CORONAVIRUS

Pediatrics Group Says Benefits Of In-Person School Outweigh Virus Risks

Jun 30, 2020, 10:46 AM
...

As states grapple with how to safely start the upcoming school year, the American Academy of Pediatrics is pushing for students to be physically present in classrooms rather than continue in remote learning for the sake of their well-being.

The group, which represents and guides pediatricians across the country, updated its back-to-school recommendations to say evidence shows the academic, mental and physical benefits of in-person learning outweigh the risks from the coronavirus.

“The AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school,” the group said on its website.

“The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation.”

Schools are probably not greatly amplifying the spread of coronavirus and children are less likely to become extremely sick from the virus than adults, the pediatrics group added.

While there’s no way to completely eliminate the risk of the virus’ spread, the AAP listed specific recommendations based on the different grade levels.

For example, Pre-Kindergarten schools should focus on hand hygiene, cohorting classes to minimize crossover among children and adults and utilizing outdoor spaces when possible. Face coverings or physical distancing are lower priority as those strategies may be harder to implement on younger children.

But in middle and high schools, universal face coverings should be required when a 6-foot distance is not able to be maintained and desks should be placed 3 to 6 feet apart.

The AAP’s recommendations come as states nationwide unveil their plans for getting America’s 56 million school children back to school in the fall.

Earlier this month, Virginia state officials announced a phased, hybrid approach to reopening K-12 schools that would have strict social distancing measures in place, which could require “alternative schedules that blend in-person and remote learning for students,” according to a news release.

Connecticut also announced that K-12 schools should plan on reopening for all students in the fall. Schools must work to maximize social distancing, including reconfiguring desks to maximize distance, frequent hand washing and requiring face coverings for students and staff, Miguel Cardona, the commissioner of the state’s Department of Education, said at a news conference last week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also suggested that keeping schools closed in general isn’t necessary.

“In some situations there will be no problem for children to go back to school,” Fauci told CNN earlier this month. “In others, you may need to do some modifications. You know, modifications could be breaking up the class so you don’t have a crowded classroom, maybe half in the morning, half in the afternoon, having children doing alternate schedules.”

The coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing in the US.

Thirty-one states saw an increase in new coronavirus caes this past week compared to the week prior, primarily in the South and the West. Another 15 states held steady to the week prior, and just four states — Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire and Rhode Island — saw a decline.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

Jill Biden hand-delivered chocolate chip cookies to National Guard members who blanketed Washington...
ZEKE MILLER, AP White House Correspondent

Jill Biden tests positive for COVID-19, has ‘mild’ symptoms

First lady Jill Biden has tested positive for COVID-19 and is experiencing “mild symptoms.”
13 hours ago
FILE: Davis School District....
Mike Anderson

Davis School District adds resources to handle COVID-19

The Davis School District is shifting their approach to COVID, putting more decisions in the hands of parents while getting more funds to help monitor the virus.
5 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Associated Press

CDC drops quarantine, distancing recommendations for COVID

The nation's top public health agency relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person.
6 days ago
...
Ashley Moser

Utah family hasn’t seen father in nearly 1,000 days due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

“None of us were expecting to not see him three years later,” a daughter shares how her Father remains in China.
7 days ago
People line up for nucleic acid testing in Sanya, 'China's Hawaii', on August 6. (VCG/Getty Images)...
Simone McCarthy and CNN's Beijing bureau

Covid lockdown strands 80,000 tourists in ‘China’s Hawaii’

Around 80,000 tourists are stranded in the popular resort city of Sanya on China's tropical Hainan island after authorities announced lockdown measures to stem an outbreak of Covid-19.
10 days ago
TOKYO, JAPAN - JUNE 29: Women in rental kimonos walk through the Asakusa area on June 29, 2022 in T...
Lilit Marcus, CNN

Japan is open to travel. So why aren’t tourists coming back?

Even though Japan partially reopened its borders for tourists, only about 1,500 visitors went to the country during its peak travel season.
17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Pediatrics Group Says Benefits Of In-Person School Outweigh Virus Risks