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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

AdventHealth Doctors Recommend Schoolchildren Wear Masks

child using crayons
Nathan Dumlao
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

An infectious disease specialist with the health system says masks might be appropriate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated students because of the spread of the delta variant.

Ahead of the upcoming school year, AdventHealth physicians are encouraging unvaccinated students to wear masks in the classroom as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread. 

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Infection recommends unvaccinated people of any age, including children, continue to wear a mask to protect themselves and others against COVID-19. 

Dr. Vincent Hsu, an infectious disease specialist with AdventHealth in Orlando, says with the spread of the delta variant, a facial covering might still be a good idea even for vaccinated students.

“What we’re seeing with delta, with the cases rising, with the reports of infections that have occurred in fully vaccinated individuals, it is advisable, and I would recommend that we strongly consider wearing a mask even if you have been fully vaccinated,” Hsu says.

Pediatric surgeon Dr. Michael Keating says if a child does get sick with COVID, symptoms may include fatigue, headaches and stomach problems. 

Keating says most children with the virus can be cared for at home, but they should consult with their pediatrician if they have concerns.

“Take your child to the pediatric provider and have the boy or girl assessed," Keating says. "In most cases, they’ll outline a plan for management at home. But if you’re concerned, please come to our emergency room. Most pediatric providers in our emergency rooms are very well-versed now in COVID and they’ll be able to identify the rare child that needs to come in.”

With vaccine trials ongoing in children` younger than 12, Keating expects most elementary school children won’t be able to get the shot until the end of the year. 

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.

Danielle Prieur