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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Shelby County pediatricians: in-person learning hasn't caused significant COVID-19 spread

Those at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital echo similar comments Thursday by CDC director that contact sports are still cause for concern.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — "What we are seeing in Memphis in K-12 is we've been very successful in getting back and really controlling it," Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Dr. Jon McCullers said.

That's the positive progress outlined Friday by Dr. Jon McCullers, more than three months after most area school districts started their year.

Dr. McCullers' team spent the summer crafting a 21-page report of suggested protocols for in-person and hybrid learning.

"Some waited, some only went two days a week, and some went two days on, two days off, and some of them went straight in. All of them have seemed to work," Dr. McCullers said.

That local update Friday came after CDC Director Robert Redfield said Thursday that most students contracted COVID-19 not in the classroom, but in the community and households.

Dr. McCullers said it's organized contact sports which continue to cause local case clusters among children.

"Where you are seeing transmission, it's either in two settings. It's in school sports; we've clearly seen that - in football and girls volleyball and girls soccer and cheerleading are the ones we've had the outbreaks," Dr. McCullers said.

That's why Dr. McCullers offered feedback to parents of student-athletes.

"While I think you can do some stuff to mitigate and to make it safer, I don't think you can eliminate it entirely, and I think that's what we've seen with these outbreaks," Dr. McCullers said.

After the district completes its entire fall semester virtually, some students at Shelby County Schools plan to return to the classroom in January.

According to a recently completed survey, 65% of SCS students will remain virtual, 24% plan to return to the classroom, and 11% of families didn't provide a choice.