School districts across the country need to follow four rules to ensure that students and their teachers remain protected from the coronavirus this fall, pandemic expert Dr. Ashish Jha said.
They are: Vaccinations for all who are eligible; proper ventilation and related mitigation measures in buildings; regular testing; and masks, he said Thursday in the latest edition of the “COVID: What Comes Next” podcast hosted by The Providence Journal.
“For me this is personal,” said Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, because he has children in public schools, said.
“Kids 12 and over should be getting vaccinated and adults should have mandatory vaccinations,” Jha said. “To me, this is a no-brainer.”
Ventilation is also essential.
“This is an airborne disease,” Jha said. “I think school leaders should be losing their jobs if they have not improved ventilation because it’s unconscionable 15, 16 months into a pandemic, when you have the money and the science and the data’s clear, for you not to do that.”
Testing is important to pick up infections before they get a chance to spread, he said. Masks also help prevent spread, especially indoors.