Since March of this year the world has been going through a harrowing period as COVID-19 spread its way across the country and the globe. A constant stream of information has made it difficult to be certain of which is hype and which is legitimate information. This confusion is made even more difficult as experts postulate on the state of the pandemic, how long it will last, and the dangers involved. In the midst of all this information overload, new data suggests that the pandemic may have a new worrying element to it.
Children Are Carrying The Disease Without Symptoms
Recent research has revealed a trend in child patients that is leaving experts worried about the repercussions of reopening the schools. Studies have revealed that children who previously carried the disease are remaining capable of spreading the disease for far longer than previously expected. These children, some of which were asymptomatic (without symptoms) to begin with, are still shedding the virus three weeks later. Given that the present quarantine period is set at two weeks, this means that children in states where in-person school has resumed are returning to classes still capable of infecting their schoolmates.
What Does This Mean For Our Children And School?
Authorities are responding to this information in different ways, with New York City having opted to hold off in-person classes until October 1st from its initial Sept 20th start date. South Carolina, for its part, opted to maintain an in-person presence for schools, largely returning to a ‘business as usual’ approach. This means that there is a potential for children who are carrying the disease asymptomatically to put their classmates at risk of infection. Thankfully a provision has been included in the state guidelines that allow schools to offer their own virtual education program, though an initial in-person contact with the students is still required. It’s important that you research the rules and guidelines of your local school district to determine what options are available for your child. If you opt to have your child attend in-person classes be sure to emphasize the importance of social distancing, sanitation, and the proper use of masks during this time.
Should I Have My Child Tested For COVID?
While having your child tested regularly would be ideal until a proper vaccine is developed for COVID, present availability of testing kits makes this unfeasible. Instead it’s important that you limit their potential exposure and ensure they know how to be safe during the pandemic. If your child is beginning to reveal symptoms associated with COVID, including high fever or diarrhea, then it’s time to get them tested. If your child does contract the virus, speak with your physician about having an additional test done at the end of the quarantine period to ensure they’re no longer shedding the virus before returning them to school.
We here at MD First Primary and Urgent Care are dedicated to helping our family of patients remain safe during the Pandemic. If you’d like to educate yourself further on methods of preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting your family, call us or visit us today at our offices in Lancaster, SC.