Just as life seemed to be returning to normal, Erie County is now a ‘substantial zone’ for COVID-19 transmission.
There have been over 200 new cases in the last two weeks. The classification comes as Erie School officials finalize plans for students’ return.
One topic of interest: masks.
“Some are in favor of starting the school year off with masks,” said Erie School Board president Dr. Tyler Titus, “while others have voiced an opinion that they’re worried this is going to increase anxiety, that this is going to exacerbate some health problems.”
Titus and the entire school board are changing plans they already voted on.
“When we approved it, a mask requirement was not implemented by the CDC,” Titus said. “Now that we’ve moved into a substantial zone, that has laid out the recommendation that we should go back and implement while indoors utilizing masks.”
CDC guidance for COVID-19 prevention recommends masking regardless of vaccination status and – instead of six feet – keeping 3 feet of social distance.
Dr. Sarah Schaffer-Deroo is a pediatrician at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C. She said masks are necessary to keep school doors open.
“The best practice would absolutely be to make sure that children are wearing masks when they’re around others,” Dr. Schaffer-Deroo said.
To many health experts, the bottom line is if adults focus on prevention, kids can focus on their school work.
Dr. Scahffer-Deroo added, “The absolute best thing that families can do to protect their children is get anybody who’s eligible for vaccination in their household vaccinated.”
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