FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Students are back in classrooms and one of the main goals of administrators is keeping them safe as a new strain of COVID-19 is surging in the Central Valley.
Students rushing back to class for in-person learning is what everyone wanted. What wasn’t expected is that the return to school would come at the same time the country is facing a major surge of COVID-19, driven by the more contagious delta variant.
“When you think about our schools we realize they are high-risk situations,” said medical consultant Dr. John Zweifler. “They are indoors they are crowded, not all children are able to be vaccinated.”
Dr. Zwifler with Fresno County Department of Public Health says the state is recommending what it considers to be the best way to protect students in school.
“What CDPH has said is that all children in schools and staff must wear a mask now. What they’ve also said is that it is up to the school districts to enforce that – but the expectation is that all children need to be masked.”
Besides face coverings, students over the age of 12 can get vaccinated against COVID-19, but those are not the only shots children need for school.
“We need to immunize our children not just against COVID, but other school-age vaccines, such as measles, varicella, and pertussis,” said health educator Leticia Berber.
Many children skipped getting their childhood immunizations during the pandemic- now parents are facing a deadline.
“I know some of them, some kids, some parents they are not vaccinated, and I want my grandkids to be safe at school,” said grandparent Carmelita Rocha.