I have received quite a few emails from physicians in support of returning students to the classroom. They have indicated that it is safe for both students and staff. Here is an excerpt from one of the messages I received from a local ER Physician not associated with the current medical team advising our School Board.
There is also another new release from Harvard Doctors on the topic
THERE WERE NO CASES OF CHILD-ADULT WITHIN SCHOOL TRANSMISSION.
From a local ER Physician:
I was actually surprised to find that the evidence is overwhelming in demonstrating that in person learning is SAFE for both students and staff. In fact, a new study just came out on January 8, 2020 in the American Journal of Pediatrics that I believe is very relevant to the opening of schools. I want to the highlight the following from that study:
- This study examined 11 school districts in North Carolina (with nearly 100,000 students/staff) open for 9 weeks of in-person instruction.
- The study tracked secondary transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the local health department.
- Through contact tracing, NC health department staff determined only 32 out of 773 infections were acquired within schools.
- There were no cases of child-to-adult within-school transmission.This means not a single child gave a teacher an infection.
- Most of the cases of secondary transmission in ABC district were related to absent face coverings.
- The counties housing the school districts had considerable community transmission at the time.
- The author concludes,“Our data indicate that schools can reopen safely if they develop and adhere to specific SARS-CoV-2 prevention policies.”
During an ongoing pandemic with widespread community transmission, cases of COVID-19 will occur regardless of whether schools are in- person or not. A key question exists for the Board: Is the within-school spread of COVID-19 greater, equal to, or less than that observed in the broader community??? I can tell you with certainty that studies unequivocally demonstrate that it is less and it is actually safer for children and teachers to be in school, where mitigation is consistent.