Local pediatrician reacts to CDC return-to-school guidelines

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — As local COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Chatham County and surrounding districts, parents and teachers continue to explore the best options to slow the spread of COVID-19 as students return to school.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released K-12 school guidelines recommending students quarantine for 14 days. However, the CDC has also released new findings suggesting those with mild to moderate COVID-19 could generally discontinue isolation after 10 days.

Parents have expressed their concerns to News 3 that some local school districts are only notifying portions of classes about potential COVID-19 exposure, and in some cases, students could return from quarantine with no further testing.

Current CDC recommendations say students who tested positive for COVID-19 should have an improvement in symptoms before returning to the classroom. Students should also be fever-free for at least 24 hours, but no re-test is required.

Pediatrician at SouthCoast Health Dr. Blaine Crosland says it’s still better to be safe than sorry when it comes to students who have been exposed to the virus.

“Information is evolving constantly,” Crosland said. “In fact, we are recommending that children who have been exposed to coronavirus, but are asymptomatic and test negative, that they still quarantine for 14 days. It’s a tough conversation to have and we understand people’s frustration.”

Hear more from SouthCoast Health’s Dr. Crosland below:

She recommends families who choose to send their kids to school in-person should enforce mask-wearing, frequent hand-washing, and as much social distancing as possible.

“I recommend getting tested around day five of illness to confirm that it is coronavirus,” Crosland said. We encourage middle schoolers and high schoolers to be masked all the time.”

Crosland says if your child does have symptoms, schedule a virtual appointment with their doctor and begin the quarantine process until test results come back.

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