SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As parents are getting ready to send their children back to class they are wondering whether face masks should be on their back-to-school shopping list.
Elk Grove Unified School District is welcoming all students back on Monday. They are strongly recommending face masks, but not requiring them, leaving parents with the choice to decide whether or not to send their kids to school with a mask in hand.
Next week is back to school for Tyrisha Simm’s two kids, a second-grader and a fifth-grader. Simms is still not sure whether or not she will be dropping her kids off with a face mask.
“Whatever the principal allows,” Tyrisha Simms said. “If there isn’t any outbreak or if there aren’t any issues to where I’m uncomfortable, I’ll let them go to school without a mask.”
Many other parents may feel just as unsure, which is why pediatricians are suggesting that they consider these factors before making a decision.
“If your kid is fully vaccinated, doesn’t live with people who are immunocompromised, doesn’t have a newborn at home, then those kids, it seems reasonable at this stage to send back without a mask,” Dr. Lena Van Der List, a pediatrician at UC Davis, said.
Dr. Van Der List said right now, they are seeing a lot of parents bringing their children to get the COVID shot ahead of the upcoming school year.
“We know that it’s safe, it’s effective, it prevents severe illness and hospitalization in kids and it’s just one less thing you’re going to have to worry about when sending your kids back to school,” Dr. Van Der List said.
School districts are constantly monitoring the COVID situation as they prepare to welcome kids back to school.
Sacramento City Unified School District, one of the largest school districts in the area, is still about a month out before the start of classes. Their Board of Education will meet next week to decide how they will start the year in terms of COVID protocols. It is a decision the Teacher’s Association is anxiously waiting for.
“When we think things are getting better, we keep seeing these resurgences so at this point we think masks are an excellent idea..whether they should be mandatory I think we have to come to our own decision on that…ultimately that’s up to the district to make the decision,” David Fisher, a teacher and President of the Sacramento City Teacher’s Association, said.
Teachers, students, and parents are all standing by to see how this next school year will play out.
Dr. Van Der List wants to remind parents that every family’s situation is different and that if you think it is best to send your child back to school with a mask, take the time to explain to them the reason why.