COVID-19 cases are rising in children, what this could mean for schools

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:42 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — It’s been just days since since school got underway for districts across the state, and viewers tell us they are already hearing about positive COVID-19 cases.

At Tuesday’s Health and Welfare meeting, pediatrician Doctor Peterman said just last week, his clinic had 123 children test positive for the virus.

“What is most concerning is tracking the number of positives Primary Health has per week. per week, July 7, when you look at from 5 to 18, we had 6 positives for the whole week, in a sense, we accumulate it on a weekly basis, so in a sense, I’m a week behind, but last week we had 123,” said Doctor David Peterman.

In the Twin Falls School District, they have already had students test positive from multiple schools.

“We are seeing a high number of cases, at most of our schools,” said Eva Craner, the public information officer for the Twin Falls School District.

When a student test positive for COVID-19, the administrators work to contact trace for that student.

“They look at who sits around that child in each class, who do they eat lunch with, what activities are they involved with, and then we at the district office put out a notification to those families, it’s an email and a text message, and then the rest of the class will also get a notification saying someone in your class, an individual who was at school on this date, tested positive on this date, and tested positive or is confirmed to have COVID, and we want you to be aware,” said Craner.

The school district is leaving it up to the parents to decide whether to keep their child home or not once they are informed of a child testing positive in their class.

Currently, the school district is strongly recommending masks.

“A change in the protocols would be up to the school board, to put on their agenda, and discuss and make a determination, and at this point, it hasn’t been discussed at the school board,” said Craner.

According to Doctor Peterman, if schools required masks, the numbers would be lower.

“We can stop this in its tracks, right today, right now, if I wear a mask if you wear a mask, if everyone wears masks, in all instances and particularly in schools and inside,” said Peterman.

Before COVID was present school officials tell us that when 25 to 30% of the student body are out sick for any reason, schools shut down.

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