Bucks Medical Professionals for COVID School Safety
As medical professionals currently practicing or residing within Bucks County, we, the below signed, recommend mandatory masking of all children under age 12 for the 2021-22 school year, until this population is granted access to COVID-19 vaccination. In addition, it is critical to continue data collection for COVID cases by including case reporting and contact notification in health and safety plans.
The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend mask wearing by children and staff in schools, childcare programs and camps until the COVID-19 vaccine is available for children and uptake in the pediatric population is high enough to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This is similar to CDC recommendations for unvaccinated persons in indoor settings.
Though the public masking mandate expired in Pennsylvania as of June 28, acting Health Secretary Alison Beam stated upon its expiration, "Masks will be required, regardless of vaccination status, in risky places such as nursing homes and schools.”
While cases may be currently low, there is an anticipated rise when children return to school and indoor activities. The emergence of highly transmissible and more virulent strains, like the delta variant, makes active risk mitigation strategies like mask wearing and disease surveillance imperative in order to protect the health and safety of our young children.