Healthy Living: Preparing for a return to in-person learning

As schools reopen their doors to in-person learning, many parents are excited about sending their students back into classrooms, while others are looking for guidance on the coronavirus risks from medical professionals.

Posted: Feb 10, 2021 1:13 PM
Updated: May 3, 2021 11:01 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- As schools reopen their doors to in-person learning, many parents are excited about sending their students back into classrooms, while others are looking for guidance on the coronavirus risks from medical professionals.

According to Oregon Medical Group family physician Dr. Harold Perez, sending students to school does come with risks. Students can contract the virus themselves and carry it back home.

"They might not have as serious of an illness as adults do, they might get some mild symptoms, some might not have symptoms at all, but they do get sick as well," he said.

Though the Oregon Department of Education has established extensive guidelines and safety precautions for reopening classrooms safely, Perez said that families can also take action to promote the health of their students, family and community.

"It's actually not that complicated. People should do what we have been doing for a long time," he said.

Talking to your student about the importance of masking and making sure they are accustomed to the practice can help them continue masking behaviors in the classroom. Additionally, encouraging handwashing as students leave the home and when they return is a good idea.

"Kids are very resilient. Kids actually do very well. Kids follow instructions," said Perez.

Officials have always told parents not to send their students to class if they are feeling sick, but in the age of coronavirus, Perez said that advice is more important than ever.

If you have a high-risk family member or resident of your household, Perez said that it may be a good idea to discuss the risks of your student returning to class. There is any number of precautions your family can implement, and many schools will continue offering remote learning options once in-person learning resumes.

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