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ADPH: COVID-19 cases among children decreasing at slower rates

Students writing at a desk.
Students writing at a desk.(WHSV)
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:13 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State pediatricians say they are concerned that cases of COVID-19 are declining at a slower rate among children.

They are urging schools to continue universal masking indoors to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

While community transmission and case numbers are decreasing overall in Alabama, the majority of counties still have high, moderate or substantial levels of COVID-19, according to Alabama Department of Public Health data.

ADPH pediatrician Dr. Karen Landers says as of Thursday, 19 children were hospitalized with COVID-19. Three of those were being treated in intensive care and two on ventilators.

“We need to urge those involved in the education of children to provide a safe, healthy learning environment while we bring this virus under control,” Landers added.

According to recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, school districts without universal masking policies were more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks than those that did not.

ADPH says community transmission and vaccine levels, along with in-school reported outbreaks and other factors, should be considered before changes are made in the school setting.

ADPH is also encouraging parents with children eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine to have their children vaccinated.

“As data continue to show the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine in children, we urge parents to consider vaccinating those who fall in the eligible groups after a discussion with their health care provider,” ADPH pediatrician Wes Stubblefield said.

Along with masking, ADPH says good hand hygiene, social distancing, environmental cleaning and improved ventilation are essential measures in keeping children and staff safe.

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