More than 120 physicians (most of whom have children in Highland Park ISD) signed on to a letter calling on the Superintendent Tom Trigg and the school board to “establish the expectation that all students and staff wear masks in all grades, as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
The district began the school year with masks being optional in keeping with Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning mask mandates. Earlier this week, though, a district court judge ruled that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins’ mask mandate can continue.
Additionally, the letter from the physicians called on them to work to improve ventilation in district facilities (the district will continue use of MERV-13 filters according to their back-to-school plan), promote use of outdoor spaces over indoor spaces, and reduce the number of contacts for each student “to the greatest degree possible.”
“We are health professionals who are directly connected to HPISD, either as parents or through our patients,” the letter reads. “We are writing to you to express our concerns about the threat posed by the Delta variant of COVID-19 and ask that HPISD implement safety protocols beyond those that have been in place this summer to address this rising threat.”
The letter was signed on to by pulmonary and critical care physician Dr. Zachary Dreyfuss, Dr. Jennifer Gill, pediatrician Dr. Neha Vashisht, Dr. Sangeetha Reddy, Dr. Divya Srivastava, Dr. Manish Assar, Dr. Sunil Reddy, cardiologist Dr. M.J. Sidhu, Dr. Corey Gill, and Dr. Christy Turer, among others.
The Highland Park ISD board of trustees will have a meeting to consider updating their COVID protocols regarding the use of masks at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Legacy Ballroom of the multi-use building at 6900 Douglas. People Newspapers plans to livestream the meeting on our Park Cities People Facebook page.
For more on the district’s back-to-school plan, which was updated Friday with ‘re-entry requirements’ for students who are symptomatic, visit their website.
The full text of the letter from physicians is included below.