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Council Member Mary Cheh “Here are 5 steps that must be taken to protect the health/safety of DCPS students”

photo by Erin

Thanks to Susan and all who passed on from CM Mary Cheh:

“Here are 5 steps that must be taken to protect the health/safety of @dcpublicschools students:

1. Move lunch outside
2. Opt-out model for testing consent
3. Require FDA-approved #COVID vaccines for students
4. Address social distancing limitations
5. Provide a virtual option

These recommendations are the result of touring #Ward3 schools, speaking with school leaders, and receiving input from DCPS families. I have sent this list to @MayorBowser.

Here is a bit more context on each point:

1. Although principals have some discretion in how to configure their spaces, there should be a directive that all lunches/meals be eaten outside. Otherwise, students, many of whom cannot be vaccinated, will be removing their masks & sitting at minimal distances from each other.

2. Our #COVID19 testing protocols must be more robust and acquiring consent for testing (as it is considered a medical procedure) must shift to an opt-out model.

Councilmembers have been asking for this for weeks.

3. Just as students are already required to get other vaccines, eligible students aged 16+ should be required to get a #COVID19 vaccine that is fully FDA-approved.

4. Distances between students must be in the 3-6 feet range as recommended by the CDC, but some schools are reporting that they are not able to meet this standard & distances may be less than 3 feet.

This must be addressed (possibly by more robust outdoor classroom support).

5. Finally, a virtual learning option should be provided.

Parents who fear that their unvaccinated children face too great a risk in an in-person environment (especially in light of the highly transmissible delta variant) should have a virtual option available to them.”

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