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'Somebody is going to get sick', Tucson doctor says students are safer at home

Posted at 6:18 AM, Aug 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-04 09:18:36-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Many parents are still asking themselves whether or not it is safe to send their kids back to the classroom, but one local pediatrician says waiting may be the best option.

Pediatrician Sandy Herron at Tanque Verde Pediatrics said she would like to see a delay for at least for a couple of weeks, until we see a decline in cases.

She said this would be if Tucson saw a decline in COVID-19 cases for at least two to three weeks.

Last weekend, hospitals in Tucson just hit their peak in cases, Dr. Herron said.

"I think to overwhelm that system even more with even more with increase illness with having all those kids together and the potential for transmission of illness is significant," Dr. Herron said.

As a mom, she said her evaluating these options with her patients is also personal.

"My kids are in high school and are at a high risk of transmission than lower aged elementary school kids," Dr. Herron said. "We’re doing online school with our kids at least for the first quarter."

She said if her kids were in elementary school, she would be more open to sending them in person because studies show children nine and under are less likely to transmit the virus.

However, no matter a child's age, she said, there is still a risk and starting online is the best way to prepare families in case their school sees an outbreak.

"Once kids do get in school, somebody is going to get sick," Dr. Herron said. "They’re going to have to shut down that classroom for a significant period of time, and so kids are going to need to eventually get comfortable with that online platform when that happens in there class."

Dr. Herron said everyone in the community has a play in getting kids back to school safely, so wearing our masks in public, avoiding large crowds and staying six feet from each other to try and stop the spread of COVID-19.