Health expert, parent share concerns about COVID-19 & sending kids back-to-school

Mansfield High School in DeSoto Parish.
Mansfield High School in DeSoto Parish.(KSLA)
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 3:02 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 28, 2022 at 9:39 AM CDT

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Most ArkLaTex students have less than a week left before they return to the classroom.

Parent Shamaro Pennington says she’s concerned to send her children back to school due to COVID-19 cases. She says it’s a situation she dealt with last year concerning her daughter.

“I had to go get her, she had some symptoms of COVID and they did not notify me. They did not tell me. I had to go get her, and then when I went to go pick her up, they said to come to school, then they informed me of what happened,” said Pennington.

As of right now, no school is requiring students to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

Over in DeSoto Parish, Superintendent Clay Corley said they will be monitoring for potential COVID-19 outbreaks, but that they aren’t making any changes to their school rules this year.

Some of the protocol that will be kept the same is following guidance from the Department of Health, quarantine recommendations, contact tracing, sanitation stations around campus and symptom monitoring. However, Corley said there will be no virtual options for students.

“Virtual hasn’t been an option for our children. We offered virtually for our kids, and we still do for significantly medically fragile students. We discontinued our virtual for all two years ago.”

Dr. John Vanchiere with LSU Health said La. ranks 45th and 46th in vaccination for COVID among those ages five to 11 and 11 to 15, respectively. He said he expects the number of cases to grow when students go back to school

“We know when kids are getting back in school they are going to shuffle all of their germs around that they’ve got from over the summer. We do expect to see some outbreaks and we will be monitoring that in the schools,” he said.

Vanchiere also said getting your child vaccinated will help keep kids in the classroom.

“What we know if that even though the risk of death is very low, like one in 100,000, vaccination reduces those risks to one in 10,000,000. It is a significantly important factor in protecting children.”

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