I do have my concerns with this newest change in lowering the distance among children to three feet…
In order for children, teachers and essential staff to be able to adhere, and rely on all levels of safety protocols… the extra funding from President Biden’s Covid Relief Bill, and vaccination will definitely help…
However, now allowing a three feet distance among our children… How safe will the classroom be? Is this a change do to the fact, it would be easier to implement in a smaller, older classrooms, which many older schools still have?
From my own experience in that small, older classroom….Children do get ill…And teachers do too!!!
We were so close…Germs everywhere..It was extremely difficult to separate, and sanitize…Our custodial staff…on call…and understaffed…
Now with a pandemic!
And in fact, presently it is reported because children have been isolated for so long, there is an uptick of colds among children when they have returned to social situations, and they can carry the coronavirus and other viruses as well…
The data reflects…
Children and COVID-19:
State Data Report
A joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association
Summary of publicly reported data from 49 states, NYC, DC, PR, and GU… Version: 3/11/21
As of March 11, over 3.28 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Nearly 53,000 new child COVID-19 cases were reported last week. This marks the 8th consecutive week with a decline in new cases.
The age distribution of reported COVID-19 cases was provided on the health department websites of 49 states, New York City, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Children represented 13.2% of total cumulated cases in states reporting cases by age.
A smaller subset of states reported on hospitalizations and mortality by age; the available data indicated that COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death is uncommon in children.
At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children. However, there is an urgent need to collect more data on longer-term impacts of the pandemic on children, including ways the virus may harm the long-term physical health of infected children, as well as its emotional and mental health effects.
Schools can allow social distancing of three feet, rather than six currently, between students in classrooms, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday in what is expected to be a boost to reopening of schools nationwide…
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement that the agency is committed to leading with science and updating guidance as new evidence emerges.
“Safe in-person instruction gives our kids access to critical social and mental health services that prepare them for the future, in addition to the education they need to succeed,” Walensky said. “These updated recommendations provide the evidence-based road map to help schools reopen safely, and remain open, for in-person instruction…
Elementary school children can be at least three feet apart in classrooms, the CDC said. The same guidance applies to middle and high school students unless they’re in areas of high community transmission. Levels of community transmission are defined as the total new Covid cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days — low being up to nine, and high being 100 cases or more. Schools are encouraged to adjust classroom layouts to maximize distance between students, and desks should face the same direction when possible.
However, the CDC continues to recommend at least six feet of distance for other situations. For example, children must keep six feet apart in circumstances when wearing a mask is not possible, such as when eating. Activities that involve increased exhalation, such as singing, band, or sports should also adhere to the six-foot rule, and take place outdoors when possible.
Teachers and staff are expected to maintain six feet between one other and between students, as research shows that adult-to-adult transmission is most common in schools than transmission between students or between students and teachers… The recommendations on testing allow for safe participation in sports. Schools may consider testing student-athletes, coaches, parents, or other adults who support extracurricular activities.
During a press briefing Friday Walensky responded to a question on why the CDC’s new research on schools did not address underfunded urban schools.
There is growing evidence from many different school settings that did not control for ventilation to demonstrate that it’s safe in classrooms where masks are worn and students are at least three feet apart, Walensky said. “We are following the science and we’ve done the science, and we’ve seen the science to ensure that this is safe for those schools,” she said.
Teacher unions across the country have opposed reopening schools out of safety concerns. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, told the New York Times this week she was concerned about the possibility of new guidelines, and suggested the CDC might have been pressured to shift its guidance.
In response to a question, Walensky said she had spoken to representatives of the unions.
“They know that we need to follow the science and to make our guidance based on that science, and they were very respectful of that,” Walensky said.
The Biden administration Wednesday said it would provide states billion of dollars for Covid-19 testing to help reopen schools safely. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is allocating $10 billion to help schools screen teachers, staff and students.
Another $2.25 billion will support scaled-up testing in underserved populations and the development of new guidance on screening in schools, workplaces and congregate settings.Three studies, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Friday, said evidence shows that physical distancing of at least three feet between students can safely be adopted in classroom settings.
I do hope these changes do not affect a positive outcome…
Our children, teachers and essential staff, deserve to be safe…