DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF)- The school year is around the corner and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is relaxing its COVID-19 recommendations, adding that in-person school should be a priority this fall.
School starting comes as an anxiety for one Miamisburg City School parent, Jen Marcus Fernandez, whose son Sam, is only 9 years old, which isn’t old enough for the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I am very nervous right now with that variant that’s out there, the delta variant, especially because they say it’s hitting those who are not vaccinated and also younger kids,” said Fernandez.
In the CDC’s new relaxed recommendations, it says those 2 years and older who are not vaccinated should wear masks indoors. A large percentage of students in K-12 schools are 12 years old and younger therefore ineligible for the shot. So, districts like Springboro Schools want to avoid any confusion.
“Across the district, all grade levels, all staff we do encourage people to take advantage of the vaccine, but at this point we are going to make masks optional,” said Scott Marshall, District Communications Coordinator for Springboro City Schools.
Pediatrician Dr. David Roer, and Centerville City Schools Board of Education Member said instead of showing vaccination proof, most schools will more than likely use the honor system.
“I don't think there's going to be any set of surveillance of who is and who isn't and it's going to have to be a trust,” said Roer, with Pediatric Associates of Dayton.
The CDC also encourages regular sanitation and keeping students three feet apart, rather than six.
“If schools can’t do that, then obviously they need to wear the mask, do the hand washing, do everything they can, but if they can do the three feet spacing that’s great, if they can do more, even better,” Roer added.
The CDC wants schools to remove prevention strategies one at a time, so it can be closely monitored to see if COVID-19 cases increase, but for Fernandez, she just wants a vaccine available for younger kids.
“You would think by now they would have something because school is about to start in America,” said Fernandez. “It’s frustrating, they are more concerned with about this booster. I think right now let’s get these kids vaccinated then get the booster going afterwards.”