In a July 17 statement attributed to American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) President Gary LeRoy, MD, of Dayton, OH, the AAFP called for flexible and evidence-based return-to-school guidelines.
“Family physicians understand the importance and benefits of in-person learning for children. As the medical community continues to confirm precisely how COVID-19 spreads, family physicians are mindful that an infected person, even if asymptomatic, may inadvertently spread COVID-19 to children, teachers, co-workers, family members, and ultimately others in the community.
“Thus, as communities look to the 2020-21 school year, it will be important to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in individual cities and communities to help signal if and when the risks of attending school in person begin to outweigh the benefits. Return-to-school guidelines should be evidence based and flexible in response to new information, as communities cannot accurately predict where the next outbreak will appear. For this reason, even as schools implement new disinfecting protocols, they must remain vigilant about hand washing, the proper use of face masks and practicing physical distancing.”