While children are at lower risk for severe illness than adults in general, 3.9 million cases of covid-19 and 308 deaths had been reported in the United States by mid-May. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends delaying travel until people are fully vaccinated.

“Parents are reading all these articles about singles who are full of savings and planning these ‘YOLO’ trips,” said Katie Stewart, a travel adviser with the family-focused agency Ciao Bambino. She said she recently had a conversation with a client whose mind-set was much different: “I don’t want a YOLO trip. I just want to come home and know my kids aren’t sick.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added a wrinkle with the new guidance that vaccinated people can go without a mask in many situations both indoors and outdoors, leaving parents to wonder if the mask-free person nearby is inoculated or just taking advantage of looser guidelines.

“It’s definitely made a lot of families rethink their travel plans and recoil,” said Sahera Dirajlal-Fargo, who specializes in pediatric infectious-disease and travel medicine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. “A lot of our patients are saying, ‘Everyone else is moving on. What about us?’”

For doctors who are experts in both pediatrics and infectious diseases, the questions come from patients, friends and family. They say experts know so much more about the virus this year compared to 2020, and families can make smart decisions that will let them get away safely.

“I think it’s unfortunate we all feel that the younger kids have been left out,” said Dirajlal-Fargo, who is also part of University Hospitals Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine and Global Health. “I really want to emphasize the optimism of: we know what works and we didn’t a year ago. So we can have a more quote unquote normal summer. There are lots of activities that can be done safely.”

What kind of travel is safe for a fully vaccinated teen or tween?

Your fully vaccinated child can pretty much travel like they did before the pandemic — with some caveats.

If travel includes visiting someone who is at high risk for serious illness — or who has an underlying issue that might make the vaccine less effective — that would require some extra vigilance.

“You probably need to take extra precautions even though everyone is vaccinated,” said Andrew Pavia, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at University of Utah.

Sharon Nachman, chief of the division of pediatric infectious diseases at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, said parents need to remember how long it takes to be fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot that has been authorized for those 12 and older: Two doses three weeks apart, plus another two weeks for full immunity. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the vaccine for emergency use in older children earlier this month.

“The idea

PARAMUS, NJ — The Paramus public school district will be offering an enhanced summer learning program for all Paramus students, according to the superintendent.

In a quest to answer public questions, Superintendent Sean Adams released the following question and answer statement.

● How are the costs of the program being covered if not by the participating students’ families? 

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○ The full cost of the program will be covered by federal grant funding, specifically the ESSER II grant. 

● Why was the full program not announced until May 14? 

○ The ESSER II grant provides approximately one million dollars in funding for our district and is being utilized to support a number of different initiatives beyond just the enhanced summer program. Per grant requirements, each of these initiatives must be vetted out at multiple district, county, and state levels to ensure it meets the required parameters and works in conjunction with each other initiative to ensure maximum benefit to all of our Paramus students. While a reference to the possibility of an enhanced summer program was included in the Public Budget Hearing Presentation, which was presented at the May 3 Board of Education meeting, it was not until May 12 that the district learned definitively whether the details of the enhanced summer program, including full-day options at the elementary and middle school levels, would be approved and therefore able to be offered to our students. 

● Are students who are entering Kindergarten in the fall eligible to participate? ○ Since the program is built upon reviewing and expanding grade level concepts covered during the regular school year, it is available only to students who have completed the particular grade level already. 

● When and how can I register my child for this program? 

○ Registration for the elementary school program opened today and can be accessed through the Genesis Parent Portal. Comprehensive overviews of the In-Person Elementary Summer Learning Academy 2021 and the Virtual Elementary Summer Learning Academy 2021 are available for review. 

○ Registration for the middle and high school programs will open on the Genesis Parent Portal starting May 28. Additional details regarding these programs are being finalized and will be provided soon. 

Updated NJDOH Requirements 

Yesterday, the New Jersey Department of Health issued clarifications regarding travel and masking requirements (”Travel and Masking Clarifications for K-12 Schools”) following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While you may review the document in more depth by following the link above, the essential points are as follows: 

● Masking 

○ The below requirements follow the mandates put forth in Governor Murphy’s Executive Order No. 241, specifically Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the order (page 6). 

