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Florida pediatrician says ‘deaths will most likely occur due to schools reopening’

Posted at 2:13 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 14:13:47-04

(WTXL) — A pediatrician at UF Health Jacksonville and former director of the Duval County Health Department sent an open letter Friday expressing his concerns about schools reopening too soon.

In the letter, Dr. Jeffrey Goldhagen wrote "deaths will most likely occur due to schools reopening."

The letter explains that reopening schools too early could have major impacts on children and their parents.

“There will be spread of disease secondary to the school opening. Some children will be infected and hospitalized. Increased numbers of adults will follow the same path.” Dr. Goldhagen wrote. “We only have one chance to get this right.”

Goldhagen is urging school districts to delay opening ”until all public health systems are in place and then moving to a hybrid model that evolves to a fully opened system, is a viable approach.”

Among his suggestions of things needed to be in place before reopening schools is easy access to testing with 24-hour turnaround.

Also, Goldhagen wants funding to be allocated to schools to ensure optimal protection, including requirements for capital improvements, supplies and hiring school nurses.

“Focusing on public health safety in the short term will provide time to ensure all systems are in place to enable sustainable success in reopening our schools,” Goldhagen wrote.

Read Dr. Goldhagen’s open letter here.