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Susan Wolf Ditkoff (host)
For those of you just joining: if you are a PSB educator or staff member and you would like to join today’s conversation as a panelist (on video or off video), please let me know in the chat and we can switch you over. I see about 8-10 names I recognize, but it’s completely your call. We have 28 attendees and 14 panelists. Everyone is welcome to type questions and comments in the Q&A (easier to track than “chat”). Thanks! Susan
Second that. Spectacular work.
Thanks to Jenny and Nira for all the work on testing!
is it 3 feet person to person or 3 feet from desk to desk?
Could you speak to how mitigation factors might impact/support bathroom usage. Currently, at my school, only one student uses the bathroom at a time. Is the new CDC guidelines recommendation that this is no longer necessary? Bearing in mind that there is no sanitation in-between usage by children?
Totally agree with Ben. Communication strategies are key.
I think cdc/DESE measures from center of seat not desk—so he’s measuring more than may be required
I am happy to go too
Do Brookline schools currently have a rule of “no talking during unmasked eating times indoors? If so, what are the compliance levels among kids?
Amie-Whether you measure desk right leg or nose to nose, it is the same. Some districts measure desk edge to desk edge, which would be more than required.
At Pierce, students generally watch videos during lunch to help them face forward and avoid talking. As the year has progressed, students have been chatting more during that time.
I cannot speak for all schools, but I’d say typically no talking during eating. Often kids are watching an educational video.
I hope adding barriers doesn’t lead to a relaxation of the no-talking while unmasked rule.
I just said this in the Q and A, but during lunch and snack we are either reading to them or they are watching a video. However, during breakfast (which is delivered to the room), they are eating while contributing to morning meeting.
thanks Susan- will discuss breakfast good point
The whole Wellness Department received the KN95 masks from Matt and we are very grateful for the enhanced PPE.
Great! re KN95s, I would suggest they can be reused - probably until visibly soiled, damaged, or breathing becomes difficult.
Can you address minimum mask standards? There are other countries doing this.
minimum mask standards? are you referring to the type of mask?
surgical masks for staff?
kn95 is probably better. I would say we should work towards a higher standard of masks, but feel confident that current state is safe as well, no reason to delay for better PPE.
anyone confirming is the masks are ASTM grade? if not it is the same as fabric masks
To be clear, the most important is that the mask fits well, and is not loose. At the hospitals, we are only using N95 for symptomatic patients.
yes. If we provided n95 for everyone in the school, honestly I worry it would be *less* safe because they are so uncomfortable (leading to less fidelity) and they add no real additional benefit in a low risk environment in my opinion. Kn95 is a good compromise.
Scientifically, do we know whether higher rates of transmission for variants are because of heavier viral loads putting more virus in the air, or if they are more infectious, one they ‘land on mucus membranes?’ Or do we know?
Cohorting does not exist in the HS…
there are a few theories, David Petty—saw one paper that suggested somewhat higher viral load in patients with UK variant (was significant difference but in absolute terms not that different) and saw another paper that said that peak viral loads were the same in UK variant vs other strains and that the difference was duration of infection (longer with UK variant).
@Nira Pollock thanks!
Sarita- yes fit of masks is important. N95 and KN95 are difficult to wear for long hours. ASTM are better as they are FDA approved but the rest are not.
In middle school they all mix up for conservatory and foreign language
just to clarify that astm are not better than n95
Outdoor space will be extremely limited at Driscoll due to construction, unfortunately.
Jill Crittenden and her group have been testing masks and have KF94 masks high on their lists as good and not expensive. https://tinyurl.com/y6yyz7w3 Thought?
yes i think kf94 also good from my perspective. Fit and comfort is key.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1D2jeYrQEiCf_nie_5Xe-WyMjRttlgemyzXFvbCt6uzA/ JRC’s notes...
Agree, KF94 are more comfortable and can be worn for longer periods.
There are unspoken expectations that when teachers are outside during lunch they should be watching students - maybe one reason they are inside.
Are you saying that teachers then should do nothing about this?
Follow up on my ventilation question… can classroom ventilation stickers be updated to include ‘maximum occupancy’ designation?
My concern is that almost ALL kids AND adults adjust their masks from the front with their hands. Maybe the nurses need to have conversations with both staff and students about this.
Cindy- i hear that. but this isn't a clinical setting
so you adjust your mask with your hands, the response should be that you're going to be washing/sanitizing at regular intervals (ie, next time you get up from your desk) to accommodate that
in clinical settings, we worry a LOT about touching the outside of our masks. the concern is a lot less for a school setting.
kids touching their masks - even while on the playground and running around- overall still low risk to me. Again, emphasize the importance of having the best fitting masks to begin with.
Right, but there is only so much hand sanitizer a child will be willing to use in 40 minutes without resentment. Not complaining, just sharing the reality.
Dave- could rooms be labeled w/maximum occupancy given the exchange rate?
Thanks. The occupancy should be related to ACH *and* the minimum distance guidelines.
Cindy- they don't need to sanitize each time. esp if they're still at their desk, no reason to do anything until they get up
what im trying to say is that even if they touch their masks and then touch other things, that is still likely very low risk, and we should have some level of baseline surface cleaning etc.