JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The CDC offered strategies to school administrators to protect students, teachers and staff from COVID-19.
“First one is everybody should be wearing a mask and everybody should be learning how to wear a mask properly," Assistant Chief Medical Officer at UF Health Jacksonville, Dr. Chirag Patel. "The second thing is physically distancing."
The CDC also included washing of hands constant, cleaning, maintaining facilities and contact tracing. Dr. Patel said he likes the idea of kids going back to in person classes but believes schools must follow the regulations strictly.
“Younger individuals are less likely to be symptomatic," Patel explained. "So the possibility of creating some wildfire like spread within a school and out of the community is really high if we don’t take these necessary steps."
The CDC also gave schools indicators to reopen by the level of community transmission. If in the red or orange zone where viral transmission is highest, schools should go hybrid or reduce attendance.
If in the blue and yellow zone with low transmission, schools can return full time with health precautions.
“For children’s growth and development that’s the number one priority in person learning with that social experience that you get is so valuable to their development," said Dr. Patel.
Dr. Angelia Griffin is an online professor and works with students virtually. Dr. Griffin said remote learning can be challenging if a child is not in a disciplined environment.
“If you’re not creating an environment that says get up and get your breakfast so that you’re prepared to learn," Dr. Griffin said. "Turn your computer go in a specific area or place where you can actually learn."
Griffin said you can run into issues but also every student learns differently.
“I do believe that online is a very effective way to learn but it takes a strong skill set to include discipline," Dr. Griffin said. "You have to set aside time and you have to make sure every party understands the expectations."