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Going Back To School Safely During The Delta Surge

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Students were spaced at least six feet apart in the cafeteria for lunch at Medora Elementary Wednesday morning. It was the first
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Students were spaced at least six feet apart in the cafeteria for lunch at Medora Elementary Wednesday morning. It was the first day back to school since the Covid-19 pandemic shut down in-person classes March 2020. March 17, 2021Medora Elementary First Day Back Since Covid19

Children are starting to go back to school this month — most of them in person — and the delta variant is changing the game. UT Health San Antonio Pediatric Infectious Diseases Dr. Tess Barton said this latest surge is having a larger impact on children.

“What we're seeing recently is that of all the people who are getting COVID, children are making up a larger chunk of that than they were before.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics said during the week ending July 22, nearly 17% of COVID cases were children. A year ago at this time that figure was just 3%, according to Barton.

Among the reasons for the surge in children is that those under 12 are not eligible for vaccines.

Barton said — in the absence of vaccines — the people around children need to make sure they’re vaccinated. She also urged everyone — including children — to wear masks at school. Desks and people should also be kept at least 3 feet apart.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guidance for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

In the latest episode of TPR’s Petrie Dish, Dr. Barton answers questions about COVID-19 in schools from children and parents. She also explains the “swiss cheese” model of COVID mitigation that offers the highest level of protection to children.

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Bonnie Petrie can be reached at Bonnie@TPR.org and on Twitter at @kbonniepetrie