State: Medically vulnerable students, those who live with high-risk adults should continue homeschooling

Back to School: Facts First

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The end of this week is the deadline for area school districts to submit their reopening plans to the state, but schools could face a challenge with certain students, who the state is recommending to stay at home once school starts.

Recently the state has outlined recommendations for schools to use as they plan to reopen. In part, it suggests students who are medically vulnerable or live with adults in high-risk groups to attend school remotely.

MORE | New York state releases 145 pages of guidance on reopening schools to help districts develop plans

Those include students living with individuals age 65 or older, pregnant individuals and those with underlying health conditions. This is in efforts to stop the spread of the virus and prevent others from getting sick in their household. 

The state’s guidance list the following: Individuals with underlying health conditions including, but not limited to:

  • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma 
  • serious heart conditions, immunocompromised, severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher) 
  • diabetes 
  •  chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis 
  •  liver disease 
  •  sickle cell anemia 
  •  children who are medically complex, who have neurological, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.

Meantime, it also suggests schools take extra precaution and attention for students with special needs or students who are medically fragile. For example, the state guidance recommends schools to have a staff member dedicated to care for each one of those students. That way they  can maintain social distancing and keep their face covering on.

According to the state’s guidance: Alternate plans created in consultation with school health personnel on how to meet the needs of the child while keeping social distancing may include:

• Additional PPE for staff caring for such students;
• Assigning only one staff member to care for the student; and/or
• Decreased students in a classroom, alternating schedules, and provision of related services to
an individual instead of group setting.

But before anything, parents must consult with their child’s healthcare providers so they can make the right decision if their student does attend school.

The state also recommends for schools to provide remote learning if parents choose not to send their child back to school.

MORE | Greece Central School District decides on hybrid plan for reopening

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