There’s a new op-ed in the New York Times by Dr. Joseph Allen, associate professor and director of the Healthy Buildings program at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, that urges politicians and health experts to *not* close schools as the Omicron variant surges across America:

Highlights:

“The argument for keeping schools open rests on two constants ever since the Covid pandemic began: The risk of severe outcomes to kids from coronavirus infection is low, and the risks to kids from being out of school are high.”

“We need to stop quarantining entire classrooms when there is a positive case and instead establish so-called test-to-stay policies as the default. The Biden administration has finally woken up to this.”

“For those who test positive, the current protocol requires a 10-day isolation period, with no option to test out, even for the vaccinated. This is overly stringent and is causing more unnecessary missed schooling.”

“Two negative rapid antigen tests on consecutive days and no symptoms should be enough to return safely.”

“We should make masking in schools voluntary rather than mandatory. Masking was a necessary inconvenience early on and in short stints was fine.”

“But to think that two years of masking has no impact on socialization, learning and anxiety is shortsighted. Kids are resilient but not endlessly resilient.

Still, anyone who wants to wear a mask should be allowed to do so.”

100% agree.

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