MSDH anticipates COVID will significantly impact children soon

MSDH anticipates COVID will significantly impact children soon
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 8:48 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In just a few days, children will be back in the classroom ready to learn after a much needed break.

However, with current COVID cases increasing statewide, State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers says COVID will travel down school hallways soon.

“You know, the schools have historically been a reflection of what’s going on in community. So I anticipate when schools get back, that we will see a substantial number of cases that are affecting those school-aged kids.”

Hattiesburg Pediatrician Dr. Anita Henderson says she is already seeing how holiday gatherings impacted her patients.

“Moms, dads, children, grandchildren all testing positive and our concern is that when schools start back next week, we’re going to see a huge outbreak within the school system.”

Dr. Henderson says her advice to limit the spread is to prepare children now.

“What I would encourage all parents to do right now is kind of keep your kids at home, avoid those unnecessary gatherings right now, knowing that they’re going back to school in five days.”

But Dr. Byers says it’s up to the schools to enforce the guidelines to decrease chances of an outbreak.

“We are recommending that they adhere to the CDC guidelines right now. We’re going to have to see how that rolls out. A lot of it is going to depend on some of the internal practices that the school puts in place.”

Dr. Henderson adds that she’s seen vaccinations protect kids from both catching the virus and getting severe infections.

“It definitely is something that will help protect your child from COVID, it’s going to help keep them in school, and it’s going to protect your family.”

Dr. Henderson says if your child is exposed and needs to be tested before going back to school, parents might need to get creative to finding testing sites and at-home tests due to the high number of cases.

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