GCSD is calling on medical experts to weigh in on how to send all children back to schools in a safe way

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville County School District is looking at ways to send more kids back to in-person learning.

Tuesday night, the Board of Trustees brought in medical experts from across the state to weigh in on how to safely do so.

This comes nearly a month after the state’s largest school district allowed students in grades K through 8th to return face to faced, with high school students at 75-percent capacity.

Allison Ross Eckard, a Doctor at the Medical University of South Carolina, and one of Tuesday night’s panelists argued that children need to be back in school and it can happen safely if schools follow proper mitigation.

“The mask wearing, the physically distancing from other people,” Doctor Eckard said. “The student cohorting and the getting people out of the classroom when they have a positive case.”

Doctor Eckard said the data she’s collected supports the argument that transmission within schools is very low, with only a handful of cases believed to have come from the classroom.

“All of the rest were acquired while doing activities outside of the classroom,” Doctor Eckard said. “And usually, it’s ways that they were doing these activities that weren’t safe. carpooling without masks, playing sports, having sleepovers, things that are high risk.”

She said the measures taken within schools would counteract what happens outside of it.

“But even if people behave poorly outside of the classroom, with everything that we’ve put inside of the classroom, kids still appear to be safe, as do the teachers,” said Doctor Eckard.

Doctor Eckard’s presentation also cited reasons like mental health, nutrition, a decline in student performance, and a lack in child abuse being reported as reasons why kids should return to the classroom.

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