Childhood Asthma, COVID-19 and Returning to School

While most California schools have begun the year with remote learning, many children have returned to school in other parts of the country. As school staff, parents and students grapple with the many considerations of returning to school during a pandemic, people with asthma may have additional considerations.

Fortunately, some great resources and guidance have already been developed. As we previously shared, in June, 2020, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America released COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools designed to address the major challenges schools are facing in the 2020-2021 school year. School administrators, nurses and staff can use this toolkit to create an environment that can help protect students and staff with asthma, while preventing the spread of the new coronavirus.

As another resource, the most recent edition of The Lancet: Respiratory Medicine, on September 1, 2020, includes commentary on the topic. The authors discuss the importance of proactive asthma management and symptom monitoring, flu vaccines, and a focus on the social determinants of health impacting asthma, particularly given the economic impacts of the pandemic.

Additionally, the Center for Cities and Schools at the University of California Berkeley recently launched a clearinghouse of resources and tools developed by experts to assist local schools and states in safely and equitably reopening their school facilities.