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Code Red For Schools: COVID and Disasters

By: PRLog

1,000 Schools Closed in 35 States Due to COVID-19 Infections
Funds for US EPA Indoor Air/Child Health Critical to Pandemic and Climate Resiliency in Schools and Child Care
Advocates Seek $1/Child ($65M) Plus $10M for Expert Pediatric Help


WASHINGTON - Sept. 8, 2021 - PRLog -- With 1,000 schools closed in 35 states due to COVID-19 infections and more long-term closures expected due to weather disasters, "This is CODE RED for children and for school infrastructure," said Claire Barnett, Coordinator, national Coalition for Healthier Schools.

The Coalition is making public its Letter to the Senate and House Leaders Schumer and Pelosi today urging expanded support for US EPA's school and child care facilities programs at $1/child enrolled ($65M), plus $10M for its children's environmental health program, and for federal funds to clean up and rebuild better school buildings, referencing the robust published literature on how school environments affect children, as well as the risks of long-term closures.

Susan Goekler, PhD, Board President, Healthy Schools Network, said, "Schools were not pandemic or climate ready in 2019, and clearly they are still not ready. With schools starting in Delaware, the need is acute to protect our children from environmental hazards such as stagnant air that allows transmission of COVID-19."

Kathy Reiner, MPH, RN, School Nurse Consultant in Colorado said, "Federal laws ensure access to schools for all children, including those with disabilities and health conditions. They are especially vulnerable to unhealthy environments and families have right to expect that schools will be safe places."

Pamela Pugh, PhD, Vice President, Michigan State Board of Education, said, "Children attending schools located in Black, Brown, Indigenous Communities are more likely to attend schools where HVAC systems have gone decades without upgrades.  Many attend schools without any ventilation at all. These are communities are also often located near polluting facilities. Quick, inadequate fixes can leave children vulnerable to airborne disease and building-related illnesses. EPA's programs can us on the best use of scarce resources while we push for expanded long-term funding."

Claire Barnett, MBA, Executive Director, Healthy Schools Network noted, "With schools increasingly damaged by storms, and on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, we urge communities to ensure that disaster-damaged schools and child cares be assessed for environmental hazards and fully remediated in advance of reopening for children."

See Letter to the Leadership for details on conditions of schools, COVID, climate, children's health, and spending.

Contact
Claire Barnett
***@healthyschools.org

Photos: (Click photo to enlarge)

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