houston Independent School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Houston, TX208,462$63,80245%80.84
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Houston has a high percentage of children living in single-parent households. We included this as a public crisis preparedness indicator because when schools close, children are usually stuck at home. More adults equal more supervision during such a critical time.

But some good news for Houston: The city is home to one of the best children’s hospitals in the United States, Texas Children’s Hospital. Read on to find out more about this top pediatric care center and more top-ranked youth health institutions.

#6 – New York City Public Schools

The largest school district in the country, New York City Public Schools serves well over a million students. The school district has over 1,800 separate educational facilities and an annual budget of nearly $25 billion.

New York City Public Schools
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
New York, New York1,066,516$57,78240%88.68
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New York City has been the hardest hit city in the United States by the coronavirus. With more positive cases and more deaths concentrated than any other American city, we hope that the Big Apple soon turns a corner on this crisis.

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that the city will not open schools for the remainder of the current academic year.

With more than a million students relying on them for a quality education, New York City Public Schools have to be prepared to continue its services, even in the face of a public health crisis.

#7 – Hawaii Department of Education

The Hawaii Department of Education oversees the learning of nearly 200,000 young people. With a fairly high average household income and low percentage of children in single-parent families, Hawaii’s school children are in a decent position when it comes to public health crises.

Hawaii Department of Education
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Honolulu, HI184,360$84,42330%20.83
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With a medical infrastructure score of just 20.83 out of 100, Hawaii struggles when it comes to access to health care. Honolulu has a low number of hospital beds and medical professionals per capita, not surprising given the relative remoteness of the state.

For Hawaii residents, having the best health insurance possible helps alleviate the lack of medical facilities themselves. The Hawaii Department of Health Insurance is an invaluable resource when it comes to making sure you and your family are covered adequately.

#8 – Palm Beach County School District

The Palm Beach County School District serves over 150,000 students in an area north of Miami stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of Lake Okeechobee.

Palm Beach County School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
West Palm Beach, FL153,871$61,69139%49.35
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Florida has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, and public health officials believe it is particularly ripe for a second or third wave of COVID-19 cases.

Palm Beach County, like many populous areas of the state, has a large wealth gap among its residents. The school district is really stepping up to meet the unique challenges facing its students, as you can see in the video below about their curbside lunch delivery service.

As Florida families prepare to face the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we recommend checking out our list of Florida insurance providers to make sure you’re covered in the unfortunate case of an emergency.

#9 – Los Angeles Unified School District

The ninth spot on our list of school districts prepared for a public health crisis goes to the second-largest school district in the nation, Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves over 720,000 students.

Los Angeles United
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Los Angeles, CA721,346$55,90940%88.67
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Like many large cities, Los Angeles has a large wealth gap between its wealthiest and poorest residents, a gap reflected in its school system.

Luckily, Los Angelinos have access to one of the best pediatric care centers in the United States, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. It’s important to make sure you have the best health insurance possible for you and your family to make sure you can access such top-notch facilities.

#10 – Orange County School District

Rounding out the top 10 in our rankings of the nation’s largest school districts and their preparedness to help students face a public health crisis is Florida’s Orange County School District, which serves over 150,000 students in and around Orlando.

Orange County School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Orlando, FL150,681$58,58839%49.35
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Despite a fairly average household income, Orange County, Florida contains a lot of single-parent families. But that doesn’t mean the school district isn’t working hard to meet the challenges facing their students.

In the video below from Orlando’s WKMG News 6, you can get a glimpse of what the move to online learning during the COVID-19 outbreak has been like for Orange County students.

As more and more school districts move to online learning, it’s a great time to talk to your children about the nuances of having an online presence, especially as it pertains to social media. And even as an adult, you should know that your social media presence can affect your insurance.

#11 – Hillsborough County School District

Centered in Tampa, Florida, the Hillsborough County School District serves nearly 165,000 students. South Florida, with a population of both seniors and children, is especially at risk for a public health crisis like COVID-19.

Hillsborough County School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Tampa, FL164,311$58,48039%49.35
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Over 15,000 teachers work in the Hillsborough County School District and are represented by the Hillsborough Classroom Teachers Association (HCTA) union. HCTA president Rob Kriete explains that:

“We at HCTA are very proud of our solidarity. Teachers have fought vigorously to improve the conditions and salaries of our education support professionals, and our education staff professionals have rallied in support of teachers in recent years.”

