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Health experts fear COVID-19 spike in kids as school starts

Officials with Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters say they saw more hospitalizations in August than during the peak of the pandemic earlier this year.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — More children are contracting COVID-19.

“It’s a really difficult time to be a parent right now,” said Amber Bowmer.

Health experts are extremely worried about the spread as some kids have already started school. Others start next week.

“I’m really scared as far as sending him back to school, what we are going to see especially with the rise of all these cases,” said Bowmer.

Bowmer said she worries about sending her two children back to school in Chesapeake this fall.  Her biggest concern is the spread of COVID-19.

She said, “My oldest, fortunately, is vaccinated but for my youngest that weighs very heavily because I have to take into consideration his mental health, as well as his physical health, and I know face-to-face education is the best for that,” Bowmer explained. 

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations the Virginia Department of Health records the number of 12-17 year-olds who are fully vaccinated.

  • Virginia: 49%
  • Chesapeake: 38.4%
  • Norfolk: 34.2%
  • Virginia Beach: 43.6%
  • Suffolk: 35.3%
  • Portsmouth: 27.8%
  • Hampton: 30.7
  • Newport News: 31.1%

“I’d like to see it much higher. I’d really like to see it much higher,” Welch said.

Chesapeake Health Director, Dr. Nancy Welch, is also a pediatrician. She worries about what’s to come.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that we are going to see a surge in cases when school starts, we are going to see a surge of quarantines and hospitalizations,” explained Welch. “I know our hospitals are concerned about it."

Officials with Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters say they saw more hospitalizations in August than during the peak of the pandemic earlier this year.

“Kids don’t get as sick, but the increase in number of hospital visits is the greatest increase to the emergency departments so they are sick enough that momma says you got to go,” Welch explained.

Welch said the impact of children getting the COVID-19 vaccine and wearing a mask goes beyond the classroom.

Welch said, “I want the kids in school so we have to create the safest environment we can, not only for that child but for grandma or someone who is receiving chemo.”

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