Early educators who have medical questions as they navigate the pandemic can turn to local experts for help.
One of those experts is Dr. Katherine Hsu, the state’s designated child care epidemiologist.
She is on staff at both Boston Medical Center and at the Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
As the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) explains, Dr. Hsu is “a resource for questions related to operating child care programs that require medical or scientific expertise.”
She can answer questions such as:
“My staff member does not want to wear a mask for a specific medical reason – does an exception make sense, and how should I account for that in my health and safety planning?”
“A child in my care is immunocompromised – are there additional precautions I should take in caring for him/her?”
Email Dr. Hsu at Katherine.Hsu@massmail.state.ma.us or call her at 617-983-6948.
Dr. Hsu also recommends three new documents being shared by the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
There’s an FAQ information sheet that explains the different types of COVID-19 tests that are available.
There’s an FAQ about school reopenings and COVID-19 that’s useful for parents.
And there’s a Pediatric Decision Tool on COVID Testing for clinicians who are deciding when and how to conduct tests and let children return to school.
“These documents might also be very helpful for EEC licensed providers,” Dr. Hsu says. Indeed, early educators can share this information with parents and colleagues.
Early educators should also reach out to their local boards of health. As EEC notes:
“The Local Board of Health is the primary source for reporting and tracing COVID-19 positive cases and exposures. Questions about closure, quarantine, isolation of sick children, and reports of positive cases or exposures should always be directed to the Local Board of Health first.”
The bottom line: if you have COVID-19 questions, reach out and ask them. And if you have trustworthy COVID-19 resources, please reach out and share them.