Unions like HCTA work to improve the quality of life for their employees, negotiating a range of things from salaries to insurance coverage.

When working conditions are of high quality for teachers, students also benefit, especially during a time of public crisis like the current coronavirus pandemic.

#12 – City of Chicago School District

Chicago is a city that faces a lot of uphill battles, from gun violence to population loss.

Founded in 1837, their public school district must rise to face these problems that don’t affect most other school districts across the country in a significant way. The third-largest school district in the nation, the City of Chicago School District serves just under half a million students.

City of Chicago School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Chicago, IL435,261$57,23846%82.54
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Despite close proximity to some of the best health care facilities in the nation, children in Chicago have a relatively high rate of living in a single-parent household. And with high rates of gun violence, drug addiction, and poverty within the school system itself, many students are at-risk.

But not all hope is lost. The City of Chicago School District is focusing efforts on meeting the particular needs of the most at-risk students. You can see one of these efforts, the Moses Montefiore Academy, in the video from Vice News below.

Some bright news on the Chicago scene: Despite other challenges facing the city, Chicagoans have a fairly low roadway mortality rate compared to other major U.S. cities that are deadly to drivers.

#13 – Broward County School District

The 13th spot on our ranking of the school districts best prepared to face a public health crisis brings us back to Florida. The Broward County School District serves a quarter of a million students in and around Ft. Lauderdale.

Established in 1905, the district’s motto is “Educating Today’s Students For Tomorrow’s World.”

Broward County School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Ft. Lauderdale, FL251,129$57,27839%49.35
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Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie told the Miami Herald that:

“We recognize that the pandemic will continue to grow and anticipate more challenging conditions emerging over the next several weeks. Consequently, it is reasonable for all of us to plan for continuing distance learning through the end of the school year.”

Many public health experts agree with this reasoning and expect Florida to be particularly precarious if a second or third wave of the coronavirus pandemic comes to the United States.

#14 – Philadelphia City School District

One of the five biggest cities in the United States, Philadelphia struggles to keep pace with its expanding city size and infrastructure needs. But as one of its most famous fictional characters, Rocky Balboa, can attest, don’t count Philly down and out.

The Philadelphia City School District educates over 200,000 students in Pennsylvania’s largest metropolitan area.

Philadelphia City School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Philadelphia, PA201,190$46,11659%88.68
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Though residents of Philadelphia live close to some of the finest medical care facilities in the world, the wealth gap in the city is very wide, with around a quarter of residents living at or below the poverty line.

And as you can see in the video below from Philadelphia’s NBC10, the public school district faces a lot of unique and pressing challenges, such as in-school violence, constant pressure to improve test scores, and a high rate of turnover among teachers.

Despite the problems the City of Brotherly Love faces as both a city and a school district, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a rich history worth exploring and, we hope, a bright future that will build on that history through improved public education and access to health care.

#15 – Dallas Independent School District

The Dallas Independent School District ranks much lower than its Texas neighbor on this list, the Houston Independent School District, despite serving far fewer students.

Established in 1884, the Dallas Independent School District is governed by a nine-member school board and overseen by the Texas Education Agency.

Dallas Independent School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Dallas, TX161,548$52,21045%70.55
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A surprisingly high percentage—45 percent, in fact—of Dallas children live in single-parent households. Combine that with a below-average annual household income for Dallas residents, and the Dallas Independent School District falls in the bottom quarter for their readiness to face a pandemic.

Despite the circumstances, the quickly growing urban school district faces, Dallas schools are rising to the unique challenges of this trying time for public health and safety.

For instance, the school district’s Homeless Education Program is continuing to serve housing insecure students and their families as COVID-19 closes schools themselves.

#16 – Clark County School District

Nevada’s Clark County School District serves nearly a quarter of a million young people in the Las Vegas area. Founded relatively recently in 1956, over 15,000 teachers work in the Clark County School District alongside nearly 3,000 support staff and over 1,300 administrators.

Clark County School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Las Vegas, NV231,655$52,07041%0
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Clark County students are more likely than most students in the United States to live in a single-parent household. Additionally, residents in the area have a deep lack of medical facilities, which makes it hard to fight a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schools in Clark County, as you can see in the video below from Las Vegas’s Fox 5, also face severe overcrowding.

Las Vegas and its surrounding suburbs are quickly growing, and schools are struggling to keep pace with this population growth. This problem faces many cities across the rapidly expanding American South and Sunbelt.