■ Participants involved in school-related activities that are outdoors and after school hours are not required to wear masks. 

■ Participants involved in school-related activities that are

NEW YORK (WABC) — Summer travel is making a comeback. While plane bookings are skyrocketing, there are looming questions about the need for travel insurance and if now is the right time to plan a trip.

Emily Kaufman, also known as “The Travel Mom,” joined Eyewitness News on Sunday morning to talk about vacationing safely.

Kaufman said now is a good time to get a ticket to fly, but as the demand increases, so will the price.

She said to be wary of the common misconception that flights can be canceled at any time and travelers can get their money back.

“That’s not necessarily true so you need to read the fine print on every airline ticket you purchase so you know what the change fees are and what the cancellation process is,” Kaufman said.

She also weighed in on if she thinks it’s necessary to buy travel insurance.

Kaufman said while we protect our other investments like cars and our homes, it makes sense to protect our vacation too.

RELATED | Tips to know before taking next trip amid coronavirus pandemic

“Vacation is a time to let loose, unwind, and not have to worry about the unexpected,” Kaufman said. “Travel insurance does that for me.”

She also had tips for those looking to rent a car this summer.

For survival, many rental car companies sold off their fleet during the pandemic. Now that demand is up, so are prices, so Kaufman says to plan ahead and make a reservation.

“The Travel Mom” also weighed in on some of the popular vacation spots people are starting to visit, including Orlando.

She visited the Disney theme parks and said it’s imperative to make reservations ahead of time for both restaurants and the parks.

“I felt very safe, the safety and health are top of mind for these theme parks, and I didn’t feel like i had a problem,” Kaufman said.

For more of her advice and tips, check out the video above.

RELATED | Car rental shortage affecting summer travel plans and budgets

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With all American adults soon to be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines and businesses and international borders reopening, a fierce debate has kicked off across the United States over whether a digital health certificate (often and somewhat misleadingly called a “vaccine passport”) should be required to prove immunization status.

Currently, Americans are issued a white paper card as evidence of their Covid-19 shots, but these can easily be forged, and online scammers are already selling false and stolen vaccine cards.

While the federal government has said it will not introduce digital vaccine passports by federal mandate, a growing number of businesses — from cruise lines to sports venues — say they will require proof of vaccinations for entry or services. Hundreds of digital health pass initiatives are scrambling to launch apps that provide a verified electronic record of immunizations and negative Covid-19 test results to streamline the process.

The drive has raised privacy and equity concerns and some states like Florida and Texas have banned businesses from requiring vaccination certificates. But developers argue that the digital infrastructure is secure and will help speed up the process of reopening society and reviving travel.

Governments, technology companies, airlines and other businesses are testing different versions of the digital health passes and are trying to come up with common standards so that there is compatibility between each system and health records can be pulled in a safe and controlled format.

The process comes with great technical challenges, especially because of the sheer number of app initiatives underway. For the certificates to be useful, countries, airlines and businesses must agree on common standards and the infrastructure they use will need to be compatible. In the United States, there is an added complexity of getting individual states to share immunization data with different certificate platforms while maintaining the privacy of residents.

Here’s what we know about the current status of digital health passes and some of the roadblocks they are facing in the United States.

For the moment, only if you live in New York. Last month, it became the first state in the United States to launch a digital health certificate called the Excelsior Pass, which verifies a person’s negative coronavirus test result and if they are fully vaccinated.

The app and website is free and voluntary for all New York residents, and provides a QR code that can be scanned or printed out to verify a person’s health data. The pass has been used by thousands of New Yorkers to enter Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden and other smaller public venues.

Most businesses require people to show their state I.D. along with their Excelsior Pass to prevent potential fraud.

In Israel, where more than half the population is fully vaccinated, residents must show an electronic “Green Pass” to attend places such as gyms, concerts, wedding halls and to dine indoors. As part of its plans to reopen to foreign visitors, Israel has said it will require them to