Alabama pediatricians release school re-opening recommendations
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama Pediatric Doctors are urging the state to enforce a universal mask policy for school districts as superintendents prepare for the upcoming school year.
“It is the hope of every pediatrician I know in Alabama that the state will come forward and say, ‘Yes, we believe that universal masking is actually necessary,’” said Dr. Nola Earnest, Vice President - Alabama American Academy of Pediatrics.
The guidance follows recommendations issued at the national level by the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.
Masks are just one thing pediatricians in Alabama hope districts will implement ahead of the fall. The Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a two-page letter to state government and education officials outlining re-opening recommendations, including urging all eligible staff and students to get the COVID-19 vaccine and urging districts to be flexible with plans based on emerging COVID data.
Data they sent also details real consequences for children if we aren’t safe.
“It is not true to say that kids don’t get very sick. Some kids require hospitalization - about 1 in 100 will require hospitalization. Some kids will develop long-haul COVID symptoms,” said Earnest.
Doctors say the mitigation practices are to make sure that districts can do in-person learning as safely as possible.
“We want students to be in school,” said Earnest. “But we need to keep students safe if they’re going to be able to stay in school this entire school year.”
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