HOUSTON – The number of pediatric COVID-19 cases has doubled in the last few weeks, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
On Monday, the AAP recommended universal masking in schools, despite vaccination status, for anyone two and older.
The COVID-19 spike is getting parents’ attention, especially since school is just weeks away and most districts are starting back maskless and in-person classes.
KPRC 2 took some of those parents’ concerns and questions to Houston pediatrician Dr. Patti Savrick, with Bootin and Savrick Pediatric Associates.
Parent: Will masks be required? Will they not be required.
In May, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas public schools can no longer require masks on their campuses.
Here is what Dr. Savrick advises.
Dr. Savrick: I think everyone who is unvaccinated and has had their second birthday should be masking indoors at all times.
Parent: Is it possible for children to bring it back home since they are unvaccinated? Can they bring it back to their vaccinated parents?
Dr. Savrick: That’s pretty low risk because the three or 4- year-old child, if they get COVID, will likely have no symptoms. We know the fewer the symptoms, the less contagious.
Parent: Can I take my unvaccinated child to an indoor restaurant?
Dr. Savrick: I think a well-ventilated restaurant with some space, I think you can take your kids to the restaurant. You can take your mask off once you get to the table, and I think that’s acceptable.
Parent: Probably the biggest question is when can the 2-year-old and 4-year-old get approval to get vaccinated?
Dr. Savrick: The latest is five to 11 -year-olds are going to be the next group, and I think it’s going to be October-ish.
Dr. Savrick says younger than five, likely, will not be able to get a vaccine until next year.
Parent: What if my teenager doesn’t want to get vaccinated?
Dr. Savrick: Best case scenario if you are unvaccinated and you go to school unmasked, especially with the other people who are likely to be unmasked, best-case scenario, you are going to be spending a lot of your school year home on quarantine.