Northern Virginia schools want to send kids into classrooms again. Will teachers come back, too?

Teachers’ unions in all three districts, which together enroll nearly 300,000 students, are deploring the return plans as unclear, ill-conceived and insufficient to keep teachers safe during the pandemic. Educators are asking for more comprehensive cleaning, coronavirus reporting and contact tracing protocols. And they are arguing that school officials should slow down the return-to-school timeline.

“What would happen if a student or employee develops covid? We’re not sure,” said Sandy Sullivan, president of the 3,800-strong Loudoun Education Association. “It just seems there are a lot of balls up in the air with no clear answers.”

In response, school administrators are insisting teachers must return to the classroom if they cannot prove that medical necessity — such as a prexisting condition — requires they remain home. Their other options are unpaid leave or the loss of their jobs.

Arlington Public Schools recently sent an email to employees asking them to indicate

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Should I send my child to school with a cold?

Back in April, NHS doctors were told to look out for a rare but dangerous reaction in children.

This was prompted by eight children in London becoming ill, including a 14-year-old who died. They were hospitalised with similar symptoms (including a high fever, rash, red eyes, swelling and general pain) that initially looked like sepsis. Some of those patients tested positive for Covid-19, prompting conversations in the medical community about whether there might be a new inflammatory syndrome which could be an extreme reaction to Covid among very young patients.

Some of these cases have been likened to a rare inflammatory heart condition called Kawasaki, for which the symptoms are similar to sepsis and toxic shock. 

“For doctors looking after these children, they present as if they’ve got sepsis,” explained Dr Patel. “They’ve got a fever and abnormal blood tests, but when further investigation is done they recognise that there’s

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