COVID-19 cases rising for children in Angelina County

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:33 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 10:52 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Angelina County is reporting a significant increase in COVID-19 cases specifically in children. The rise in cases comes at an inconvenient time, as school starts in just a few weeks.

As summer comes to a close parents and children are gearing up for the school year, but this year with more things to worry about. Christina Graves, a doctor at The Children’s Clinic in Lufkin, says they are seeing a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases at her office.

“We see the majority of children in the community between our clinics and the numbers have definitely increased within the past two weeks. Prior to about 2-3 weeks ago we went about 3-4 weeks without a single positive in this clinic, and then suddenly we’ve had several a day,” Graves said.

And Graves said she believes having no mandatory mask mandate like the one implemented last school year, is cause for concern.

“So, this year we’re entering into a school year without masks. I feel like the teachers, and particularly some of the older children, and the younger children are going to be at very high risk for contracting COVID, especially with the new variant that we have in our area now,” Graves said.

In the last 15 days Angelina County and Cities Health District reported 695 cases in Angelina, Polk, and San Augustine counties. Sharon Shaw, the administrator at the Health District said sixty percent of these cases are people under the age of 40, and 20 percent are people under the age of 20.

“Under twenties, that’s your 19, 18,17, that’s your school aged kids, so that’s 20 percent of that almost 700 number, it’s an extreme increase,” Shaw said.

The medical professionals at the children’s clinic in Lufkin strongly advise kids to mask up before attending school this fall.

“We can’t require it, obviously, but we do recommend that they wear them because this delta variant is more contagious and seems to be rapidly increasing in our community,” Graves said.

Graves recommends that all children ages 12 and up utilize the Pfizer vaccine since it has been proven effective to help prevent the delta variant. Children under the age of 12 are currently not eligible to receive any COVID-19 vaccine.

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