Keeping your child healthy in school during a COVID surge

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:05 PM EST
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Students are back in school amid a major surge of COVID-19.

Local health officials say there are things you can do to keep your children healthy, including masking, vaccination and staying home when sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends universal masking for students, teachers and visitors in schools.

Central Shenandoah Health District Communication Specialist Jordi Shelton said wearing a well-fitting mask is key, and you should wear it any time you’re in contact with other people.

“We know that masking is really helpful, especially when we’re experiencing times of rapid spread and especially in areas of high transmission and at this time, all of our localities that are in CSHD are in levels of high transmission,” Shelton said.

Although masking is important, Shelton said the main thing that will keep your child healthy is vaccination.

“Vaccination is, first and foremost, the most important tool we have. The really great news is that vaccines are available for everyone five and older, so you can vaccinate your children and ensure they have that level of protection going back to school this new year,” Shelton said.

Now, everyone 12 and older who is five months out from their primary vaccine series can get a booster. High vaccination rates, combined with staying home while sick, can keep many students healthy.

“If you have symptoms, even if you’re feeling like they’re mild, or if your child has symptoms, and they feel like they’re mild, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and keep them home until you can get them a test for COVID-19 and it’s negative,” Shelton said.

Staying home when you’re sick helps you get rest and get better faster, but it also protects others from getting sick. Not only should you get tested if you’re feeling sick, but you should also stay home until you get a negative test.

For CDC guidelines for K-12 schools, click here. For VDH guidelines, click here.

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