pediatrician

Open schools for younger kids, top pediatrician says

WASHINGTON — Younger children pose a smaller risk of catching and transmitting the coronavirus, a top pediatrician told Congress on Thursday, providing a scientific argument for why elementary schools could potentially open in parts of the country next month.

“School systems may consider prioritizing the return of younger children and taking additional measures to ensure physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings among older children,” Dr. Sean O’Leary told the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education on Thursday morning. 

Kindergarten teacher Holly Rupprecht carries plexiglass panels to her room at Zion Lutheran School in Bethalto, Ill., on Monday. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
Kindergarten teacher Holly Rupprecht carries plexiglass panels to her room at Zion Lutheran School in Bethalto, Ill., on Monday. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

The hearing was titled “Underfunded & Unprepared,” a sign of how House Democrats, who control the chamber’s agenda, view the matter. 

O’Leary, a vice chair for infectious disease at the American Academy of Pediatrics, also cited a South Korean

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