As the 2021-22 school year is approaching, one of Ohio’s top doctors, Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, MD shared some new guidelines for families to follow.
Vanderhoff strongly recommends that staff and students who are unvaccinated should definitely wear masks, especially indoors. Having been stuck on zoom meetings and online schooling for more than a year, it is important that students return to regular class environments. It is essential for their development and mental health.
"These recommendations are essential to the health of Ohio youth," said Vanderhoff.
While so far, the virus has not impacted children as severely, it is better to be safe than sorry. Hundreds of Ohian children have been affected by the virus in other ways. While wearing masks has not yet been made a mandate, it is a recommendation people should take seriously.
"This is a bad virus, even for our children," he said.
Like many health officials, Vanderhoff highly recommends that vaccination is important in this fight against COVID-19. Masks and social distancing can only do so much as the virus continues to mutate. Health officials are still trying to understand the long term effects of the virus, but till then the vaccine is a plausible solution.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is advocating that all students regardless of their vaccination status wear masks, especially around the unvaccinated and people with prior illnesses. Here is what Dr. Sonja O’Leary, the chair of AAP had to say about the issue:
“A large portion of students are not eligible to be vaccinated and there are COVID variants that are more contagious. Because of this and because we want to have all students in school, the AAP advocates for all students, teachers and staff to wear masks while indoors in school."
Given these new guidelines, many schools have already made it a requirement for everyone to wear masks at least for the fall semester. Masks and social distancing helped curb the wave quite a bit the first time around. Here is hoping it continues to do the same until we have a more permanent solution to the virus.
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