Southcoast Infectious Disease Expert on School, Sports and Student Masks
We've been told by the Superintendent of Fairhaven Public Schools, Dr. Robert Baldwin, that we'll have many questions answered in the coming weeks about whether or not students will return to school buildings. Baldwin will become the president of the Massachusetts School Superintendents Association on July 1.
We spoke with Southcoast Health's Infectious Disease Chief, Dr. Eliesel Lacerda De La Cruz, and asked him his take on whether or not there would classes happening in school buildings this fall. The doctor answered with little to no hesitation.
"I think that schools are going to be back," he said.
The doctor qualified his statement by saying that he expects a reduction in class sizes to help maintain social distancing. He thinks we'll see a mixture of remote and physically present learning, as well as upgrades to the cleaning products and processes that are used at schools.
"I think there will be (high school) sports," said Dr. Lacerda De La Cruz. He did wonder if we could see changes and limits on the way parents and spectators watch these sports. Instead of parents huddling together in the stands to cheer on the teams, he expects that social distancing will be an important part of attending sporting events at school.
Face masks, though, are the real hot-button issue when the topic of opening school buildings this fall comes up. We asked the doctor what he thinks about students wearing masks in school. He certainly did not think it was a good idea.
"I think it's going to be very challenging," he said. "You can have them come in with their masks, but to have them spend the whole day in the mask, it's virtually impossible."