As K-12 children head back to school this fall, parents should keep in mind the relatively low level of COVID-19 transmission in the community, as well as the benefits of in-person schooling, says Vivek Goel.
“Schools have been doing a tremendous amount of work to prepare: additional cleaning protocols, cohorting of students [and] staggered hours are some of the examples,” says Goel, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health and a special adviser to the president and provost who is helping guide the university’s COVID-19 planning efforts.
“All of these activities, what we do ourselves and what the schools do and what our communities do, will help ensure the safety of children.”
In episode 25 of his podcast on the pandemic, Goel – a renowned public health expert and founding head of Public Health Ontario, which was set up in response to the 2003 SARS outbreak – talks about the importance of attending school for children’s social development, education and equity. Not all students can learn from home, he points out.
The COVID-19: What’s Next? podcast is created by Goel in collaboration with a University of Toronto Communications team led by producer Lisa Lightbourn.
Note: The information in this podcast is current as of the posting date. Listeners should consult their local public health agency for the latest information in their jurisdiction.