Students in San Diego County’s South Bay returned to school this week following their winter break, but with rising COVID-19 cases and the omicron variant spreading rapidly nationwide, some parents expressed concerns about sending their children back to class.
Excitement and nervousness swirled the air Tuesday morning during drop-off at Wolf Canyon Elementary School. While some students were glad to be with their friends again, some parents expressed apprehensiveness at the return.
COVID-19 and School
To ease any nervousness and keep students safe, the school passed out COVID-19 at-home testing kits on Monday.
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“I did just in case because there’s other kids that actually have immune disorders, as well as cancer and stuff, and can get very sick,” Stephanie Zuniga said about getting her child tested. “So just to be on the safe side, I would rather just make sure he wasn’t passing anything around.”
Although it wasn’t mandatory, the Chula Vista Elementary School District asked parents to get their children tested before taking them to school. Those who tested positive for the coronavirus were kept home to prevent from spreading the illness.
Sylvia Duron, whose child also attends the school, said she decided to use the test.
“We’re not vaccinated, so we just want to make sure that we’re OK also, and that we don’t want to spread it, as well,” she said. “Just keep everybody safe.”
Dr. John Bradley, the medical director of infectious diseases at Rady Children’s Hospital, said COVID-19 cases in children typically tend to be milder compared to cases in adults. He added, however, that parents should keep their guards up when it comes to the illness and their children.
“Children are the most efficient means to spread viruses in a community, to parents, grandparents and people who are immunocompromised,” Dr. Bradley said. “We know this from influenza, so if we could knock down the number of kids with COVID, we can prevent the spread in the older population.”
The Chula Vista Elementary School District said it’s planning to open sites offering both testing and vaccinations sometime next month.