ALL NEWS

Dr. Andy Pavia: Sending kids to school without masks would be a “terrible mistake.”

Aug 12, 2021, 5:28 PM | Updated: 5:28 pm

Dr Andy Pavia...

Dr. Andy Pavia, Primary Children's Hospital (Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)

(Photo: Intermountain Healthcare)

SALT LAKE CITY — The pediatrician who heads up hospital epidemiology at Primary Children’s Hospital said sending children to school without requiring them to wear masks would be a “terrible mistake.”

Dr. Andy Pavia, chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Utah, told an online news conference on Thursday that elected officials should leave decisions about measures to prevent the spread of the COVID delta variant to the scientists and experts.

“If people overturn those recommendations, and kids get very sick, or kids die, they have to realize that it really is their responsibility now,” Pavia said.

Shortly after he made those remarks, the Salt Lake County Council overturned the public health order issued by Dr. Angela Dunn, head of the Salt Lake County Department of Health, that would have required elementary school students to wear masks when they return to school this month.

Should parents keep their children home?

He was asked whether parents should now consider keeping their children at home rather than sending them back to school.

“I really hope that we will do the right thing in our schools in areas where there’s lots of transmission [so] parents don’t have to make that very difficult choice,” he said.

Dr. Pavia said Primary Children’s Hospital is close to its capacity as it cares for seriously ill patients.

It has two COVID patients in its ICU. But Pavia said summer injuries and other infectious diseases are taxing its resources and staff. Additionally, other respiratory diseases are spreading in the community, in some cases months before they would normally be expected.

Return to school with minimal risk

He said, care with masking and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID and the delta variant can allow students to come back to school with minimal risk.

“We can have in-person school without huge surges if we have universal masking and combine that with distancing to the degree we can, combine that with better ventilation, keeping sick kids at home and all the things that we know work.”

Read more:

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

It looks like GenZ is getting tired of online dating....

Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: The decline of online dating

Gen Z is getting tired of online dating. What's next?

26 minutes ago

A twin-engine Cessna passenger plane has crashed in Steamboat Springs. It is believed to have been ...

Alexander Campbell, KSL TV

Two dead after plane traveling to Ogden crashes in Steamboat Springs, Colo.

A twin-engined Cessna 421 airplane has crashed into the West Acres mobile home park in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, engulfing two buildings.

56 minutes ago

Russell Maughan and the plane used to make the historic flight Nathan Hoch plans to recreate....

Josuee Sanchez

Utah grad student Nathan Hoch aims to recreate historic flight

100 years ago, a Utah local made the first coast to coast flight in under 24 hours. Now another plans to recreate the journey.

2 hours ago

A wildfire burning Neola in Duchesne County broke out on Monday, according to Utah Fire Info. (Bran...

Mark Jones

New wildfire breaks out Monday in Duchesne County

The Big Draw wildfire is burning in Duchesne County. Officials say there are no structures threatened as of Monday evening.

10 hours ago

File photo of a Utah elementary school. The School Safety Security Task Force met Monday, June 17, ...

Briana Chavez

School Safety Security Task Force discuss new requirements for schools as part of new bill

One of the biggest requirements includes a school safety needs assessment. Each school in the state must fill one out.

10 hours ago

High wind speeds in Utah County caused property damage on Monday, June 17, 2024....

Emma Keddington

Portions of Utah placed on high wind alert

The Salt Lake National Weather Service warned Utahns of high wind levels Monday evening, primarily affecting those in Utah Valley.

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Dr. Andy Pavia: Sending kids to school without masks would be a “terrible mistake.”