A group of experts is working with school systems across the state to help them interpret community COVID-19 data and make informed decisions about returning for in-person learning. Members of ABC Science Collaborative met virtually with educators to discuss their concerns.
The North Carolina Association of Educators hosted the Zoom event. Researchers outlined twelve steps they're recommending prior to reopening schools.
They include being transparent about the number of reported infections, developing a dashboard to track data, starting back to in-person slowly, and acknowledging pandemic fatigue by staying adherent to protocols such as mask-wearing.
Dr. Danny Benjamin is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Specialist and professor at Duke University. He says these steps are important to building a culture of safety and trust for the long haul.
“If those principals are in place, then the school environment can be a safe place,” says Benjamin. If those things are not in place, now you are starting to take on risk and if very few of those things are in place, now school is going to make the pandemic worse.”
The ABC Science Collaborative is currently working with more than 50 school districts across North Carolina, including Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools and Guilford County Schools.
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