Outdoor classrooms and ‘superhero arms’: A look at COVID safety protocols a month into the school year

Written by on October 7, 2021

Outdoor classrooms and ‘superhero arms’: A look at COVID safety protocols a month into the school year

By Brittany Sweeney

October 7, 2021

Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels

EMMAUS, Pa. – More than a month into the school year, Pennsylvania’s mask mandate for schools is still in place while schools and parents have adopted routines for keeping kids safe while remaining in the classroom.

Listen to the story.

Angela Waldraff is a 1st grade teacher at Seven Generations Charter School in Emmaus.

Six weeks into the school year, Waldraff says her students are getting used to the COVID-19 safety practices put in place to stop the spread.

“We have something that we call superhero arms, that’s how they maintain their distance in the hallway, as they’re lining up from each other,” Waldraff said.

The school has set up some outdoor classrooms and students bring yoga mats to sit on for lunch.  

Cases have gone down at the school, but not everywhere else.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health reports the number of COVID-19 cases among school-aged children is nearly 10 times greater than roughly this time last year.

And Dr. Melanie Kohler, a pediatrician with St. Luke’s University Health Network, said they’re seeing an increase in cases among children. She wants parents to do their part.

“If you have young children who, maybe didn’t distance well at school because of their age or couldn’t wear a mask, it’s probably reasonable in that situation to think about taking a bath,” Kohler said.

She says there are a few ways, besides masking, that parents can use to help stop the spread. But they must be diligent.

“Right after masking, hand washing is very important. Children should be told to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds.  One quick way to do that is to tell kids to sing “Happy Birthday” twice, while washing their hands,” Kohler said. 

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