Return-to-School Guidelines Should be Evidence-Based and Flexible

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Friday, July 17, 2020

Statement attributable to:
Gary L. LeRoy, MD
President
American Academy of Family Physicians

“Family physicians understand the importance and benefits of in-person learning for children. As the medical community continues to confirm precisely how COVID-19 spreads, family physicians are mindful that an infected person, even if asymptomatic, may inadvertently spread COVID-19 to children, teachers, co-workers, family members and ultimately others in the community.

“Thus, as communities look to the 2020-21 school year, it will be important to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in individual cities and communities to help signal if and when the risks of attending school in person begin to outweigh the benefits. Return-to-school guidelines should be evidence-based and flexible in response to new information, as communities cannot accurately predict where the next outbreak will appear. For this reason, even as schools implement new disinfecting protocols, they must remain vigilant about hand washing, the proper use of face masks and practicing physical distancing.”

Editor's Note: To arrange an interview with Dr. LeRoy, contact Megan Moriarty, 800-274-2237, Ext. 6052, or mmoriarty@aafp.org

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).