CHOP officials have also adjusted its testing recommendations for students and staff as new research is published regarding the omicron variant.
Findings from CHOP medical experts provide more support to keep schools open as much as possible for in-person teaching.
The consensus is that keeping so many in-person instructions for children outweighs the risk of COVID infection at this point in the pandemic.
âWe have to rethink like, ‘What are we doing here? “We are chasing milder disease,” said Dr David Rubin, executive director of PolicyLab at CHOP.
As hundreds of people have flocked to places in the region to be tested for COVID-19, a statement from PolicyLab and the management of CHOP is that although the omicron variant is spreading rapidly, we are fortunate that it seems to be a milder variant for most people.
âI think it’s important for us to push a school policy reset button and help schools that are finding it increasingly difficult to stay open,â Rubin said.
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The group recommends universal masking in schools but is abandoning asymptomatic testing for staff and students and reducing quarantine times.
âIf we look at who is being asked to quarantine right now, we’ll quarantine everyone, and so as long as you’re asymptomatic and wearing a mask, go to school, if you have any problems. symptoms, withdraw, âInsisted added.
The Upper Darby and Marple Newtown school districts are among those who will follow these recommendations.
Both will require masks for learning in school.
Meanwhile, in South Africa, where the omicron variant originated, the wave passed without a peak in deaths. Developments are closely monitored locally by medical experts.
âIt’s not necessarily indicative of how it’s going to work here in the United States, but it is possible,â said Dr. David Mariness of Einstein Medical Center.
The United States averages over 580,000 cases per day.
âEven though the severity of omicron may be less, the sheer volume of infections will likely result in equivalent or greater hospitalizations,â Mariness said.
He says people vaccinated can still contract the virus, but they are protected from hospitalization and death.
Right now, according to the CDC, every state in the United States is reporting an increase in virus-positive hospitalizations.
Some hospitals in the region are reported at or near full capacity.
But the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the United States could soon see a dramatic drop in the number of new cases, as in South Africa.
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