What You Need to Know About Safely Opening Schools

Original source:Flatten The Fear

July 30, 2020

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Updated as of 7-30-20

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and other organizations conclude that it is safe for children to return to in-person schooling in the fall.
  • More than 2,000 physicians signed a Job Creators Network Foundation petition calling for kids to return to school.
  • A joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, shows hospitalizations and mortality are uncommon in children.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics reported that all current data suggests children are not significant transmitters of COVID-19 to other students or adults.
  • According to the CDC “the best available evidence indicates if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms.”
  • The lack of non-traditional in-person learning environments will disproportionately harm low-income children, families where both parents work, minority children and those with disabilities.
  • The CDC has reiterated that schools (outside of the home) have the most influence on a child’s well-being and health. Educational instruction, social and emotional development, physical activity and nutritional needs are provided within an in-person school environment.
  • The CDC reported that children and parents in quarantine showed post-traumatic stress scores to be four times higher than those who were not quarantined.
  • According to a report published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, digital learning is highly unequal, placing an increased burden on low-income families, forcing them to leave children unsupervised, with a vulnerable older relative, or forcing parents to stay home from work, forgoing income.
  • The National Academies of Sciences reported young children will not be negatively impacted by in-person learning, but not returning to school could cause long-term unintended consequences, like falling behind in their learning.
  • Across the U.S., 22 million children rely on free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. Keeping schools closed will prevent these children from receiving additional nutritional needs.
  • International studies have reported that children are safe to return to in-classroom learning:
    • A study in France showed school-aged children were not transmitters of the virus.
    • In Germany, a study of children and teachers showed schools are not playing a large role in spreading the virus. Rather, the children may be providing a “brake on infection.”
    • Netherlands’ National Institute for Health released a study concluding that children under 12 years of age play a small role in transmitting COVID-19.

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