Virginia Chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics ‘strongly recommends’ children 2 and older mask up for fall semester
VIRGINIA – Pediatricians in Virginia are urging all schools to universally mask children indoors, regardless of vaccine status.
The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (VA-AAP) said Monday it strongly recommends that all children in every school unit in the Commonwealth be masked for school in the fall, whether vaccinated or not.
This is based on the observation that the number of COVID-19 infections is rapidly increasing across the state, the fact that the Delta variant is more contagious than previous virus strains and can be spread by even those who have been vaccinated, and that face masks have been scientifically proven to be effective. .
This position aligns with the National American Academy of Pediatrics’ updates to their “COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools” and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.”
VA-AAP continues to advocate that the top priority is that schools remain open and remain open. They say this is best achieved through effective mitigation strategies, including vaccinating eligible children and wearing face masks by all children except those with a medical clearance established by a doctor.
Continuing to use a simple, key mitigation layer — in this case, masks — at a time of substantial spread of disease in the community will reduce illness and quarantine and keep more children healthy and in school, allowing families to continue working as well, according to VA -MONKEY. They say every effort should be made to support vaccination, which has been tremendously effective in minimizing disease, especially hospitalizations and deaths, even against the Delta variant.
Related: Chesapeake Parents And Teachers Plan To Talk About Masking At Upcoming School Board Meeting
VA-AAP begs schools and communities to use science and data to guide decisions, understanding that policies are designed to reduce risk, but cannot eliminate it. Local pediatricians and public health officials should be consulted in developing policies to combat COVID-19 in schools and
assessed. As the number of cases of COVID-19 disease declines and vaccination coverage rises, policies will need to be reassessed and universal masking may be discontinued based on local conditions and in consultation with health officials.
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