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Tampa Bay doctors weigh in on students returning to school amid coronavirus pandemic


PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – When Dr. Crystal Jacovino heard the Florida State Department of Education was giving the green light for schools to open in just a matter of weeks, she thought, no way.

Dr. Jacovino is a USF internal medicine physician and endocrinologist. She is also the mother of two with a six-year-old daughter who is not going back to class, for now.

Dr. Crystal Jacovino/courtesy U.S.F.

“I’m going to put my child in e-learning. I think that’s the safest right now,” said Dr. Jacovino, who’s work at the university. “We’re seeing in our clinics the 20-year olds and the patients with severe complications between the ages of 30 and 65.”

Dr. Mona Mangat is a St. Petersburg pediatrician who specializes in allergy and asthma. She is the mother of four with three school-aged children are and she too is concerned with sending her kids back in the current environment.

Dr. Mona Mangat

“My ideal scenario, I think is everyone has to be masked, and they do a staggered schedule,” said Dr. Mangat. “Like, 50-percent of kids, or 25-percent go on different days and the days that you’re not there you go online. “

Dr. Mangat believes those who are making the decisions in Tallahassee aren’t putting science first.

“I think it’s important to recognize that there are a lot of unknowns in this scenario,” said Dr. Mangat. “And human health has to be high on that list of priorities when we make these decisions. “


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