Health Experts Say COVID-19 Cases Could Surge This Fall If Kids Don’t Mask Up

Aug 4, 2021, 9:54 PM

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – As children across the state are preparing to return to the classroom, health experts fear cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 could surge if students don’t mask up.

In less than two weeks, children will begin to return to school and some parents say they’re concerned.

Alisha, who’s daughter is going into second grade, said it is too early to stop requiring masks.

“My choice will still be masking my kids,” Alisha said, “but I think it should be mandated until vaccines are available for young kids.”

Another parent, Chris Nielson, said he is still divided.

“It’s a tricky situation,” Nielson said, “It’s hard to know what’s the best and most effective route to take.”

Health experts say the Delta variant is about twice as transmissible as the original virus and are voicing concerns about what may happen with the virus if certain actions aren’t taken.

“I’m very concerned about what’s going to happen when school starts if we don’t do the things that we know work,” said infectious disease expert Dr. Andrew Pavia with Primary Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Pavia says the hospital is admitting about two children a week who have been infected with the coronavirus.

“If your kids are too young to be vaccinated,” Dr. Pavia said, “Then the best protection is to be in a classroom where everyone is masked. And I think what parents need to do is to do everything they can to make sure that their kids are in a classroom where everyone is masked.”

State COVID-19 expert Dr. Angela Dunn gave a passionate plea Tuesday night to the Salt Lake City School District about her worries.

“We can expect 60 cases per day in individuals under the age of 12 as we move into the school year,” Dr. Dunn said. “This translates to one child being hospitalized with COVID every other day.”

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Health Experts Say COVID-19 Cases Could Surge This Fall If Kids Don’t Mask Up