AdventHealth Morning Briefing: Back-to-school health and safety advice for parents, students and teachers

Children wearing masks in the classroom.

Central Florida North, Today’s AdventHealth Morning Briefing focused on providing trusted health advice and calming anxieties as schools prepare to reopen during the COVID-19 crisis in Central Florida.

Dr. Tim Hendrix, medical director of AdventHealth Centra Care and Dr. Sarah Li of AdventHealth Medical Group Pediatrics at Winter Garden, discussed what parents, teachers, and students need to know as schools prepare to open amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights from the briefing include:

  • Medical professionals are here to support our community. AdventHealth clinicians have been working with schools in Central Florida to put together safety plans for keeping students safe as schools reopen.
  • Students and teachers should wear face masks and maintain social distancing all day. That is the easiest and most effective way to mitigate risk and reduce the spread of COVID-19 transmission.
  • Model good behaviors at home and in school. Children are watching their parents and teachers. Wear masks and stay socially distanced as children go back to a more structured learning environment.
  • Make safety approachable, not scary. Put masks on stuffed animals for younger kids, for example. With older kids, put a mask on your child in front of a mirror so they may practice the proper way to wear the masks for maximum benefit. Let them “bling it out” (decorate) the masks to keep it fun.

On sending children back into the classroom
“We are concerned, but concern is a good thing. We want to make sure our schools are safe, our children our safe, and to be ready to adapt and change on the fly if needed to help our schools manage appropriately.” – Dr. Hendrix

On promoting socialization among children
“Make sure the children have adequate socialization. There is a psycho-social benefit to letting kids back to school so they can see and play with other children.” – Dr. Li

On mitigating risk and reducing the spread of the virus
“Reinforce proper hygiene habits, such as handwashing and physical distancing. Facemasks are not harmful. They do not filter out oxygen or keep in carbon dioxide. Wearing facemasks is habitual.” – Dr. Li

On children transmitting the virus to adults
“Kids are carriers. We’ve known that about flu and every other infection. They may suffer less, but our primary concern is the risk of introducing the virus to at-risk family members at home. The child may not have symptoms, but they may be able to transmit the virus to others at home.” – Dr. Hendrix

We encourage you to refer to the video on the Life at AdventHealth Central Florida page to pull direct quotes from Hendrix and Li. The video may be downloaded by following this link: