Shreveport pediatrician weighs in on masks in schools debate as Delta variant becomes more prominent
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - On Monday, July 19, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested all kids age 2 or older should wear a face mask. This has sparked a lot of debate throughout the United States.
Under state law in Arkansas and Texas, schools cannot mandate mask wearing; but in Louisiana, schools are either making it optional or still discussing their decision.
LSU Health Shreveport Pediatric Professor Dr. Wanda Thomas says she believes the American Academy of Pediatrics’ push for mask wearing will help keep numbers down in younger age groups.
“The ages 12 and under, they are a vulnerable population and the argument from the American Academy of Pediatrics that wearing mask in schools will help lessen the risk of transmission and infectivity for those, I think is a very strong argument,” said Thomas.
Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma governors signed a law to prohibit schools from mandating masks.
Back in May, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards left the decision up to school leaders. KSLA contacted come school districts today. Some say it will be optional and others say they have not decided.
Reports by the American Academy of Pediatrics reported as of July 8 that 14.2 percent of all COVID cases are children. Dr. Thomas says in order to stop the spread, kids who qualify should get the vaccine or mask up.
”I think it will be more difficult if it is not mandated,” said Thomas.
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