2 years before schools get back to normal, doctor says

Border Report

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — When schools might reopen in San Diego remains a mystery, but when they do, it will not be business as usual, according to a physician who works for the San Diego Unified School District.

Dr. Howard Taras says because of the coronavirus pandemic, it will be two years before things return to normal.

“Normality as we knew it, I think it’s two years until then. It’s going to be some degree of a compromise when it comes to access to schools,” Taras said.

Taras made the prediction during the district’s board meeting earlier this week.

He also warned about consequences should school closures remain in effect for long periods of time.

“If our students are not educated back in school, that could adversely affect the economy 10 years from now,” Taras said.

When schools do reopen, restrictions will have to be implemented at schools. Taras recommends students sit as far apart from each other as possible in class and that students wear face coverings.

He would also like to see playgrounds off-limits during recess and lunch breaks, and for the lunch periods to be staggered. Also, no sporting events such as football games or graduation ceremonies, and staff meetings and education planning should be done via teleconference.

Bus schedules should be staggered to allow for fewer students in a bus at a time, Taras said.

Also, high-school and middle-school students would not be allowed to jump from class to class. Instead, they would remain in one “homeroom” throughout the day with teachers moving around from classroom to classroom

Taras said it will be important to have “stops and starts” while reopening schools, to prevent a second wave of COVID-19. There may have to be new protocols in which schools are not closed across the board, but instead by classroom, school or area of schools when there’s an outbreak.

Taras also quoted data from a report in The Lancet Journal that outlines how school closures have had very little effectiveness in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

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