Going back to school or back to a crisis?

This year's back-to-school season is anything but routine. 


The ABCs of the upcoming school year might stand for “All Because of COVID-19.” Across the country, parents are wondering how and where students should learn. Should it be at school, virtually at home or a combination of both?

“No matter where they learn, remember that children look to adults for help on how to react to stressful events,” said Efrem Castillo, MD, senior medical director at Optum. “This is a great time for adults to model behavior for children. Find creative ways to solve problems. Learn new ways to relax. And show compassion and support in new ways."


Tips for parents, grandparents and others

  • Stay calm, listen and offer reassurance
  • Check on children's TV viewing and social media use
  • Take time to talk
  • Be straightforward and honest
  • Keep explanations age-appropriate
  • Stay connected to the local schools
  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19
  • Model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices
  • Watch for signs of stress or behavior changes
  • Help your children stay active

For more tips to help you prepare for in-person classes, see this checklist.

And finally, this might go without saying: Be sure to offer lots of love and affection. It will be a boost to you as well as your children. With more hugs and kisses, maybe the ABCs of this school year can actually be “Always Be Cuddling.”

Will Medicare cover a COVID-19 screening?

Medicare covers the lab tests for COVID-19. You pay no extra money. Medicare Advantage plans do, too. Check with your plan about what it covers and what the test costs.

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  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Medicare (medicare.gov/medicare-coronavirus)

The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.

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Questions about COVID-19 symptoms? 

Don’t wait. Make an in-person or video visit appointment now. Find an Optum Care location near you. 

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