From an interview with
Dr. Dale Lusk
McLeod Health Chief Medical Officer
The debate continues over how to keep children safe from COVID-19, while attending in-person classes at school. McLeod Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dale Lusk responded to this issue during a Facebook Live on WPDE.
What we know is that if, you are 12 years of age or older, you should get the vaccine. More than 90% of those hospitalized in the ICU or on ventilators are people, who are not vaccinated. What we are seeing now is that this surge of the virus is largely a surge of the unvaccinated. Those who are seriously affected now appear to be a younger group with moms, pregnant women and youth.
We also know that masking and social distancing help to decrease potential COVID-19 spread. So, youth heading back to school, not wearing masks and sitting in rooms together is going to increase the transmission of the virus.
Our children at various ages need the socialization that school provides, such as interaction with others of their own group and the learning environment. It is very difficult to sit in front of a computer screen for hours and have meaningful interactions.
Behavioral scientists have clearly shown that it is important for us to get back to some sense of normalcy, as far as interactions with others. Does that mean masking? I think that is a small price to pay if we did that. Hand hygiene, washing your hands and engaging in some degree of social distancing are all needed.
COVID-19 and its variants are respiratory viruses that are spread by respiratory droplets. If you put people in a room and in close proximity, we need masking and social distancing. The mask is not an absolute barrier, but it is a barrier. Bottom line: At school, everyone should wear a mask.
More COVID-19 Information.