Most schools in Northwest Arkansas are getting ready to open their doors to students on Monday, but as cases of the COVID delta variant continue to rise, many parents are concerned. So is it safe to send kids back to school now? Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, says we have five tools to help make schools safe.
This is Dr. Jha’s five-point strategy for getting kids back to school safely:
- Vaccinate everyone who is eligible and will be around kids in schools- Since kids younger than 12 aren’t eligible for a COVID vaccination, this health expert says it’s crucial that those who can get their shots do it. “Those kids who can’t get vaccinated, the way you protect them is making sure everyone around them is vaccinated,” Jha explains.
- Upgrade ventilation in schools- This virus spreads through the air, so Dr. Jha recommends schools improve ventilation and filtration, adding, “We’ve got a lot to do to improve the air quality in schools.”
- Test in schools- He says now that we have so much testing capability and capacity, there’s no excuse not to do testing in schools. He explains, “We should be testing every unvaccinated person on a regular basis in schools.”
- Wear masks- They’re cheap, widely available and Dr. Jha reminds us they should be worn.
- Avoid super-crowded events- Stay away from packed assembly halls and indoor events and go back to social distancing and staying outside.
Dr. Jha explains that none of these on their own are enough in high transmission areas, but each one adds protection and the more we do, the more we keep people safe.
Source:Good Morning America