Amidst mounting COVID-19 cases, the CDC’s enhanced guidelines and urging for in-person learning announced last week continue to confuse and frustrate parents; concerns over “to send or not to send” have yet to be eased.
CNBC recently asked 20 medical experts around the country whether or not they’d send their kids back to school. Opinions varied, but most boiled down to location, the age of the child and what type of support system the parents had at home. One expert from Massachusetts does plan on sending his children back to school in the fall, based on his region’s status. That said, he stressed that sending children back isn’t recommended for everyone. “If I were in Dallas, for instance,” he explains, “which is experiencing an active outbreak, I’d strongly recommend against it.” Of the 20 questioned, six were in favor of children returning to school, 6 were opposed, and the remaining 8 fell in to the “wait and see” category.
Meanwhile, closer to home, the mask mandate that Governor Abbott put in place a few weeks ago seems to have slowed down the virus in parts of the state, according to the Texas Tribune. This trend, coupled with the COVID-19 patient census data recently released from Children’s Health provides some much needed “good news”. Out of the almost 10,000 patients tested, less than 700 were positive, and only 15 have been hospitalized.Locally, most school districts have opted to delay in-person learning and begin the year remotely through September. As news changes daily, we encourage you to follow your school’s and district’s websites for up-to-date changes and plans. As of July 27th, the following districts plan to implement the following openings:The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a joint statement with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Education Association (NEA) and The School Superintendents Association (AASA) regarding the reopening of schools. “Returning to school is important for the healthy development and well-being of children, but we must pursue re-opening in a way that is safe for all students, teachers and staff…Public health agencies must make recommendations based on evidence, not politics. We should leave it to health experts to tell us when the time is best to open up school buildings, and listen to educators and administrators to shape how we do it.”
At Pediatrics Offices at Willow Bend, we realize the significant stress parents are under in having to decide between at-home and in-person learning. We recognize the value in-person learning brings to students, beyond just an education. But we firmly believe the decision to send a child back to school must be made on a case-by-case basis. If you’re struggling with what to do, or are worried about emotional changes you’ve witnessed in your child since the pandemic began last spring, we are here for you. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wiener to discuss specific questions and concerns regarding you child.
Our patients truly are our family, and we continue to work diligently to keep you safe, healthy and educated. Thank you for allowing us to care for your little ones.