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Infectious disease experts urging schools to have plan in place in case of monkeypox or COVID outbreaks

Medical experts urging schools to have plan in case of monkeypox, COVID outbreaks
Medical experts urging schools to have plan in case of monkeypox, COVID outbreaks 03:08

MIAMI – As we get ready to send our kids back to school, infectious disease experts are urging schools to have a plan in case of outbreaks.  This as monkeypox cases continue to climb and COVID-19 lingers.

Back-to-school shopping is done, classrooms are ready to open, but a father we spoke with says there is one thing missing.

"I think it would be nice to have some communication from the school recognizing that COVID is still there," says Gerald Greenberg, a father of three.

Greenberg's oldest is in 10th grade.  He's also got a 7th grader and a 5th grader.  He says his littlest, Dafna, hardly remembers a time in school without masks.

"I don't like to wear it.  It's not uncomfortable so it doesn't matter to me.  I like to be safe," she tells us.

When it comes to safety protocols, Greenberg says he's not feeling very confident in the school district.

"It seems the schools have been silent on COVID entirely.  Our real concern is if anything does get worse, if the numbers in the community shoot up, if we get another strain that's tougher on kids, that the schools are never going to put a mask policy back in place, they're never going to put a distancing policy back in place."

To stay ahead of the game, infectious disease expert Dr. Aileen Marty says all schools should have plans in place.

"The schools need to know how to rapidly assess a possible exposure in a school, how to get testing for anyone who was exposed and if necessary to provide vaccines," she explains.

As far as monkeypox goes, neither Broward County Public Schools or Miami-Dade County Public Schools have plans in place. 

Miami-Dade says "they haven't received guidance from the CDC or local health departments but they will continue to use COVID19 safeguards to prevent outbreaks in schools."

And, in terms of COVID-19, Broward County Public Schools says "all county employees and members of the public are strongly encouraged to wear a facial covering and practice social distancing."

"We don't want the kids coming home with COVID.  Right now, we're fairly comfortable but the concern is what if something changes," says Greenberg.

Marty says the best thing to teach your kids before returning to the classroom this year is hygiene.

"Whether you're talking monkeypox or COVID, cold or flu - all of them are managed really well by hygiene." 

And what she means by that is washing your hands regularly and keeping your workspaces clean. 

Both school districts tell us they're following CDC and Florida Department of Health guidelines.

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