If you have decided to have your child attend daycare or preschool, I strongly recommend that you are guided by the emergence of surge cases. During periods of time with surges, consider temporarily removing your child from daycare or preschool on an interim basis.
I always consider crowded, enclosed spaces in the classroom to be a risk. I consider 10 individuals in a room at one time to be the limit.
Schools that conduct classes in-person should have multiple layers of protection in place for students and staff and be ready to adapt based on local SARS-CoV-2 rates, according to updated interim AAP guidance. While the AAP continues to advocate for in-person education, it acknowledges many schools where the virus is widespread will need to adopt virtual lessons and is calling for more federal funding to support both models.
"COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry," has been updated based on the latest evidence including that children under 10 years may be less likely to become infected and spread infection, while those 10 years and older may spread it as efficiently as adults. Educators will have to consider the degree to which SARS-CoV-2 is circulating in their community, as well as guidance from local public health officials. The benefits of in-person education for fostering instruction and social and emotional skills, and providing safety, healthy meals and support services also must be considered.
To mitigate the risks, the AAP recommends children over age 2 years and adult staff wear cloth face coverings. Other recommended layers of protection include keeping desks at least 3 feet apart, and ideally 6 feet apart, cohorting students, using outdoor spaces when possible, promoting hand and cough hygiene and increasing cleaning and disinfection of facilities.
The guidance notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend universal testing, which is not feasible in many areas and only shows whether someone has the virus at that moment. The AAP said temperature checks at school may not be practical and suggested parents perform symptom and temperature checks at home. Students and staff should stay home if they are ill.
Source: AAP News (Jenco, August 2020)
Note: This is an abbreviated article. For the full publication, click here.
Interested in learning more about how to safely return to school? AAP has a list of factors for each parent to consider.