Learning guidance

WNY Doctors Push State To Update In-Person Learning Guidelines

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) – Dozens of local doctors are supporting a campaign to allow schools in western New York State to adopt CDC guidelines on social distancing.

Just two days after the CDC released new guidelines on social distancing in classrooms, a group of 52 doctors named “Doctors for Safe and Open Schools” approved an ad in the Sunday edition of the Buffalo News ( below), calling on state and local school districts to allow all students to return to full-time in-person learning five days a week.


Dozens of local doctors approve an announcement calling for students to return to classrooms.

“There is a very concerned group of doctors who believe that school is essential and that there is a huge downside to children not going to school. And we want children to go back to school with complete peace of mind. security, as quickly as possible. “

Dr Lauren Kuwik, MD

Internal physician and pediatrician, Dr. Lauren Kuwik, MD, is one such physician.

“I think we have a lot of data, and the CDC agrees that with some mitigation measures in place, children can safely return to school,” Dr Kuwik said in an interview in 7 Eyewitness News at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Under the new CDC guidelines, students would be allowed to reduce social distancing from six feet to three feet, provided all students and staff wear face masks.

These same doctors also helped draft a letter to the governor’s office with the Erie-Niagara School Superintendents Association, urging state leaders to adopt these guidelines immediately, saying the student-to-student spread of the virus is extremely. low in school environments.

The letter cited a January CDC mortality and morbidity report and several studies, including one that found that only seven of 191 cases contracted by students attending in-person schools in Wisconsin could be school-related.

“We know the data shows that less than five percent of the time, it actually spreads in school, whether it’s six feet away or three feet away, as long as you have other mitigating factors and ventilation. “said Kuwik.

But the most recent data from Erie County suggests otherwise.

At the county’s COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, the county executive and the county health commissioner said the community transmission rate was over 200 cases in the past seven days, double the new guidelines from the county. CDC for distancing in the intermediate and secondary levels.

County Health Commissioner Dr Gale Burstein also said they were seeing a spread in private schools that used the three-foot distance rule.

“… if this is really happening, then we have a much bigger problem on our hands in western New York than” whether schools reopen or not. “”

Dr Lauren Kuwik, MD

Dr Kuwik says these cases usually include children, staff or teachers who contracted the virus in the community but were at school.

“If we really have 247 or more cases of transmission in school per week – which I doubt we are based on national data that this is only five percent of the time transmitted in schools – if this is really happening, then we have a much bigger issue on our hands in western New York than “should schools reopen or not,” she said.

The ENSSA letter also cited worsening mental health issues among students as another cause for a return to full in-person learning.

According to the letter, a recent CDC report found that the number of emergency department visits among school-aged children under the age of 18 increased by 66% in a similar period before the pandemic.

You can read the full letter from ENSSA to the governor’s office here: