Physician viewpoint: Why my kids won't attend in-person classes this fall

Sanjay Gupta, MD, associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, outlined why he will not be sending his three daughters to school this fall in an op-ed for CNN.

Dr. Gupta, who also serves as CNN's chief medical correspondent, said he and his wife made the decision after touring his children's school, examining state and federal criteria for school reopenings and assessing data on local community spread. 

Dr. Gupta said his daughters' school has made a "herculean effort" to implement appropriate safety measures in line with CDC recommendations. However, he pointed to several data points that ultimately swayed his family's decision to avoid in-person classes. 

At present, Fulton County, Ga. — where Dr. Gupta and his family live — has recorded 316.2 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000. Guidelines for resuming full-time, in-person classes say this rate should be less than 100 cases per 100,000 for 14 days. 

His daughters will meet their new teachers during a socially-distanced orientation and then start the school year virtually. Dr. Gupdate said he and his wife will reassess the situation after two weeks. 

"It is a lot to consider, but in the minds of our family, the evidence is clear," Dr. Gupta wrote in the op-ed. "None of this is easy, and some families may arrive at a different conclusion after looking at the same data. In the age of COVID-19, it seems we are all forced to become amateur epidemiologists, while also being the best parents we can be."

To read the full op-ed, click here.

More articles on public health:
30 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Aug. 12
8 quotes from Black women in health that reveal the field's pervasive racism
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Aug. 12

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