coronavirus

As COVID Surges, Experts Differ on Whether to Shut Down

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While some schools are announcing a return to remote learning after the holidays, some experts think that’s an overreaction.

That includes Dr. Shira Doron, a prominent infectious diseases doctor at Tufts Medical Center who is pushing to prevent more business closures, remote schooling and college closures, even as COVID cases rise.

"If shutdowns are due to the number of cases, then I think it's overreacting," Doron said.

Another prominent COVID expert, Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University Medical School, tweeted this week that he, too, is against schools switching to remote learning in January.

Doron said she doesn't believe precautions like blocking off water fountains or forcing kids to eat lunch outside in schools are necessary.

"I urge people to resist the temptation to try make rules that bring cases down because those rules are likely not going to bring cases down while they are causing additional harms," Doron said.

Dr. Jeremy Faust, an ER doctor at Brigham and Women's Hospital, is concerned about other parts of the country where hospitals are overflowing.

He sent a memo to the CDC asking the agency to consider temporary restrictions on high risk activities where hospitals can't keep up.

"A circuit breaker is a the idea of telling a public official, why don't you make a policy that decreases indoor dining capacity, or arena attendance/large gathering, it's not a lockdown, it's not a shelter in place. It's a let's get the low-hanging fruit where a lot of super spreading is happening," he said.

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