MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – In a Tuesday news release, UW Health offered tips for parents with children returning to school in the Fall amid the pandemic.
The news release provided tips for children who may be returning to school or leaving for college. UW Health says both scenarios present different challenges and risks of exposure to COVID-19.
“We know these are difficult times for parents as they weigh the benefits of in person education for their children against the sometimes difficult to interpret risk they may be exposing their children and themselves to during this historic pandemic. As health officials we want to offer guidance to families grappling with these issues,” said Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health. “There is not a one size fits all solution. Individual schools and parents will face different challenges and select different solutions.”
For K-12 and college, UW Health encourages parents to carefully review schools’ safety procedures. If your child’s school is offering in-person learning, make sure you ask and are comfortable with the answers to these questions:
o Will the school be able to physically distance the students and teachers while in the classroom?
o Will the school require all students and staff to wear a mask?
o What plan does the school have to prevent large groups of students gathering together at pickup, drop off, and in the hallways between classes?
o What additional safety measures are being implemented at lunch time when children will be unmasked to eat?
o How is the school ensuring recess time is safe?
o How will the school identify students who may have symptoms and safely have them leave the school to quarantine or get tested?
In addition to these questions, UW Health encourages parents to talk to children about what they can do to prevent catching or spreading COVID-19. They say masks, hand washing, and physical distancing must be used together to decrease the spread and keep families safe.
If a family member has unique health factors that increase risk, UW Health encourages parents to consider virtual learning for their children.
For college students, UW Health says an honest and transparent dialogue about their behavior is critical. Parents are encouraged to ask their children if they are going to bars, large gatherings or participating in other high-risk activity.
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