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Sunday September 25th 2022

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COVID-19 Back to School

By LINDSEY FENNER

It”™s September, which means kids are back in school! But with the Delta variant spreading in MN, and kids under 12 unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, sending your kids to school this year might feel really scary. Although the new variant is much more contagious, the good news is that all of the COVID-19 precautions we”™re already using are still effective against the Delta variant. We have so many tools to use! But it is important to remember that there isn”™t just one thing to do; we need to layer up these interventions to keep our kids healthy.

  • Read your school”™s COVID-19 plan. Ask questions if there”™s something you don”™t understand.
  • Surround your kids under 12 with vaccinated adults. Every vaccinated person helps to weaken the chain of transmission, and protect unvaccinated folks.
  • Get your kids over 12 vaccinated. Although they are less likely to get severely ill, they can still get sick, and they can certainly spread COVID-19 to vulnerable loved ones, and unvaccinated younger siblings.
  • Reduce community risk outside of school. Preventing spread outside of school prevents spread inside of school. This might look like: wearing a mask in all indoor settings outside of the home, seeing a smaller group of friends, doing fewer extracurricular activities.
  • Good ventilation is essential. If your school isn”™t communicating with families about how they are improving ventilation in the classroom, ask about it!
  • Get tested regularly: The CDC recommends students get tested at least weekly, even if they don”™t have symptoms. Talk to your school nurse about what testing is available through the school. The State of MN offers FREE, at-home testing: https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/
  • Masks are recommended in schools, regardless of vaccination status. Try to get the best-fitting, highest filtration mask your child can comfortably wear for long periods of time.
  • Keep your child home from school if they are feeling even the tiniest bit sick, and get them tested. If you work, check with your employer about what they offer for paid family leave, or COVID-19 leave for caregivers.
  • Model good pandemic habits, like social distancing and handwashing, so your kids know what to do. Kids are great at following CDC guidelines, if they have a good example to follow.

COVID-19 Testing near Phillips:

University of Minnesota Community-University Health Care Center
2001 Bloomington Ave Minneapolis, MN 55404
612-301-3433 appointments required
Weekdays: 8:00 a.m. ”“ 4:30 p.m. Weekends: Closed

Hennepin Healthcare Downtown Viral Screening Clinic
715 S. 8th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 873-2922 appointment required
Weekdays: 8:00am ”“ 4:30pm Weekends: Closed

Southside Community Health Services Medical Clinic
324 East 35th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 827-7181
Weekdays: 2:00pm ”“ 3:00pm Weekends: Closed

FREE At-home test through the State of Minnesota and Vault Health: https://learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/

MN Testfinder: https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/

State of Minnesota COVID-19 Public Hotline:
For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call 1-833-431-2053
Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mental Health Crisis Line – Call: **CRISIS (**274747)

Lindsey lives in East Phillips, and has worked in local public health COVID-19 response for over a year. It breaks her heart to see so many preventable COVID-19 infections. She currently works at the library, where she sees everyday how great kids are at adapting to COVID-19 precautions.

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