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Florida pediatricians give their take on students going back to school

Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 7:43 AM CDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Schools and districts all over the region are trying to decide when kids should go back to brick and mortar schools.

The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics says it’s very plausible to send kids back to school soon, but some requirements are needed.

Doctor David Paul Robinson M.D., FAAP, is the President of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He believes students should go back to class, but only when the numbers show it’s safe.

“Florida’s rate is around 12%, admittedly falling, but around 12% and we recommend that schools just hold off until we get the numbers down further,” explained Dr. Robinson.

Doctor Robinson pointed to the World Health Organization’s guidance, which advises the positivity rate should be at 5% or lower for kids to safely return to campus.

“I’m very fearful that if schools start up with the infection rate at 8 or 9% even,” said Dr. Robinson. “What will happen is they will be closed again in three weeks because there will be a huge bump in numbers.”

Florida’s Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran said Wednesday as a parent himself, he understands the tough decisions they have to make.

“Every parent wrestles with what’s the risk of not sending my kids to school versus the risk of sending my kid to school and parents have to wrestle with that and figure that out,” said Corcoran.

Corcoran believes; however, that the majority of parents will choose in-person learning.

“I think you’re going to see come the end of August when our schools have all of those different options for students,” exclaimed Corcoran. “You’re gonna see 60 plus to 90%, most are going to choose face to face.”

Dr. Robinson says the best way to keep schools safe is to screen for symptoms, social distance and keep students and faculty equipped with PPE, but he worries about the consequences if safety protocols aren’t followed.

“I just really am concerned about the teachers, the staff and the parents at home if kids go and don’t socially distance, don’t wear their masks and spread this virus,” said Dr. Robinson.

He recommends that schools wait another month to bring kids back.

Copyright 2020 WCTV. All rights reserved.

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