COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of our day to day life. One of the first changes that happened as cases began to spike was how children learn. Many schools started using virtual learning tools or ending the previous school year early while health experts learned more about how to manage the virus. Now that it’s almost time for the next school year to begin, people are still left with lots of questions about the future of their child’s education and safety.
Is it Safe for Children to Return to School?
Parents are understandably nervous about their kids going back to school. Everyone wants their child to be safe, but how do you do that during a global pandemic? The CDC has released guidelines for schools and daycare centers to ensure students have the healthiest learning environment possible as they return to school. Each state and local area has their own recommendations based on the number of cases in the area too. As long as parents, students, and schools follow those guidelines, it should be safe for children to return to school. Areas with the highest number of cases may choose to utilize remote learning tools until the number of cases drop, or to help reduce the number of kids physically in school each day.
Recommended Safety Policies
The recommended safety policies for schools are based on the number of local cases and possible cases within the school. For schools located in areas with little to no community spread, returning to school is safe. Community spread should be monitored and policies should be changed as needed. While there is no known community spread, students can return to school almost as they normally would. The cleaning standards in the school should be increased and students should be taught the importance of cleanliness and handwashing during this time. If any student or staff member is sick, they should be encouraged to stay home.
Schools located in a community with moderate spread of the virus should practice social distancing and mask wearing at all times. Class sizes need to be small enough to allow for social distancing. Students shouldn’t share supplies and common areas should be sanitized frequently. Schools may choose to offer a remote learning option for children in high-risk categories.
Communities with substantial spread of COVID-19 should coordinate with local health department officials to determine what the safest option is for students. Mask wearing and social distancing need to be enforced at all times. This includes transitions throughout the school, as well as entrance and dismissal times. Some schools may choose to extend summer break or have students learn remotely until cases decline in the community.
If you or your child is in need of COVID-19 testing or antibody testing, your local urgent care can help! Urgent care centers are equipped to help parents make the safety of their child a priority. Call your local urgent care center today to get the latest COVID-19 information and learn more about testing options.