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UI health expert tells parents to have their kids mask up at school

IOWA CITY — As Iowa’s children prepare to head back to school, the state is experiencing a fourth wave of coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

Stanley Perlman, a professor of immunology and pediatrics at the University of Iowa, says even though the state has outlawed districts from requiring masks in school, parents should still have their kids wear masks to slow the spread.

He says, “If my child was going, I would try to make them wear a mask,” Perlman says. “I would certainly make it so that the school had very tough policies and if children came in with any kind of respiratory symptoms, they’d be sent home.  “Make sure your child wears a mask, make sure all the rules are followed as much as they can be rigorously,” he says. “Make sure that the rooms that are used at schools are as ventilated as possible, if there’s choices.”

Perlman says it’s also important that children ages 12 to 17 get vaccinated before heading back to school — to both protect themselves and those around them. According to the CDC, only around 30-percent of Iowa’s kids in this age range have been fully vaccinated.

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