COVID-19 health headlines: keeping schools open and safe, pandemic playdates and kids flu shots

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Even though more COVID-19 cases are popping up in schools across Connecticut, Dr. Thomas Murray a Yale pediatrician and Associate Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, says there is a positive takeaway.

Dr. Murray works with school districts on safely educating students. He closely follows how the virus is spreading.

“Fortunately most of the cases that we’ve seen are imported from the community, so that’s telling us there has not been a tremendous amount of spread within the school system itself and within schools,” says Dr. Murray.

He says there are things parents can do to help keep their schools open, which include wearing masks, and not sending an even mildly sick child to school.

“If your child is sick, please do not send them to school. This is not the fall to give them Motrin and say you’ll make it through the day before the fever comes back,” he urges.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association put out a study revealing the infection rate among children has gone up 56 percent since early August, possibly due to small gatherings.

Dr. Murray says as we move into Phase Three of reopening activities, keep safety in mind with children at play dates. If the play date is with a group with a lot of contact, encourage masking.

“Good hand washing before and after, is critically important, especially if you’re out in public areas. Any play dates that can be outside are better than play dates that can be inside,” he adds.

A recent survey found that one third of parents are not having their children get flu shots this years.

Dr. Murray urges against that, fearing a co-infection with flu and Covid-19. He points out that last year the flu killed 180 children in the United States.

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