#17 – Dade County School District

Dade County, Florida—largely composed of the city of Miami—has nearly 370,000 students who attend the public school system.

Their motto is “Giving Our Students the World,” and that’s not merely a motto on paper; the school district offers bilingual education in Spanish, French, German, Haitian Creole, and Mandarin Chinese.

Dade County School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Miami, FL368,625$52,20549%49.35
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As you can see, nearly half of Dade County students live in a single-parent household, and households have a well-below average annual income. Despite this, Dade County students are excelling in many ways. As you can see in the video below, they are especially excelling in math and reading.

Miami, like Las Vegas, is a quickly growing area with specific and often hard-to-meet needs facing its diverse population. But as the city continues to grow, we hope school officials will rise to meet these needs in thoughtful, healthy ways.

#18 – Duval County School District

The 18th spot on our list of school districts and their preparedness for a public health crisis takes us to the other end of Florida.

The Duval County School District is tasked with educating over 125,000 students in Jacksonville and the surrounding area. With over 8,000 teachers and nearly 200 schools, Duval County is a larger school district than many may suspect.

Duval County School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Jacksonville, FL125,846$55,83247%0
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Though a large city with a population of just under a million people, Jacksonville, located about halfway between the larger metropolises of Atlanta and Miami, has relatively few medical care facility options, especially when it comes to specialized care such as pediatrics.

#19 – Detroit City School District

Detroit has been losing population since the mid-20th century, and this flight has had numerous negative economic effects on the city, and especially its public schools.

Established in 1842, Detroit City Schools now has over 100 educational centers employing over 3,000 teachers.

Detroit City School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Detroit, MI162,194$26,24971%57.93
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More students in Detroit live in single-parent households than any other school district on this list. Those households also have the lowest average annual income at just $26,249.

As you can see in the video below from the American Federation of Teachers, educational staff in the Motor City are struggling to keep up as they work in crumbling buildings that lack basic supplies.

Don’t count Detroit and its schools down and out. As the Motor City’s favorite son Henry Ford was quoted saying,

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”

We believe that as groups begin to move back to Detroit, the city will see a renaissance, from its industries to its schools.

#20 – Memphis City School District

Rounding out our ranking of the 20 largest school districts in the United States and their readiness to face a pandemic is the Memphis City School District. The Memphis City School District serves over 110,000 students in the Memphis, Tennessee metropolitan area.

Memphis City School District
LocationTotal StudentsAvg. Household
Income
% Single-Parent
Households
Medical Score
Memphis, TN113,730$37,09968%0
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When it comes to average annual incomes and the percent of students living in single-parent households, Memphis faces nearly as dire statistics as Detroit. But while Detroit has a fairly extensive medical infrastructure, Memphis doesn’t even rank on MedBelle’s hospital cities listing.

One bright spot on Memphis’s medical scene: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Focusing on the treatment and research of children’s catastrophic diseases, particularly leukemia and other cancers, St. Jude’s does not charge its patients anything for treatment.

You’ve probably seen a St. Jude’s commercial starring one of its many celebrity supporters, such as the recent interview with musician MAJOR below.

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital has been serving children and inspiring us all since its founding in 1962. It’s amazing to consider that the hospital costs about $3 million a day to operate but still charges its patients nothing for the care they so critically need.

Speaking of hospitals, let’s look at U.S. News & World Report’s best children’s hospitals across the United States.

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Best Children’s Hospitals: Coast to Coast

Every year, U.S. News & World Report is the industry leader in researching and ranking the best hospitals both in general and by specialty. Their latest rankings include both some expected medical centers as well as some newcomers.

Coronavirus Readiness Best Hospitals for Children Ranked

Let’s take a closer look at these 10 hospitals and why they’re great places for children to seek medical treatment.

#1 – Boston Children’s Hospital

For the sixth year in a row, Boston Children’s Hospital tops the list of best children’s hospitals. U.S. News explains that Boston Children’s reach goes well beyond the four walls of the hospital. Community initiatives focus on not only the treatment of asthma and obesity but also mental health:

“The neighborhood partnerships program addresses behavioral health in the community, placing clinicians in schools and community centers to provide mental and behavioral health services to children and adolescents.”

Check out the video from Boston Children’s Hospital below featuring Ava, a mental health patient turned adolescent mental health advocate.

Boston is home to many top-notch medical institutions, from Massachusetts General Hospital to Harvard University School of Medicine. In fact, Boston is often considered the top city for health care in the United States.

