How do we handle COVID-19 in schools now? Testing and masking must be in the mix

 (Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published only to extend coverage of an issue and to stir comments from our readers.)

By Kyle Freese/opinion contributor|The Arizona Republic

In August 2020, I wrote about how rapid SARS-CoV-2 testing is one of the ways in which we could safely return our children to school.

Eleven months – and a full school year – later, we are still struggling to implement a systemwide, cohesive, sustainable strategy that balances the benefits of in-person instruction with the risks of infectious disease spread.

Protocols can vary between schools (e.g. temperature checks, mask wearing, distancing, physical barriers) and, as I have observed, are not applied consistently or correctly within a single institution.

It is no surprise that we still see positive cases and clusters of infections in summer schools; the fall semester will bring new challenges as larger groups get back together and start mixing.

 Emerging variants, suboptimal adult vaccine uptake and a yet-to-be-authorized vaccine for young children are a few of the reasons why these conversations cannot stop.

Vaccines aren’t a solution (yet) for younger kids.

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