Letter of Support for COVID-19 Vaccination to Keep Schools Open.
May 4, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every single person in Michigan. Our children especially have had to miss out on, or change, the way they enjoy once-in-a-lifetime events. However, we are proud that our schools have offered an in-person education option this year, most with few interruptions, while other areas in the state and country have debated if it is possible.
Schools and local health departments know school closure negatively impacts our children’s physical, mental, and educational development, as well as their overall wellbeing. To keep our K-12 schools open safely this year, we have devoted large amounts of time and resources to this worthwhile investment. We will continue to do what is best to keep children in school, which includes following safety measures and encouraging the community to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
There has been a great deal of scientific study on school safety and COVID-19. These studies consistently tell us that the risk of COVID-19 spreading in schools that follow proper infection control - like wearing masks, washing hands, keeping people spaced apart, among others - is very low. The studies also tell us that most of the cases of COVID-19 in students and staff at schools are due to community transmission, meaning COVID-19 came from outside of the school; this is what we have seen in our school systems as well. Unfortunately, when a student or staff members does become infected with COVID-19 in the community and comes to school, they can expose many people in the school and on occasion, infect other people at school. When large numbers of people are exposed, or if COVID-19 starts spreading in the school, often the only option is to close the school for up to two weeks. We know this is a hardship on our students and families.
The best way to keep our schools open is to reduce and prevent COVID-19 in our communities, especially in those people who are around our students and staff. Currently, our best hope of doing that is with vaccination for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. We ask that all those able to get vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2 do so to help keep our schools open. As vaccination becomes available to younger age groups, we encourage you to get your children vaccinated to help end this pandemic and help us have a more traditional school year in the fall. You can find information about vaccination at www.dhd10.org. The kids in your community are counting on you.
District Health Department #10 Crawford AuSable School District
Crawford Excelsior #1 Forest Area Schools
Kalkaska Public Schools Baldwin Community School District
CASMAN Academy Manistee Area Public Schools
Manistee ISD Covenant Christian School
Gateway to Success Academy Ludington Area School District
Mason County Central School District Mason County Eastern School District
West Shore Educational Service District Mecosta-Osceola ISD
Big Rapids Public Schools Chippewa Hills School District
McBain Rural Agricultural Schools Fremont Public Schools
Grant Public Schools Hesperia Community Schools
Newaygo County RESA White Cloud Public Schools
Hart Public Schools Pentwater School District
Shelby Public Schools Walkerville Public Schools
Cadillac Area Public Schools Mesick Consolidated Schools
St Ann School Wexford-Missaukee ISD
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