October 24, 2020

Mississippi pediatricians call for delay in opening schools

A Mississippi group of pediatricians wants the state to delay the opening of schools until September and make virtual learning an option for all students.

The Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Mississippi State Medical Association released a statement Saturday encouraging state leaders to delay in-person school starting until cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus are on a “downward trajectory, citing earlier guidance released from the White House.

Mississippi’s trajectory has been just the positive, a marked upward trajectory in July.

The physician groups cited that delaying school until Sept. 1 would give additional time for the state to reduce transmissions of the virus around the state, allow school districts more time to properly work out plans for how to reopen safely and perhaps allow districts to obtain additional funding to help with their plans.

The doctors also suggested that wearing face masks should be required for all people in a school building, regardless of age, though they suggest children with intellectual disabilities or very young children in pre-kindergarten programs may require special consideration.