SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Doctors say despite fears of the delta variant, children returning to school is safe with proper ventilation, distancing, and vaccinations.
Many San Diego County schools have returned or are poised to return in the weeks ahead, and some parents have expressed doubts as COVID-19 cases have surged.
Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group Dr. Jyotu Sandhu says the delta variant is a different beast.
"Every person's vaccine status is going to trickle down into the safety of their children," said Sandhu.
Dr. Sandhu says proper ventilation is critical for schools as they start the reopening process. He says the delta variant is far more transmissible, making social distancing a priority more than ever.
"It is one-thousand times more contagious than COVID-19 ... the number one thing adults can do to keep kids under the age of 12 safe who are not eligible for the vaccine is to get vaccinated themselves. That will keep your kids safe," said Sandhu.
Just two weeks into the start of school, Sweetwater Union is reporting 58 new confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday. The district is enforcing a new mask rule for staff regardless of vaccination status in light of the new surge. Of its 36,000 students, 300 are opting for virtual learning this school year.
Poway Unified will start its first day on Aug. 18, offering fully in-person learning — which 98% of students have chosen. Just 2% are doing virtual learning. The district says the variant surge has not changed any protocols or start dates.
ABC 10News reached out to San Diego Unified on whether back-to-school protocols have changed due to the delta variant, but have yet to hear back.