Rochester area reacts to top pediatrician group’s call for masks to stay in schools

“I’m all for the science and the pediatrician’s recommendations,” said Kellyo Kaufman, Newark Central School District parent.

The AAP says it fully supports personalized learning, but recommends that everyone ages two and older wear a mask. The organization says it will be difficult for schools to track the vaccination status of students, teachers and staff.

“I’m totally okay with it. I’m not pro-mask or anti-mask,” Kaufman said.

Local children’s teams say the last thing they want is a new variant if we don’t mask a little longer.

“Every time a disease is spread from one person to another, we risk the chance of another variant and we don’t know what the next variant will do, will it be the one that prevents our vaccine from working? Will it be the one which causes children to get serious illness? We just don’t know,” said Dr Elizabeth Murray, who works with URMC.

This latest recommendation conflicts with recent guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that approved the removal of masks in schools for anyone who is vaccinated. New York’s school districts are still awaiting instructions from the state’s health department.

“This is a tricky situation with the CDC’s recommendations about wearing masks in schools for those who have been vaccinated and we know there are children who don’t get vaccinations before school starts and we know there is a risk of transmission,” Murray added.

Murray says they expect new data on vaccines for children around the age of five in the late fall.

The CDC says it believes a return to personal learning in the fall is a priority and those vaccinated should not be required to wear masks indoors.

It proposes that people in schools maintain a social distance of one meter, but also added on July 9 that students should not be barred from personal learning to maintain a minimum distance of one meter.

The CDC also said schools may need to employ more prevention strategies if local transfer rates are high.

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