Miss. physicians, pediatricians push for safe standards as schools reopen

Miss. physicians, pediatricians push for safe standards as schools reopen
(Source: WAFB)

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MS-AAP) and the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) is advocating for several standards to be enforced before schools reopen in the fall.

“We strongly support the guidance for school re-entry published by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH)...Given this flexibility and current conditions in our state, Mississippi physicians advocate for the following minimum standards:

1) Delayed re-entry to at least September 1, 2020, to allow sufficient time to implement mitigation strategies, allow time for reduced COVID-19 transmission, and possible availability of financial assistance (state or federal) for schools to apply appropriate plans. Physicians call for a state-wide mask mandate to reduce viral transmission and facilitate safe school attendance.

2) Mandatory masks for all individuals in the school building, no matter their age. Children with certain conditions (such as intellectual disabilities) or in pre-kindergarten may require special consideration.

3) All Mississippi children should have the option for virtual learning for ANY reason, without medical justification.”

MS-AAP and MSMA are urging school officials to consult with local pediatricians and other physicians regarding their district’s planning.

All school districts in the state must have their plans for the upcoming school year finalized by July 31.

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