Students should do this when they come home from in-person classes, expert says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Medical experts are warning that with the current uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 it is almost certain the virus will end up in the classroom.

As classes resume and kids go back to in-person learning, experts says it is the responsibility of the entire community to help reduce the risk for children and staff.

"The virus is there and the larger your student body, the more likely one of these kids will unknowingly be affected," said Dr. David Persse with the Houston Health Department. "We are way past the point of being able to eliminate the risk. We're now in a position where we need to manage the risk."

Dr. Persse said minimizing the risk includes what students and staff do at school, and when they get home.

"Change your clothes, certainly wash your hands and your face. Healthcare workers, they have a routine. They have a clean set of clothes in the garage and they will swap out those clothes in the garage and immediately put them in the wash," he said.

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Multiple school districts welcomed students back to campus on Tuesday, Sept. 8, but for teachers and staff, it was double the work.

As far as the timeline for when we could expect a potential spike in COVID-19 cases in the classroom, Dr. Peter Hotez with Baylor College of Medicine said you should begin watching for symptoms closely over the next few weeks.

"If there's going to be an epidemic from opening up the schools, it's going to stay flat for quite a long time and when it goes bad, it goes bad. It goes really bad," Dr. Hotez said. "It goes up very precipitously, that's called an exponential curve."

The Houston Health Department said they will track COVID-19 cases by school, but that information will not be released publicly unless there is an outbreak.


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