#2 – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is a teaching hospital for the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.

Though Philadelphia faces many public health problems, from asthma clusters to widespread economic barriers to medical care, CHOP is a nationally ranked hospital in 10 pediatric specialties.

CHOP facilities include a pediatric intensive care unit, a neonatal intensive care unit, a pediatric emergency center, a pediatric psychiatric center, and a comprehensive children’s wellness program.

#3 – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) is the first of two Ohio children’s hospitals to crack the top 10 children’s hospitals in the nation.

U.S. News reports that CCHMC is home to many notable programs, including:

  • The Perinatal Institute – a Level 4 newborn intensive care unit and follow-up clinic to oversee high-risk, complex cases in infancy.
  • The Turner Syndrome Center and the Cincinnati Center for Growth Disorders – treatment centers for children and youth with diagnosed and undiagnosed growth issues.
  • The Cincinnati Fetal Center – a treatment center to meet the particular needs of mothers and babies with rare fetal conditions.

During the coronavirus pandemic, CCHMC has launched the Music Therapy Living Room Concert Series, which brings music therapy treatment online so children and youth sheltering at home can still access treatment. Get a taste for the series in the video below.

During a time like this, therapeutic programs are especially important for at-risk children. By bringing these programs online, organizations allow more children and caretakers to access them.

#4 – Texas Children’s Hospital

Located in the heart of Houston, Texas Children’s Hospital has served coastal Texas and beyond since the 1950s.

Notably, Texas Children’s Hospital houses a Level 1 trauma center, a Level 1 surgery center, and a Level 4 neonatal intensive care unit.

In the 1970s, Texas Children’s Hospital became famous for its treatment of David Vetter, a child with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). David Vetter was quarantined for the entirety of his life and as the video below explains, you might know him by his media nickname: Bubble Boy.

Now that most of us are staying at home during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have just a slight taste of how David lived his entire life.

#5 – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) was founded in 1901 and is located in the East Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. CHLA reports that they see nearly 343,753 outpatient visits per year and admit almost 15,000 inpatients annually.

Since 1932, CHLA has been a teaching hospital for the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, which means the hospital is on the cutting edge of not only children’s treatment but also pediatric research.

CHLA prides itself on being nationally ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report.

#6 – Children’s National Hospital

Children’s National Hospital is located in Washington, D.C., and is a teaching hospital for both The George Washington University School of Medicine and The Howard University College of Medicine.

U.S. News ranks Children’s National as the top hospital for neonatology. Neonatology is the medical care of newborn infants, especially the ill or prematurely born.

As the coronavirus wreaks havoc around the world, Children’s National is providing a helpful series of videos for parents and other caretakers to help children understand the pandemic. You can catch one of these videos, focused on handwashing, below.

Children’s National Hospital, which draws not only on the resources of Howard and George Washington universities but also the nearby National Institutes of Health, is at the forefront of pediatric research and development.

#7 – Nationwide Children’s Hospital

The seventh of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the nation takes us back to Ohio. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is located in the heart of Columbus and is an academic partner with The Ohio State University’s College of Medicine.

Beyond their world-class pediatric oncology center, Nationwide Children’s has two unique research and treatment programs according to U.S. News:

“The Sleep Disorder Center evaluates and treats children with both common and rare sleep conditions. The hospital’s Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition incorporates community care through its Primary Care Obesity Network, which connects primary care providers throughout central Ohio to local patients seeking obesity care.”

Nationwide Children’s houses a pediatric intensive care unit, a neonatal intensive care unit, a pediatric emergency center, a pediatric psychiatric center, and a comprehensive children’s wellness program.

#8 – UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Since 1890, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh has been serving children in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. Part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh now operates at over 70 locations.

The heart of UPMC Children’s is the 1.5 million square foot facility in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood, featured in the video below.

Interesting fact: UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is home to the first pediatric transplant program in the nation, the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation.

#9 – Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

Given the reputation of both their main hospital and medical school, it’s probably no surprise to see Johns Hopkins Children’s Center (JHCC) on the list of best children’s hospitals in the United States.

Serving children and families in the city of Baltimore, the Mid-Atlantic region, and beyond, JHCC is especially known for its pediatric cancer treatment and research programs.

JHCC’s pediatric emergency center is the only state-designated trauma center for children in Maryland. It treats over 40,000 children and young people each year.

