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Experts weigh in on how long children should wear masks in school

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:40 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - State leaders report that 90% of schools across Alabama are now requiring masks after spikes in positive covid cases in school kids, with more than 9,000 cases reported just this week.

“Because the younger population is not as vaccinated as the older population, that is where the bulk of our cases are,” Dr. David Hicks with the Jefferson County Health Department said. “Last year when the schools were masking and having remote learning and virtual options, that definitely helped us stay out of trouble for a little while.”

Dr. Hicks said masking kids in school again can likely help reverse these numbers and buy more time.

“I don’t necessarily think that people need to be wearing masks the whole school year,” Hicks said. “I think we just have to get out of this trouble spot we are in.”

Hicks said masks can help keep the positive numbers lower until kids under 12 can get the shot themselves.

“I think by the end of this calendar year, I would anticipate that there is enough data on safety and efficacy that there will be vaccines recommended for those that our younger than age 12,” he said.

Hicks said children wearing masks now can help them not have to wear them later.

“Help us kind of reset everything and give us more time to get more people vaccinated.”

Dr. Hicks said he believes more information on vaccines for those under 12 will be announced soon. The state is tracking cases inside every school district. Click here for the link.

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