Portsmouth, Virginia (Wavy) – More smiling faces are seen in Hampton Roads schools this week, as several areas make masks optional. Hampton, Isle of Wight, County Accomak and York made changes on Tuesday.
“It’s time to look ahead, rather than focus on what’s happened in the past,” said Acting Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Colin Green 10 On Your Side.
Dr Green said the masks did not appear to be effective in stopping Omicron, and children were never at high risk for serious illness.
“In fact, in Virginia, a child is more likely to die in a car accident than one killed by Kovid,” Dr. Green said.
Two of Hampton Roads ’largest school districts, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, made masks optional a month ago. 10 From your side looked at the number of Covid cases reported in these schools after the change.
The number of Covids in both areas is low. Chesapeake reports 230 cases in the last 14 days.
In Virginia Beach in February, there were 556 reports of Covid with nearly 64,000 students.
However, some parents of at-risk students are concerned. Katie Kane from Chesapeake, with whom we first spoke in January, told 10 On Your Side today that she switched to KF94 masks to protect her youngest child.
CHKD pediatrician Dr. Doug Mitchell said Monday night 10 On Your Side that there is now a concern in children developing a Covid complication called MISC.
“We are still seeing the hospitalization of pediatric patients.” Said Dr. Mitchell.
Mitchell added that just because masks aren’t needed doesn’t mean you should stop wearing them.
“Honestly, I would ask them to remember that this is no longer 2020. It’s a milder form of coronavirus, there’s a vaccine to prevent the most severe cases of Covid, ”says Dr. Green, as many parents weigh their options.
Both doctors are united: vaccination is the best protection.
Virginians who have not been fully vaccinated or are eligible for vaccination may visit vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (877) 829-4682 to find nearby vaccination clinics.
Those wishing to find or schedule admission for testing can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov/testingappointment.