Workgroup tasked with keeping kids safe and in school charts plan of action
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas COVID Workgroup for Kids (KCWK) met virtually Monday for the first time to discuss how to keep kids safe and in school as the pandemic continues.
The work group was founded in May of 2020 to “identify, address, and provide guidance on the physical, social and psychological impacts on children as a result of the pandemic.”
The 25 Kansans that serve as members include pediatric and family medicine physicians, child psychologists, school nurses, and other child advocates.
Monday was the group’s first meeting. It was broadcast live on Gov. Kelly’s YouTube page.
“The information shared by this workgroup will make a huge difference for countless school kids, staff, and teachers,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I look forward to watching the group’s progress, and learning more about can we be doing together – in a spirit of cooperation and concern – to keep our schools open and our students and teachers safe.”
Members’ role will be to review research and guidance complied by KCWK. Specific publications and research review will include recommendations for school reopening, grating criteria, mental health recommendations, and recommendations for the 2021-2022 school year.
Also during the meeting, state health officials reviewed KDHE’s K-12 Stay Positive Test Negative Mission, which will help districts implement research-based testing strategies through funding, program design and implementation.
That programs’ primary mission is to reduce COVID-19 outbreaks within schools, keep districts open, and minimize school absenteeism.
A team of 10 project specialists and a project manager will support all district.
KDHE is proposing three research-based testing strategies: Test to Know, which tests students, teachers and staff who become symptomatic during the school day, or have had potential exposure to COVID. Test to Stay and Learn will keep students in school learning by testing close contacts daily during a modified quarantine period. Lastly, Test to Stay, Play and Participate will keep students participating in activities outside of the classroom including extracurricular activities and shchool based events by testing at least weekly during their modified quarantine period.
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