(KRON) — With the first Bay Area students returning to class, some parents are asking what precautions they should take to protect their children from COVID-19 this school year.
“A lot of us think there may be another surge coming in the fall,” said Dr. Yvonne Maldonado, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Stanford.
Dr. Maldonado said that right now we are seeing a plateau in COVID-19 cases and many people are immune, either from the vaccine or from the virus. She said that even though we are on a plateau, COVID-19 is not over yet.
“The unvaccinated people are still there and they are still hospitalized,” Dr. Maldonado said. She said they expect another push as we enter the fall months. People will go back inside and students will be back in class.
Dr. Maldonado said this happens every year with the flu virus and they expect COVID-19 to be no different. “Schools should really focus on ventilation and keeping things clean and as much as possible,” Dr Maldonado said.
Maldonado said the best way to protect your child is to get them vaccinated against COVID-19. Doctors are seeing a trend that 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 being done, most parents of young children may not think their children are at risk of serious illness. The problem is that we in children’s hospitals see little children who come to the hospital because they can’t breathe or have heart problems,” Dr Maldonado said.
She said it will also protect your children if teachers and staff are fully vaccinated, and added another 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 go to school or work,” Dr. Maldonado said.
Dr Maldonado said that with fewer people testing and modifying variants, the most important tool for tracking the virus in the community will be sewage monitoring.