Friday, July 30, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

Ohio AAP: Kids Need Class, and That Means Masks


Thursday, July 22, 2021   

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Amid mixed national messaging on COVID-19 and masks, the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends students wear masks to school during the upcoming school year.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance recommends masks for the unvaccinated, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests universal mask wearing, regardless of vaccination status.

Melissa Wervey Arnold, CEO for the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said getting kids back in class is crucial for their mental, physical, emotional and academic health. She contended masks are the safest route, since kids younger than 12 cannot get a COVID vaccine.

"Kids themselves might not spread the virus as readily as we've seen adults do it, or might not have the same negative health consequences," Wervey Arnold explained. "We still know that they can spread it, and they can spread it to people who are more vulnerable, especially the older population."

Meanwhile, Senate Bill 209 was introduced last week to prohibit schools and businesses in Ohio from mandating masks. An exception would be made for those with certain health conditions.

Wervey Arnold said regrettably, mask wearing during the pandemic has become politicized.

"It became an argument around freedom versus public health," Wervey Arnold observed. "And people have the right to their own personal choices, but sometimes those personal choices harm others. In that case, it's our opinion, you really have to focus on public health then."

Ohio's public health order requiring a facial covering in public settings expired in June. Wervey Arnold pointed out some kids did not mind wearing them, and for many others it simply became routine. She noted pediatricians noticed a difference masks made in preventing COVID and other illnesses.

"We saw a really low rate of flu infection this past year, and other things like RSV and other respiratory infections," Wervey Arnold recounted. "As the mask mandates have lifted, we're seeing a lot of ill visits from families. "

Gov. Mike DeWine indicated he does not plan to implement another mask mandate. He recently signed a bill banning public schools from requiring vaccines that have not received full FDA approval, which the COVID-19 vaccines have not.

Reporting by Ohio News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the George Gund Foundation.

get more stories like this via email
In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Social Issues

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. -- With many Virginians still experiencing pandemic-related unemployment, students at a state community college were able to get …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021