Schools open amid Covid, parents’ worry is elementary


Many Indian-American parents in California are confused and concerned with schools reopening amid a renewed surge in Covid-19 cases.

Some schools have already opened, some are to open next week.

On August 3, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, which opens on August 10, called parents of elementary students who wanted to send their child to school to register and have a photograph taken as well.

Today was the registration and photo day and I saw many children were not wearing masks in a proper way,” said a concerned mother, whose son will be going to fifth grade at the SRVUSD.

Requesting anonymity for fear of a backlash, the mother told indica News that there was no sanitizer available in the common area.

I am really concerned about how students would use the washroom, cafeteria and the common area used by everyone,” she said. “No one was practising social distancing. It’s impossible for kids to put masks on throughout the school schedule they get suffocated.”

Another mother, who wants to share just initial SR, has a 12-year-old son who is vaccinated and a 7-year-old daughter who is not.

Yes, it’s scary how all this is going to be once school opens,” SR told indica News. “Who takes the liabilities if a student gets infected?”

Neha Rana, another parent, said: “I am worried about elementary-school-age children because that group is not vaccinated and in cases are increasing day by day.

I am fine if the district opens up the middle school because most middle-schoolers got vaccinated with two doses. In my opinion, the district should switch to fully remote learning for the kids’ safety,” Rana said.

Sheela pointed out that 12 elementary school students had got Covid-19 in the Brentwood Union School District that opened July 28.

However, Brentwood Union School District Superintendent Dana Eaton reportedly said that it’s been determined through contact tracing that none of the 13 elementary school students caught the virus on campus.

But parents in the city of San Ramon are worried.

The San Ramon Valley School District has said that students and staff will be required to wear face coverings while indoors on a school campus, regardless of vaccination status, when in-person learning resumes in the fall. The only exception will be for students who have a medical exemption filed with the district.

When indica News reached out to SRVSD for comments on parents’ concerns, Denise Jennison, Coordinator, Communications and Public Information said through an email, “I can tell you that the SRVUSD continues to follow all local health agency requirements to keep our staff and students safe. We are looking forward to welcoming students back to school on August 10th and we are looking forward to a great year.”

Dr Rais Vohra, interim health officer at the Fresno County Department of Public Health in California, shared at a press briefing on July 30 how the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading among young children.

He said that county data shows an increasing trend of Covid-19 cases for younger age groups from 10-30 years of age.

These data are a sobering premonition for what we can expect once schools reopen this fall,” Dr Vohra said. “We anticipate that Fresno County will continue to see a rise in Covid-19 case counts in our younger populations during the first few weeks of school.”