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August 5, 2020 -- Anthony Fauci, MD, says he favors K-12 students returning to the classroom for education, but he stressed “the primary consideration” in making that decision should be the safety of students and staff.

Fauci said students need the psychological and nutritional benefits of being in the classroom and parents need to "dramatically modify their work schedule,” CNN reported .

"The primary consideration should always be the safety, the health of the welfare of the children, as well as the teachers and the secondary effects for spreading (to) the parents and other family members," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Colleges should require people to be tested for the coronavirus before they arrive on campus and then quarantine for 14 days, Fauci said.

"If done properly, it would not be a risk, but then again, you've got to be careful when you get people coming in from outside," he said. "But I think if they maintain the guidelines that are put together for people coming back, that they should be fine."

Whether to reopen schools has become a friction point as the coronavirus sweeps the nation. As of Tuesday morning, there were more than 4.7 million cases in the United States and more than 155,000 deaths.

President Donald Trump wants schools to reopen to help boost the national economy.

The CDC director says school reopening is important for the nation’s public health and that the long-term benefits for children outweigh the health risks. CDC guidelines on school reopening say children need to get back to class because schools offer nutrition and socialization some students may not receive at home.

Despite the CDC guidance, many school systems across the nation are choosing to start the school year with all-virtual education.

WebMD Health News Brief Medically Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on August 05, 2020

Sources

CNN. "K-12 schools and colleges can reopen, but safety should come first, Fauci says"

WebMD. “School Reopening ‘Important to Our Public Health’”

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