(WTNH) – The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a recommendation that everyone older than the age of two should wear masks in schools regardless of vaccination status.
On Sunday, the AAP released information saying it strongly advocates for in-person learning during the 2021-22’ school year, but is continuing to recommend that all staff and students who are two years or older wear a face mask uncles medical or developmental conditions prohibit their use.
“As we start the 2021-’22 school year, a large portion of students are not eligible to be vaccinated and there are COVID variants that are more contagious. Because of this and because we want to have all students in school, the AAP advocates for all students, teachers, and staff to wear masks while indoors in school,” said Dr. Sonja O’Leary.
The AAP also said that schools may lack the resources to monitor vaccine status or enforce mask policies based on vaccination status.
Yale Medicine pediatrician Dr. Thomas Murray says to someday move forward and return to all normalcy, we have to take steps now to reduce the spread of the virus and quickly spreading the Delta variant.
He says foremost this fall it’s important for kids to be back in school, in person.
“Anxiety, depression, visits to the emergency room – especially in our teens – so the lack of that social connection has really had a profound impact,” Dr. Murray said.
Dr. Murray points out there will be groups of unvaccinated students in every school. One factor in why masks would be needed.
“The Delta variant is highly transmissible and so it’s something that if you get it within a school, it can spread very rapidly and this just provides that added layer of protection,” Dr. Murray said.
He points out the fewer cases seen in school, the fewer need to quarantine and fewer disruptions for families. He cites the school data that emerged from the pandemic.
“With masking, hopefully, we can keep getting children vaccinated,” he said. “That is one of the safest places to be with appropriate risk mitigation in place.”
He tells parents who vaccinated their children and do not understand why they still need masks in schools that it’s the step toward our old routines.
“We all want them to be back in school without masks and the fastest way to that is to reduce the spread of the virus within the state of Connecticut,” Dr. Murray said.
For more information, go to aappublications.org.