"If there’s not going to be mask mandates in schools then we will have a ton of community spread," says Omaha doctor

Delta variant a major concern
Posted at 1:05 PM, Aug 13, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Doctors worry that with school beginning, the Omaha metro area will see a spike in COVID cases.

"I predict we will also have a surge in the next 3 weeks as the numbers go up and how our kids go back to school. If there’s not going to be mask mandates in schools then we will have a ton of community spread I have a feeling we will have another peak and it’ll last about 8 weeks or so," Dr. Vivekanandan said.

Doctors say kids can contract the virus and while a majority of kids who do get COVID, will not get a severe case, it can have long-term effects. They also worry with the more transmissible delta variant, schools will start to shut down again.

"Young infected people, they do pretty well, the problem is what happens with their opportunity for education if there is an outbreak in school? Unfortunately, things are different than last year. Last year you needed a semi-prolonged contact with folks, at least 10 minutes for close exposure, for a better chance of being infected. But newer viruses are much more transmissible. It’s possible that with one presymptomatic child in a classroom over the course of a class period the entire classroom could end up being exposed, so that’s one case that could lead to increased cases in schools and shutdowns," Dr. Quimby said.

Because many kids are still unvaccinated and many are not of age to get the vaccine, doctors say the only way to keep kids safe and to continue in-person instruction is to mask up.

Watch the entire press conference with the CHI infectious disease experts below or on our Facebook page.

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