Huntsville pediatrician says school start dates should wait until October

Dr. Joann Johnson says the recent spike in cases is concerning less than 6 weeks before classes resume

Posted: Jul 2, 2020 10:19 PM

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the spikes in many states are the worst the US has seen so far, and warned it could get worse if more precautions aren't taken.

With the start of school less than 6 weeks away, a local pediatrician told WAAY 31 she has some concerns about reopening schools. She said she wants to see the start date pushed back at least another two months!

"It would be nice if we could delay the start of school i would think until around looks like cases are getting more prevalent in our area," Dr. Joann Johnson, the head pediatrician at Over the Rainbow Pediatrics, said.

Dr. Johnson said the recent rise in coronavirus cases around Alabama is why she's concerned about schools re-opening in August. She's had discussions with parents and teachers who shared concerns about schools re-opening next month.

"It's going to be very difficult to get the kids to keep their masks on all day long. It's also going to be difficult in the larger schools to do any social distancing," she said.

She said pushing the start date back will allow time for coronavirus cases to decline before kids go back in person. She said seeing the way the flu and other sicknesses have spread among kids in years past makes her feel now isn't the time for kids to return.

"Yes, I am very worried because other viral illnesses like RSV and flu always spread through the school system so I don't see why this virus will be any different," Johnson said.

Ultimately, she said parents are going to have to make a decision on what's best because every child and situation is different.

She said she just hopes parents have their own conversations with their children about keeping themselves and others safe.

"Stress to their children to keep their masks on and to wash their hands frequently, and not be touching each other," Johnson said.

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