The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation said that it intends to support full-time, in-person schooling in the fall regardless of COVID-19 transmission rates in the region.
YKHC made the announcement in a press release on May 12. The health corporation said that it is working with school districts on plans to safely hold in-person schooling for the fall semester and will release the plan by the end of July.
“In-person learning benefits children in so many ways,” YKHC Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges said. “With everyone’s cooperation, kids can safely return to school five days per week this fall and participate in extracurricular activities, including sports.”
The health corporation said that vaccinating as many people age 12 and older as possible is essential to opening schools safely. It will begin offering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to 12-to-15-year olds on May 13. At present, the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine available to this age group.
YKHC warns that COVID-19 transmission will likely continue in the fall. “Discrete outbreaks of the virus may occur in certain schools. Communities should be prepared for that,” Hodges said. “However, with more people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and proper mitigation strategies in place, we look forward to having our kids back in school full time next year.”
YKHC encourages all parents and guardians of 12 to 15-year-olds to sign up their teenager for the vaccine either on YKHC’s website or by calling YKHC toll-free at 1-800-478-6599.
Tune into KYUK 640AM for a YKHC virtual town hall on May 13 at 6:30 p.m. to get your questions answered about the COVID-19 vaccine and related topics, including the anticipated rollout of the vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds.
Zoom meeting link:
- Meeting ID: 977 8199 7615
- Passcode: 525195
Call in phone number: 888-788-0099
Or listen to the YKHC town hall live on KYUK 640AM May 13 beginning at 6:30 p.m.