Emergency Physicians to Parents and Students: Prioritize COVID Safety in Back-to-School Plans

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Emergency physicians across the country are seeing surges of COVID-19 cases—particularly among unvaccinated individuals and children, therefore the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) advises parents and students to take extra precautions to protect themselves as many schools resume in-person instruction.

ACEP supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendations on how to stay safe while at school, which include:

  • Wearing a mask—regardless of vaccination status;
  • Continuing to keep your distance from others; and
  • Staying home if you’re not feeling well.

While children under 12 are not yet eligible for a vaccine, using all the strategies proven to limit the spread of the virus will help keep our families and communities safe.

“Many parents are discussing their family’s strategy to keep their kids safe as they go back to crowded classrooms and school activities,” said Mark Rosenberg, DO, MBA, FACEP, president of ACEP. “The tools that slow the spread of the virus are available if we choose to use them—getting vaccinated and wearing a mask while in school or crowded spaces can decrease the spread of COVID variants.”

ACEP also continues to encourage everyone eligible to get vaccinated. This is especially important for parents of young children and those who live multigenerational homes or with those who are immunocompromised.

“The current surge is a stark reminder that this deadly virus will not go away on its own. We must take action, prioritize safety, and continue efforts to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” said Dr. Rosenberg. “Getting vaccinated not only protects yourself but helps prevent you from spreading it to your loved ones who may be either too young or sick to get the vaccine.”

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the national medical society representing emergency medicine. Through continuing education, research, public education and advocacy, ACEP advances emergency care on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million Americans they treat on an annual basis. For more information, visit www.acep.org and www.emergencyphysicians.org

Contact: Steve Arnoff | sarnoff@acep.org | Twitter @EmergencyDocs

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