#10 – Seattle Children’s Hospital

Rounding out the top 10 best children’s hospitals in the United States is the Seattle Children’s Hospital, which houses the University of Washington’s pediatric residency training program.

Seattle Children’s serves a large area and many underserved and high-risk populations. The hospital explains that as a comprehensive health unit:

“Together, we deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and serve as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho—the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country.”

In the video below, you can see this superior care in action.

In 2019, Seattle Children’s Hospital had 442,125 patient visits. They report that the top five reasons for inpatient admission were chemotherapy, depressive disorders, seizure, bronchiolitis/RSV, and asthma.

If you’re in the health sector, you might want to check out our guide to car insurance for medical professionals, which offers some keen insight into the discounts and nuances available to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other superheroes working to protect us all.

Professional Advice: Coronavirus & Children

We asked a variety of relevant professionals to weigh in on the issue of school district preparedness and more generally, the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on children. Read on to learn what they had to share.

Advice from experts around the country.

How are school districts preparing for the coronavirus pandemic?
“It is uncertain whether schools will be able to reopen or will remain online in the fall, but school districts can plan for either alternative. Establishing a robust curriculum for students is an important component of education and there needs to be a flexible plan ready for either scenario.

Whether schools are open in the fall or not, school districts should communicate with administration, staff, and teachers to develop a plan to be ready to teach in classrooms or in an online learning environment.

School districts must be prepared to offer students guidance on how they can reduce exposure to the coronavirus. It is important to give children a greater sense of control over the disease spread and to help reduce stress and anxiety.

It is also a good idea to educate students on the importance of maintaining a balanced diet with regular exercise despite the shelter-in-place order.”

How could school districts better prepare for the coronavirus or future public health crises?
“School districts can better prepare for future health crises by strengthening relationships with stakeholders in the community. It is critical to establish partnerships with the local public health department, local hospitals, and community leaders.

These relationships should ideally be in place before the arrival of the health crisis to better coordinate the implementation of a broader planning effort. There should be a detailed discussion that makes clear each partner’s responsibilities and decision-making authority.”

What advice do you have for parents now tasked with homeschooling or overseeing the tele-schooling of their children?
“Parents need to be forgiving right now if their child or children have a tough time adapting to homeschooling or tele-schooling.

It is important to remember that this is a stressful time for everyone and although it is important to keep up with schoolwork, it is equally important to not put too much pressure on children, or even oneself as a parent.”

How are children uniquely at-risk during a public health crisis?
“Children are especially at-risk during a public health crisis because they may not fully understand or appreciate the full scope of how the pandemic has upended the world.

A child may be especially prone to emotional disturbance if the parents are having job-related or financial problems related to being out of work or furloughed because of the pandemic. 

Parents need to be careful to shield their young children from the anxiety and stress related to the current situation as best as possible.”

David Reischer, Esq. is the founder and CEO of LegalAdvice.com. David is a licensed attorney with over 15 years of legal experience.David Reischer, Esq. is the founder and CEO of LegalAdvice.com.
David is a licensed attorney with over 15 years of legal experience.


“Because of the federal education system in the United States, many states did not immediately begin online teaching when schools closed. Some of these schools were closed and classes therefore suspended, and some continued to carry out teaching after the suspension.

According to a nationwide survey conducted online by the U.S. Educational Weekly Research Center from March 24 to 25, nearly 75 percent of teachers in schools closed for coronavirus said they were still providing guidance to students.

Sixty percent said they were distributing and collecting student work online, and more than 30 percent used digital tools to teach on the spot. Forty-one percent of school and district leaders surveyed said they did not even have the ability to provide each child with a day of e-learning or distance learning.

Therefore, online education efforts in the United States have been chaotic and unbalanced. Schools have encountered huge obstacles when trying to use technology to keep the national public education system functioning properly.

According to information from both state and federal authorities, how long the school may be closed and whether the school can require online classes are also very different from state to state.

Within the U.S. federal scope, the implementation of emergency financial relief is slow. The huge gap in the U.S. broadband infrastructure also prevents millions of rural and poor households from obtaining reliable internet access.

Many schools do not have enough computers or tablets for all students to use, nor do they have enough plans to distribute the equipment at hand. English learners and students with disabilities are often left behind.

As children in the United States make extensive use of digital learning tools, there are more and more concerns about student data privacy and screen display time.

