ROCHESTER, Minn. - It's no surprise the school year is going to look and feel a lot different.
There's a lot of changes students will have to adapt to including wearing masks, social distancing, maybe even switching back and forth from in-person to virtual learning.
Dr. Angela Mattke is a pediatrician with Mayo Clinic Children's Center. She says parents should prepare kids for the changes. A good way to start is simply asking: "What questions do you have?"
Mattke said the most important thing parents can do is have a positive attitude
"Whatever learning environment they're going to be participating in and also a really positive attitude about the social distancing measures that children need to take," Mattke said. "Because if they see you role modeling it positively, and you wearing your mask properly, and you maintaining social distance, they're going to be more likely to engage in those behaviors as well."
Mattke said it's especially important for younger children to learn how to effectively wear and take off a mask. A face mask should cover the mouth and nose. It should be taken off around the ears to maintain cleanliness. Kids should also wash their hands before taking on and off a mask.
Health officials including Mattke are also urging people to get flu vaccines and soon. It's especially important this year since COVID-19 is still in the mix.
"The symptoms of COVID and influenza are very similar," Mattke explained. "So if we could provide as much protection as possible, I think that's going to be important so that we're trying to reduce other diseases that are maybe transmitted at the same time."
Doctors advise people not to wait and get the flu vaccine sometime in September or October.