Dr. Jeffrey Klausner on School Re-Openings and Back to School Safety

We’re discussing back-to-school season and university re-openings, some of the best safety measures students and parents can take, and the big picture takeaways of how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our academic institutions and students.

Our special guest for this interview episode with CityHealth is Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, who’s been a professor at UCLA and is currently a clinical professor of Medicine at USC.  

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner is an expert in infectious disease prevention and control. He is a frequent advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Here are some of the questions that will be covered by Dr. Klausner in this video:

  • Universities are receiving pushback on requiring students and faculty to be vaccinated. How do you think COVID-19 will impact the long-term outlook for the university system?
  • What public safety methods are effective for containing and managing the pandemic in the school or university setting? 
  • Which children’s age groups are most at risk?
  • Children with which underlying conditions are more at risk to die or be seriously impacted by Covid? 
  • What symptoms (stomachache, sneezing, coughing, fever, e.g.) should I watch in my kid to keep them home?
  • Are there vitamins or OTC products that could boost immunity or “protect against” Covid? (e.g. Vitamin D, Zinc)? 

Key Takeaways on our Conversation about School Re-openings with Dr. Klausner

Universities have been leaders on vaccination requirements (chickenpox, meningitis, etc.) and a vaccine for COVID-19 makes a lot of sense- it’s safe and highly effective. Universities like UCLA are currently doing different types of symptom monitoring such as saliva and sewage monitoring. Universities can cost-effectively monitor COVID-19 symptoms since they have a lot of research and on-site laboratories.

Different COVID-19 tests use different testing mechanisms, and determining which test makes the most sense will depend on the circumstance. There can be a lot of variables, so professionals are usually the ones to recommend test types. Rapid antigen tests are a great test to take if you have symptoms of COVID-19. In higher-risk situations, a PCR test is still the gold standard. Each case can call for a different type of testing. 

We have to be holistic when we think about health, and health is more than the absence of infection. There has been a low frequency of severe consequences in children who get COVID-19, and it’s important to get kids back in school no matter what the requirements are.

The most important and effective protection methods in the school setting are ventilation, vaccination, and incorporating more outdoor interactions. 

What did you learn from this video?

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