Pediatricians Caution Against Opening Oklahoma Schools Too Soon

Tuesday, July 21st 2020, 5:38 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Oklahoma schools are slated to open in a few weeks and that has medical professionals worried. The American Academy of Pediatrics Oklahoma Chapter has some serious concerns about whether Oklahoma schools are ready to open up in a few weeks.

Doctors fear unless more precautions are put in place, the start of the school year could also mean the start of a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“We’ve got a lot of details that I don’t see have been addressed yet fully,”Dr. Dwight Sublet, president of the Oklahoma Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics, said. “I just think we have to be very cautious here. I think we have to really look at this thing and make sure we’ve got it right before we commit to starting the school year.”

Doctors would like to see more uniform guidance given to individual districts regarding masks, sanitizing, social distancing and extracurricular activities.

“Because obviously when you do it that way not everybody is going to have the same approach to it and there’s of course going to be philosophical differences on what we should and should not do,” Sublet said.

Pediatricians would also like to see state schools identify a point where they’ll have to offer virtual learning only. 

“Where you have to say enough is enough and we’ve got to pull back. Obviously even with our best efforts we more than likely will see a surge in cases of COVID-19 as this goes along,” Sublet said. “There is concern that this has not been accomplished. That we’re not ready. We don’t have the personnel. The equipment, masks, PPE’s, supplies all of that. What about monetary support? Are public schools getting adequate support to accomplish this? And substitutes?”

News 9 reached out to the state department of education. They didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“It may be prudent to pump the breaks a little bit and lets be sure we get it right before we go forward,” Sublet said.