Is it safe for students to return to school in the fall? SoCal doctor weighs in

With summer underway and the new school season nearing, one major debate is whether schools should reopen. Many parents are wondering if it's safe for children to go back to school in the fall. Local doctor gives us his perspective.

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Thursday, July 9, 2020
Is it safe for students to go back to school? Medical expert weighs in
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We asked Dr. Anthony Cardillo, CEO of Mend Urgent Care and emergency room physician, to get his perspective on whether it is safe for kids to go back to school in the fall.

Many parents are wondering if it's safe for kids to go back to school in the Fall. What do we need to know before that decision is made?

And why is the government encouraging health care workers to reuse their face masks?

ABC7 spoke with Dr. Anthony Cardillo, CEO of Mend Urgent Care and emergency room physician, to get his perspective on these concerns.

We've been reporting on this major debate over whether schools should reopen in the fall. What are the factors that should be considered?

"First and foremost, the health and well-being of the students and teachers is the first thing that has to be considered. We have a lot of teachers that are over age 50, so there has to be a plan in place to keep them all safe. The next factor is looking at the student's emotional well-being if school is not open. It's a major, major toll on both the academics and their emotions, the emotional well-being, if they are not able to go to school. Obviously, the last factor is gonna be the economics of it," said Cardillo. "Schools probably have to approach the reopening the way we approach the essential workers - let's say here at the hospital."

Cardillo says we must be careful and mindful of following all the rules to avoid infections. Schools should not allow lunch breaks or physical education breaks to help prevent transmission. Students and their families should follow safety rules at school and at home.

How do you do this? Cardillo suggests having proper covering, face masks, maybe even shields. He added that there has to be physical barriers between the teachers and the students. Also, only small groups of students should gather, no large group settings.

Vice President Pence said the government will issue guidance encouraging health care workers to reuse their personal protective equipment, using best practices to reuse face masks and other forms of PPE. What's your take on that? How are supplies at your facilities?

"It's a necessity because we know that the face masks and the gowns are really running short supply, and we have to make some radical changes in the future. Probably having most of the stuff produced here in America," said Cardillo. "We have to start transitioning to everything being reusable and clean."

Cardillo says all large hospitals have an ample supply, but warns if a surge were to occur the supply could run low, so everyone must be mindful.

Ask the Doctor: Ann in La Habra wants to know, "Can you get COVID-19 more than once?"

"The CDC really is hesitant on weighing in to give a definitive answer," said Cardillo. "If you get COVID this season, you will be covered this season and you will not get it again."

Watch the video above for the full interview

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