Well being specialists in Tennessee talk about COVID-19 dangers in kids once they return to high school

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – Pediatric hospitals across the state are seeing increasing numbers of pediatric COVID-19 cases. Health experts say this is due to how contagious the Delta variant is and how easily it can spread.

Doctors at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital said they are busier this summer than they have been for years with COVID-19 and RSV.

With the rise in winter viruses and the new variant of COVID, parents should take extra precautions for their children at the start of the new school year.

“Many of us have failed our guards,” said Dr. Joe Childs, Chief Medical Officer, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. “We don’t stay away from the crowds while the virus returns, we don’t mask. So if we have a more contagious variety, you’ll just see more cases. “

At the beginning of the new school year, parents have to decide whether they should send their children to school with or without a mask.

“You have to make that decision, but I think with such a high transmission we should choose to wear a mask,” said Childs.

Knox County’s schools don’t require face covers, but schools do need to report certain COVID statistics.

“We’ll start soliciting information from the districts like we did last year,” said Penny Schwinn, education commissioner for Tennessee. “Part of what we’re going to be doing over the weekend is solidifying those specific pieces of data more precisely.”

Children’s hospitals are also required to submit weekly reports.

“We communicate with all of the hospitals in Tennessee and ask them to enter their usage information for pediatric hospitals, just like we did for adult hospitals in April or May,” said Dr. Lisa Piercey, the Tennessee Department of Health commissioner.

Active COVID-19 cases in Knox County have increased nearly 200% in two weeks

Reporting data has become old hat for hospitals as the pandemic continues.

“We have been transmitting this data all along,” said Childs. “It was mixed up with the adult data so it didn’t separate well. Now that we are seeing more cases in children, it is nice that it is being separated. “

Doctors go on to say that the best way to stop the virus from spreading is to get vaccinated for both adults and eligible children.

“The longer this virus multiplies for all of us out there, the more it will mutate into different variants,” said Childs.

50% of the US population is fully vaccinated, says the White House

Piercey said the people of Tennessee are responding to the Covid-19 vaccine.

The total number of vaccinations has increased by 47% in the past three weeks.

East Tennessee CHildren’s Hospital reported 6 Covid-19 cases and 11 RSV cases on Aug. 6.

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