It is worth noting that while the U.S. federal government is trying to obtain corresponding funding for students and teachers, in those states and school districts that carry out online education, students with poor families can receive computers or tablets for free from the school. 

Because of the lack of top-down guidance from a relatively unified administrative system, the federal education administrative system in the United States may not necessarily mobilize national resources so quickly when responding to the epidemic.

On the other hand, it also shows corresponding flexibility. According to the epidemic situation across America, each state’s flexibility determines the school closing time and closing period and exerts social and civil forces to respond flexibly.

However, due to the differences in education culture, geographical environment, and legal system of each state, online teaching also exhibits different characteristics.

For example, New Hampshire and Florida have adopted a staged and tiered approach to meet the needs of their students. In a remote Colorado mountain town without an internet connection, teachers put together weekly learning packets and provide remote guidance via telephone. 

South Carolina is deploying 3,000 buses with mobile internet hotspots to help children in remote areas conduct online learning.

According to the report ‘Online Learning Day: A Sketch of Policies and Guidance Schemes’ released by the U.S. Digital Learning Cooperation organization in December 2019, only 12 states currently have relatively complete online learning policies in the U.S. such as online learning days.

Those online learning days are usually used for short-term suspensions, such as snowy days or other severe weather, and not all school systems in the state use them.

There are many unresolved issues with the current American education being implemented right now. These issues include what kind and amount of teaching should actually be conducted, how to measure these lessons, and how to teach the students who do not have an internet connection.

In any case, each state has—at a minimum—a relatively good foundation in place to fall back on in response to pandemics like the coronavirus outbreak.”

Rose Bowen is a digital manager at WapCar.my, an automotive info source. WapCar provides car news, reviews, and tools to help consumers compare various models.

Rose Bowen is a digital manager at WapCar.my, an automotive info source.
WapCar provides car news, reviews, and tools to help consumers compare various models.


How are school districts preparing for the coronavirus pandemic?
“Many school districts began closing ‘temporarily’ on March 16. On March 23 with Executive Order 53, Virginia started a trend of closing school doors for the remainder of the academic year.

Since then, most states have followed suit and simply closed their doors for the academic year, with many moving to online education. 

A few states—Montana, New Jersey, Maryland, and a few others—have only temporarily closed schools until the middle of May. But of course, this is subject to change. 

How could school districts better prepare for the coronavirus or future public health crises?
“In order for schools to better prepare for public health crises in the future, they will likely become based much more on online instruction, rather than in-person teaching. This would allow schools to easily continue education during a public health crisis.

Even if new stay-at-home orders are initiated, students would be able to continue to learn online at home. 

Likely, the inevitable response to this pandemic will likely be a complete overhaul of the education system as we know it. As a result, schools can easily respond to health crises by simply closing their doors and continuing education online. 

To ensure that children are cared for properly during future health crises. School districts should work with parents, and communities will need to prepare themselves to act in the place of schools.

Online education will allow children to learn the curriculum, but parents and caretakers will need to fill in the gaps.”

How are children uniquely at-risk during a public health crisis?
“Young children are uniquely at-risk as they are developing habits that will likely last the rest of their lives.

In a technologically advanced world, it is too easy to sit at home and stare at a screen all day. It will be more difficult than ever for children to develop healthy habits such as social skills or simply to get enough exercise. 

In this regard, children will require special attention from their parents or care-takers. In order to be sure that they are developing certain skills. Skills they will need to carry in order to be successful throughout the rest of their lives.”

Douglas Dedrick is the founder and lead researcher of HealingLaw.com. Healing Law is an organization dedicated to making law accessible for all.

Douglas Dedrick is the founder and lead researcher of HealingLaw.com.
Healing Law is an organization dedicated to making law accessible for all.


Schools & COVID-19: An Ongoing Battle

A whopping nine out of 10 school children worldwide are currently at home and not school because of the coronavirus pandemic. As the United States continues to be a hot spot for the virus, schools will have to adapt and reevaluate their readiness plans to face such public health crises.

In our study, we found that several school districts around our nation’s capital are especially well-prepared to fight COVID-19 or a public health crisis more generally. These schools have a higher tax base to support them and a lot of top pediatric care centers nearby.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the United States, we know that school districts will continue to reevaluate their emergency plans and online learning infrastructures.

We also know that despite how ready or not these school districts are at present, that they want to serve the children and communities in which they operate well.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Coronavirus

We know people have lots of questions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the most common questions we’ve come across.

