2020 has been a harrowing year for families, with the Coronavirus, COVID-19, tearing its way through the country and the world. Every day new information is found about this disease as we gain additional information and understanding of how it works. The controversial decision to send children back to school in an uncontrolled pandemic has many parents worried, and recent updates are emphasizing the validity of that concern. While most of us know by now which symptoms to look for to identify COVID, there’s a growing body of data that suggests an unexpected element of this disease.
Children Are Turning Up Asymptomatic
One of the most troubling pieces of data to come out of the intense research being done on this virus is the possibility that as much as 45% of children are asymptomatic carriers of the disease. This means that these children may be infected with COVID-19 but not experiencing any symptoms that indicate this. Further, a significant portion of those children who had contracted the disease and recovered were still capable of passing the virus to others as much as three weeks after they were deemed recovered. The current quarantine period for COVID is two weeks, meaning that some of these children are being released from quarantine while they are still capable of spreading the disease. The implications of this information are worrying, to say the least.
What Does This Mean For Our Children And School?
There remains a vast amount to be learned about this virus, but some authorities are already taking action in response to this news. The Mayor of New York City responded by pushing the start date for schools back an additional 11 days from the initial Sept 10th date. This date would then be pushed back again to Oct 1st to permit schools to take additional steps to prepare. For its part, California has taken steps to reduce the number of students attending schools in person in efforts to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. Some schools that refused to adhere to the guidelines set by the California state government have been ordered to close their doors in response to parent complaints. Larger districts, including LA and San Diego, have forbidden in-person classes entirely, taking their education strictly online.
Should My Child Be Tested For COVID?
Unfortunately, there are still shortages in the necessary supplies to perform the degree of testing that would be necessary to identify every case of this disease. The best thing you can do for your child is to maintain social distancing and mask-wearing practices while emphasizing the importance of sanitation. If your child appears to be exhibiting any signs of COVID, it’s time to have them tested. You may also want to have a follow-up test done two weeks after the end of apparent symptoms in children who contract the disease.
Want to learn more about protecting your children in a pandemic? Reach out to Dr. Veena Puri at the Puri Pediatric Group in Fremont, CA, today! We work closely with patients to help maintain the health of them and their families throughout this trying time.