DHS to discuss COVID safety tips for children ahead of 2021-22 school year

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG Pa. (WHTM) — As Pennsylvanians under the age of 12 get ready to return to school next month, health experts from the Pa. Department of Human Services (DHS) are set to discuss recommendations for keeping children safe.

The debate over masks has gone back and forth over the past week with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommending masks for everyone over the age of two regardless of vaccination status.

The group says it’s important to mask up because “a significant portion” of the student population is not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, CDC guidance differs slightly, advising mask-wearing in schools just for unvaccinated children and adults.

In Pennsylvania, the mask mandate was lifted nearly three weeks ago on June 28, when vaccination rates fell short of Governor Tom Wolf’s goal of 70% full vaccination.

Since then, Positive cases have across the country with the U.S. now experiencing an average of 26,000 new cases per day. Pennsylvania seeing a similar trend as daily cases ticket up to 569 on Tuesday, July 20.

But that has not restricted schools from issuing their own mask mandates.

A number of experts are expected to join Wednesday’s conference including Acting Secretary Meg Snead, Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson, and Meghan Clark Chief Operating Officer and VP of Finance of the Whitaker Center.

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