#1 – Can children pass on the coronavirus?

Yes, absolutely. Though research on the new coronavirus is still lacking, we do know that children can carry and pass on the virus, even if they show little to no symptoms themselves.

#2 – Are face masks available for children to protect them from the coronavirus?

Yes. Masks are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the following advice when it comes to face masks for children:

  • The CDC does not recommend masks for children under age 2.  
  • If children are at home with just the usual residents, they do not need to wear a mask, assuming that they have not been exposed to anyone with COVID-19. 
  • If children can be kept at least six feet away from others, and not be in contact with surfaces that could harbor the virus, then they do not need a mask for the protection of themselves or others. 
  • Places where a child would benefit from wearing a mask are places where they are likely to encounter other people at a closer than six-foot range.

#3 – What are the best websites to make children creative at home in the coronavirus period?

Great question, as many children are suddenly stuck at home with not a lot of structure to their lives. Here are four resources we recommend:

  • Time.com: The Secret to Keeping Your Kids Happy, Busy and Learning if Their School Closes Due to Coronavirus
  • Live Science: Activities and online resources for homebound kids: A coronavirus guide
  • Forbes: 101+ Ideas To Keep Your Kids Busy During Coronavirus Closures
  • Common Sense Media: Free Online Events and Activities for Kids at Home

#4 – How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces?

Sadly, coronavirus may last on surfaces longer than we may think. According to the CDC:

“Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”

#5 – What preventative measures can I take against the coronavirus disease?

Great question. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends taking the following precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least one-meter distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.

#6 – What is the difference between coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronavirus (or SARS-CoV-2) is the virus that leads to the disease COVID-19. Though they are often used interchangeably, they represent different stages of infection, similar to how HIV is the virus that ultimately can lead to the disease AIDS.

#7 – What should schools do during an outbreak of the coronavirus disease?

The general gist between the world’s leading health organizations is that schools should offer holistic support and guidance towards students. This includes educating and instructing students to wash hands, reduce discrimination and stereotyping surrounding the virus, and providing mental health support.

#8 – What are the CDC guidelines for youth sports?

The CDC guidelines for youth sports recommend that coaches and administrators should reduce full-contact sports and discourage celebrations that include contact like fist bumps or high fives. Other recommendations include keeping players six feet or more apart and breaking up teams into small groups to minimize contact and spread of the virus.

#9 – Are children at a higher risk of getting COVID-19?

According to studies, children are not at a higher risk of being infected from COVID-19. Most of the patients that have contracted the virus are adults, with mortality risk rising with each age group.

#10 – Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?

At this moment, there are no vaccines available for the public at large. Some countries such as Russia and China have created vaccines that are being used on small portions of their populations but each vaccine is still listed under the “testing” status in the World Health Organization’s database.

#11 – Can antibiotics treat the coronavirus disease?

No, antibiotics are for bacterial infections. Because the coronavirus disease is a virus, antibiotics can’t be used to treat it. One of the main fears of the virus is that there was no known way to treat it, resulting in tens and hundreds of thousands of deaths.

#12 – Does drinking alcohol prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?

No, drinking alcohol does not prevent the coronavirus disease. In fact, it could make your situation worse as health officials believe that drinking to excess can actually harm your physical health. It can also suppress your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight COVID-19 if you were to be infected.

#13 – Can one make self-made hand sanitizer?

The Food and Drug Administration has warned people against making their own hand sanitizer. Often, these homemade hand sanitizers are not made properly, which limits their ability to combat COVID-19 and causes physical pain such as burns to the hands as well.

#14 – Is Hydroxychloroquine approved to treat the coronavirus disease?

No, while Hydroxycholoquine is used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, it is not approved to treat the coronavirus disease. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved any treatment to date for COVID-19.

Methodology: Determining The Most-Prepared Schools Districts for COVID-19

In ranking the 20 U.S. cities with the largest school districts’ preparedness to face a pandemic, we tabulated data from the Department of Education, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and MedBelle.

The thorough research process for our comprehensive studies, such as this one on state preparedness for the coronavirus pandemic, includes an analysis of over 3,000 data points for all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia from a variety of government, nonprofit, academic, and industry sources.

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References:

  1. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/education/article241772356.html
  2. https://www.medbelle.com/best-hospital-cities-usa
  3. https://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2019-06-18/us-news-announces-the-2019-2020-best-childrens-hospitals

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