Myth-busting some chatter on COVID-19 back-to-school guidelines

There are so many rumors: Toddlers in masks? Three days in the classroom? What will schools really look like in the fall?

FOX 29's Jennifer Joyce goes myth-busting to help us find some answers.

"It feels weird knowing that nothing is going to be the same as it was when I started," said Sophia Mancinelli, a ninth-grader at Collingswood High School.

School in the Fall will definitely be different. Will students even return to classrooms? Parents sure hope so!

Asked if she wants her children to go back to school, Collongswood mother Kathleen Roseboro laughed while answering, "Yes, desperately."

This week, CDC issued recommendations for schools.

Now, a graphic is all over social media, claiming to list the guidelines.

Parents and teachers don’t know what to think. So, we checked it out.

Wear masks over the age of 2.  Nope, the CDC is clear this should be done when feasible.

Collingswood kindergarten teacher Kathy Keller understands this challenge: "The first half of the year we’re just learning how to get in a line, and personal space, and you're not leaning on someone."

So, how do you keep children six feet apart? Again, the CDC clarifies – when feasible.

No shared supplies or shared spaces? No field trips? Again, when possible.

"I'm lucky enough to have two bathrooms and sinks in here, so we're self-contained," Keller said of her kindergarten classroom at Zane North Elementary School. "What happens to some of the other classes were shared facilities?"

For the high school take, Sophia Mancinelli offered: "I think it’s not great for the students because of the lack of interaction with your fellow students, and the lack of just being in school in general."

Roseboro, who has three kids, sees the emotional impact. Her 10-year-old is missing sports so badly that her imagination is running wild in the backyard, where a video recording shows her simulating with no pool, just laying in the ground and placing her face in a bucket of water.

"The struggle in all of this has been the physical aspect of it, just kind of being cooped up and not being able to run around."

One more item on the CDC list of recommendations is the proposal of sneeze-guards. Are there going to be partitions set up between students in each and every classroom? Well, that remains to be seen.

The biggest thing that superintendents and school districts will want to get a handle on is that distance between students. That will likely come by way of staggering class times, making sure that all of the students are not in the building at the same time.

But Joyce reported the other big variable in all of this is going to be funding – do we have the means, given the state of the economy, for the extra disinfectant, cleaning crews, masks for every child, ad partitions or whatnot to follow these guidelines, if that's even possible. We'll have to see.


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