Health Experts Warn Parents About Increased COVID Cases As School Year Nears

Friday, July 23rd 2021, 8:42 am


OU chief COVID officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said the Delta variant can spread quicker and more easily than the original strain of COVID-19.

As kids go back to class in the next few weeks, Dr. Bratzler is hoping they will take precautions.

Dr. Bratzler is urging parents and students to follow recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Their suggestion is for everyone in schools 2 years and older should wear a mask, even if you're vaccinated.

Kids under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine. Dr. Bratzler also said kids who have had the shot have the possibility of getting the virus.

Some communities could be more impacted than others depending on vaccination rates.

"I think we are going to see communities that are more impacted than others, and I think we are going to need the flexibility to shift school policies depending on the outbreaks that may occur,” Dr. Bratzler said.

Dr. Bratzler also suggested the new and more contagious Delta variant could impact how schools operate in the fall. For teachers and staff concerned about returning to the classroom, Dr. Bratzler recommends wearing a mask and getting vaccinated.

"They're eligible,” Dr. Bratzler said. “There is no shortage of vaccines. Any teacher that is going back to the classroom can get the vaccine. There are almost no medical complications.”

A new state law said school districts are only allowed to enact mask mandates if there is a local or state emergency order.

The bill also doesn't allow vaccines to be required. It will be up to parents to decide what they feel is best for their child.