Health experts weigh the benefits, risks of going back to school

With K-12 classes set to resume this week, what are health experts doing with their own children?

Some Young-5 to fifth-grade students at Portage Public Schools will re-enter the classroom on Monday morning for the first time since March. Other Kalamazoo County school districts are similarly offering some amount of in-person classes.

But health experts in Michigan aren’t all convinced in-person education is worth the risk of spreading COVID-19.

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In an article on MLive, health experts explain the decisions they’re making for their own children going back to school this fall.

“From a health standpoint … I cannot envision a scenario where COVID-19 safety can be guaranteed at school despite the best efforts of educators and public health officials,” said Dr. Larry Wile, medical director for the Van Buren and Cass District Health Department.

The father of a first-grader and a high school senior, Wile opted for virtual classes, at least for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

Some experts are comfortable with the safety precautions being taken, at least by daycare centers.

Jon Zelner, assistant professor in epidemiology in University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, is sending his 3-year-old daughter to daycare at the U of M child center.

He’s less comfortable with sending his 6-year-old into a classroom, though. His school district is beginning the year with all-remote classes.

He said he “wouldn’t know what to do” if his son had to attend class in-person.

You can read the full story here.

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