For many students, the first day of school is less than a month old, so it’s in everyone’s mind to safely return to face-to-face learning.

Several Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts held a virtual webinar on Tuesday night to address parents’ concerns about sending their children directly to campus. This discussion was sponsored by the National Patriotic Initiative, the US Department of Education, Mocha Moms Inc., CDC, and the National Black School Educator Alliance.

The four points from the discussion in the new semester are as follows.

All qualified and, if possible, 12 years and older should be fully vaccinated.

Catherine Rasberry, a health scientist in the CDC’s Youth and School Health Department, states that the COVID-19 vaccine is readily available and plays a major role in returning students to direct learning.

According to Raspberry, parents need to discuss the vaccine with their primary care physician to see if it’s what they want from their children.

She said the school district is a great source of detailed information on finding vaccination locations and easy discussions with staff about vaccine questions.

Currently, children under the age of 12 are not yet vaccinated. It makes preventive efforts more necessary and important, Russbury said.

If you have not been vaccinated, please wear a mask.

The CDC recommends that people over the age of 2 wear a mask if unvaccinated.

For outdoor people, it is usually not necessary to wear a mask. But if you’re not vaccinated and it’s crowded, you’ll need to wear a mask, Rasbury said.

The CDC relaxed the COVID-19 guidelines in early July, stating that vaccinated students and teachers do not need to wear masks in public school buildings. Schools in Texas cannot request masks after Governor Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning the district from requiring face coverings.

“It’s still important to keep the community situation in mind,” Rasberry said. “We know that the use of masks is especially important in areas where higher levels of transmission are seen.”

Whether to choose face-to-face learning or online learning.

Aaliyah Samuel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the State and Local Government Department of the U.S. Department of Education, said parents need to decide what is best for their children when deciding whether to offer it directly or online. Stated.

Parent Samuel said the context of the community is important. School district decisions depend especially on the student population.

The differences in mitigation strategies between 25 and 200 children are very different. She said it was important for her parents to conduct a survey to see how the surrounding community treats COVID-19 and to proceed from there.

“One of the things we do as a department is to encourage face-to-face learning options, but we recognize that every parent must make that decision,” Samuel said. ..

In Texas, many districts are shrinking virtual options.

What other precautions can I take?

In addition to wearing a mask and vaccination, Raspberry says there are other ways students and parents can prepare to learn directly.

Schools need to perform proper ventilation, contact tracing and screen tests. These were implemented last year and proved to be beneficial.

Also, unlike at the beginning of last year’s school, the availability of vaccines is working together to prevent the spread of the virus, Russbury said.

“We feel really comfortable that the use of these stratified strategies will protect unvaccinated individuals,” she said.

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