Fox News medical contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat told America’s News HQ host Eric Shawn that the best way for parents to determine whether its safe for their kids to return to the classroom is to follow the latest science based on the prevalence of COVID-19 in their individual community.
“If there’s a low prevalence, less than 10% of COVID cases in the community, then that puts you in the blue or yellow zone, which means you are clear to go for in-person in-classroom studies,” she said. “But if you are above that, if you are in the red zone, then it is not recommended that you have in-class studies until the level of covid cases in the community drop.”
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Nesheiwat said the best advice parents can give to kids returning to the classroom is to wash and keep their hands clean, disinfect surfaces, and avoid rubbing their eyes. They should also make sure their children’s masks fit properly and should encourage kids to practice social distancing as best they can.
“These are the basic steps that can help prevent the transmission overall in the community,” Nesheiwat said. “We know it works. It’s just a matter of following the guidelines until we can get what we call herd immunity and get most Americans vaccinated.”
Meanwhile, Nesheiwat’s advice to schools is to “do the best you can with what you have,” including opening windows for better ventilation, spacing out desks, limiting class sizes through hybrid scheduling and, while not a prerequisite under the latest CDC guidance, ensuring teachers are vaccinated as soon as possible.
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A CDC study of 17 schools in Wisconsin found that, out of 191 COVID cases, only 7 of them, or about 3.7%, were linked to in-class transmission.
“So far, you know, the schools that have been open, there have not been any significant cases of major transmission or illness or disease,” Neishewat said. “So let’s at the end of the day, follow the science, follow the facts and do the best you can with what you know works.”
The CDC reported that, as of Sunday, 52.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the United States so far. COVID-19 has infected more than 27.6 million Americans and killed more than 485,000 Americans since the pandemic began in March, according to Johns Hopkins University.