Important information for parents of students going back to school.

Alabama state health officials are updating their "Back to School Kit" for parents who's children are returning to school.

Health department officials said they wanted to provide an update for a couple of reasons.

For one, many school systems have already started back and they're learning important lessons.

Also, department officials are getting questions and even recommendations from parents.

One update they mentioned:  a lot of children have sneezes or runny noses, but the important symptoms to pay attention to are: new cough, new loss of taste and smell, and shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

They said any one of those symptoms is enough to send a student home... and a close contact home.

Health department officials also added some precautions to elements like social distancing and face coverings.

Mary G. McIntyre with the Alabama Department of Health said, "Social distancing six feet or more, even greater if you're doing stuff like, shouting, singing.  Six feet is not enough.  Okay, face coverings: they're not all equal. Face shields better than nothing, but certainly not as protective as having on a face masks or a facial covering out of cloth."

In fact, McIntyre said, if there is singing, the space apart should be 12 feet, not six feet.

Health officials also said N95 masks used by health care workers are among the best, but similar masks, called KN95 made in China, have been helpful.

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.

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