Doctor's Note: Things to consider before throwing kids back into classrooms amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Dr. Alok Patel is asking people to consider these things before throwing kids back into classrooms amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

To be clear, no one wants kids to stay home, ABC7 News Special correspondent Dr. Alok Patel says. The CDC, American Academy for Pediatrics and virtually every health professional Dr. Patel has talked with knows that in-person schooling is vital to the growth, safety and development of kids.

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But children can still transmit COVID-19 whether or not they have severe symptoms. That puts everyone around them, including teachers, at risk. So we're seeing several different methods, from strict distance-learning to a hybrid model. But Dr. Patel says we need national universal guidelines about schools reopening.

As for the California elementary school waiver process, it is much more difficult than just letting kids return. Among the qualifications are COVID-19 case rates must be less than 200 cases per 100,000 people in that county. All of the guidelines for the waiver process are great, Patel says, but we need to listen to the faculty and what they are worried about.

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And remember, there is still always the possibility that the school may shut down - this likely won't go smoothly, Patel says, but we need to look at every single factor before throwing the kids back into classrooms.



Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here and take a look at all of the Doctor's Note segments from Dr. Alok Patel here

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