With reopening this week and next week, administrators and families have settled on different plans: full-time classes, part-time or learning from home. While we are hoping for the best, all should be aware of a report Friday from the Centers for Disease Control warning that children of all ages are susceptible to the coronavirus and can spread it.
The CDC detailed an outbreak at a camp in Georgia where 231 children 17 or younger, along with 29 adults, tested positive for the virus in June. The 260 infections represented three-quarters of those tested.
All 597 campers and staff had to document a negative virus test before coming. But someone got through, and the virus moved quickly. Staffers started arriving on June 17, and campers arrived four days later. On June 23, a teenage staffer left with symptoms, and officials began sending kids home the next day.
The CDC called this one of the rare documented “superspreading” cases involving children. It faulted camp officials for not following preventive guidelines. The staff had to wear masks, for example, but the kids did not.
The big question — how many kids had a serious reaction? — is unclear. The CDC only had information on about half of the cases, and the report didn’t break them down by age. It said 100 of those 136 patients reported symptoms like a fever or a headache.
It’s still a reminder that while children are less affected by the virus, they can get it and spread it.
I really do hope that all of our schools stay safe throughout the reopening procedure. For right now, teachers and students will have to unlearn some practices you never thought about pre-COVID-19. As much as you want to show your support by hugging or other interactions, it is best right now to keep your distance.
The six feet of separation makes a huge difference, especially if you are trying not to wear masks. And when you go within six feet, mask up.
It’s going to hurt not being able to give a student a hug that is going through a tough time, but it’s better in the long run to avoid it for now. Once we can get a vaccine, maybe we can have some normalcy, but until then, let’s do our part to stay safe.
You can contact Brent Maze at firstname.lastname@example.org.