What We’re Reading: Thousands Quarantined After In-Person School; Missed Vaccines Prompt Concern; CDC Warns of Fall Outbreaks

August 13, 2020

Thousands have been told to quarantine after outbreaks in schools; children are missing scheduled vaccines; CDC's Robert Redfield, MD, warns of the worst fall in US public health history.

COVID-19 School Outbreaks Lead to Quarantines

More than 2000 students, teachers, and staff across 5 states have been quarantined after at least 230 positive coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases were reported in schools that returned to in-person learning, CNN reported. The measures come as schools across the country grapple with the task of successfully re-opening schools for the 2020-2021 academic year. Although new studies highlight how easily children can get and transmit the virus, some pediatricians raised concern about the negative consequences distance learning has on younger students and working families.

Missed Vaccines Increase Risk of Measles, Flu Outbreaks

Reports of children postponing or altogether missing scheduled vaccinations for fear of exposure to COVID-19 have raised concerns additional outbreaks of flu or measles may further impede efforts to carryout in-person schooling during the pandemic, USA Today reported. Results from a national survey conducted by Orlando Health found that although the majority of parents believe vaccines are the best way to protect children from infectious diseases, two-thirds are nervous to bring their child to their pediatrician’s office. As missed vaccinations could expose others who haven’t received vaccines to communicable diseases, providers are urging patients to continue routine care and screenings during the crisis.

Redfield Warns of Worst Fall in US Public Health History

CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, warned that if recommended COVID-19 measures are not followed, the United States risks facing the worst fall in public health history, CNN reported. The pandemic continues to surge throughout the country, despite health officials’ calls for citizens to wear masks, social distance, wash hands and avoid crowds. On August 12, the United States reported 1499 deaths—the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in one day since mid-May. Redfield also stressed the importance of reviving a flu vaccination this year, as the CDC already bought 10 million doses of the vaccine for uninsured adults compared with the typical 500,00 doses.