Keeping everyone safe is the ultimate goal
A comprehensive back-to-school plan should be released by Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education this week. Two million elementary and high school students await this plan, along with their parents and educators. Hopefully, the plan will include measures to upgrade ventilation systems within all public schools. For older schools that lack mechanical ventilation, purchasing additional HEPA filters should be mandatory. Since, the virus is airborne, the plan will need to focus around that scientific fact. Fewer people inside each classroom would help, but that would also increase costs with additional staff required. Contact tracing together with testing is imperative. The plan should address vaccinations for staff and students. Ideally, having everyone inside the building fully vaccinated, would remove the need for masks. Since that is impossible for children under the age of 12, masking in elementary schools will be required. Inside a high school, there is more wiggle room, but wearing a mask is the easiest way to limit transmission.