Parent’s concerns on COVID rise as schools are back in session

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 5:49 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Columbia County Schools and elementary schools in Richmond County are starting off the 2022 school year and one of the concerns for parents is COVID.

We talked to a professor of infectious diseases about it and he says to worry less.

Empty buses and full classrooms mean a new school year is here.

The question is will this be a normal school year?

“It’s here, but we’ve learned how to coexist with the virus. We’re not seeing the severe disease that we used to. But we certainly are seeing a lot of cases,” says Dr. Rodger MacArthur.

Those cases shouldn’t alarm anyone, says MacArthur.

“We know this virus now is more transmissible. But at the same time, it doesn’t seem to be associated with such severe disease,” he says.

So, what should parents know about sending their kids to school?

“If your child is sick, and you’ll know if they’re sick, you’ll know that it’s something more than seasonal allergies, if they’re sick, if they’re not feeling well, if they have a bit of a sore throat, don’t send them to school, keep them home,” MacArthur says.

As kids start to fill the classrooms and numbers continue to creep up here, MacArthur says COVID isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“In terms of feeling safer, besides the healthcare profession, schools, and teachers have learned how to coexist with the virus. And we’ve learned how to make these places much safer. It’s something that we can’t ignore, but we can’t simply live behind closed doors,” he says.

He says by keeping the school doors open, kids will benefit in the long run.

“Kids do better with in-person learning, they need to be back in school. Not just is learning facilitated better by in-person activities, but socialization skills are better. All that really contributes in a positive way to the development of our children,” he says.

We also asked MacArthur about the cases of monkeypox popping up in schools and he says not to be alarmed.

Since as it stands right now, this area does not have an adult case, so the likelihood of a child getting monkeypox is slim.

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