FILE – In this Aug. 18, 2020 file photo, math teacher Doug Walters sits among empty desks as he takes part in a video conference with other teachers to prepare for at-home learning at Twentynine Palms Junior High School in Twentynine Palms, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
UPDATED 4:00 PM PT – Monday, January 18, 2021
Dozens of medical professionals are calling for schools in California to reopen.
A group of 30 doctors at the University of California, San Francisco have signed a letter urging state officials to reopen schools by February 1. They said prolonged school closures are leading to social isolation among children and taking a heavy toll on their mental health and well being.
The doctors cited statistics which show a major increase in emergency visits for mental health issues in 2020 among the youth.
“Closing schools has real measurable impact,” Dr. Jeanne Noble, Professor of Emergency Medicine at UCSF said. “It’s not just, ‘we can do this to help COVID numbers.’ It’s harming kids.”
The health care professionals said schools can reopen with the enforcement of protective measures like social distancing and mandatory face coverings.
They added the measures need immediate implementation so all schools in California can reopen.