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Kids Are Going Back to School. How Do We Keep Them Safe?

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Original article written by Tara Parker-Pope for New York Time Magazine.

Surprisingly, schools have not been a major cause of Covid spreading events, particularly when a number of prevention measures are in place. A combination of precautions — masking indoors, keeping students at least three feet apart in classrooms, keeping students in separate cohorts or “pods,” encouraging hand washing and regular testing, and quarantining — have been effective.

The most important step is to vaccinate everyone in the family as soon as they are eligible.

Lowering your risk at home by avoiding crowds and enclosed public indoor spaces where you don’t know the vaccination status of others can help reduce the whole family’s risk. Paying attention to the community transmission and vaccination rates and wearing masks in risky settings can also help.

Home testing is also an option, although it can get costly at about $12 per test. Regular testing of school-aged children, at weekly intervals or before a family visit, can give parents peace of mind when families spend time with people outside their households.

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