(KRON) — With the first Bay Area students back in the classroom, some parents are asking what precautions they should take to protect their kids against COVID-19 this school year.
“A lot of us think that there will be maybe another surge coming in the fall,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, Stanford Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist.
Dr. Maldonado said right now we are seeing a plateau in COVID-19 cases and many people have immunity, through either the vaccine or previously having the virus. She said even though we are in a plateau, COVID-19 is not over just yet.
“Unvaccinated people are still around and they are still being hospitalized,” said Dr. Maldonado. She said they are anticipating another surge as we get into the fall months. People will go back indoors and students will be back in the classroom.
Dr. Maldonado said this happens with the flu virus every year and they expect COVID-19 to be no different. “The schools should be really focusing on ventilation and just keeping things clean and as much as possible,” said Dr. Maldonado.
Dr. Maldonado said the best way to protect your child is to get them vaccinated against COVID-19. Doctors are seeing a trend where the younger a child is, the less likely they are to be vaccinated, according to Dr. Maldonado.
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“I think if we look at some of the surveys that are taken, most parents of younger kids may not think their kids are at risk of serious illness. The problem is that we in the children’s hospital systems are seeing little kids that are coming into the hospital because they can’t breathe or are having heart problems,” said Dr. Maldonado.
She said it will also protect your children if teachers and staff members are fully vaccinated, and added one more piece of advice. “I would just say what I would say before, even before Omicron or COVID-19, if you’re sick you shouldn’t be going to school or work,” said Dr. Maldonado.
Dr. Maldonado said with less people testing and changing variants, the most important tool for tracking the virus in the community will be wastewater surveillance.