RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics says 97,078 children tested positive for COVID-19 between July 16th and July 30th. A 40% increase nation-wide.
That time period was before most kids began heading back to school.
Rutherford County father, Jonathan Guevart, says his kids are planning to learn from a classroom this fall. But, he doesn’t think it will last very long.
“Maybe three weeks, well see. Hopefully it’s going to stay on site for the year,” said Guevart.
COVID-19 forced most Middle Tennessee schools to switch to online learning last spring, as the virus spread across the country. That’s how some students will return to educational instruction.
Some parents say they think it’s worth the risk of sending their kids back to the normalcy of friends and teachers.
“From my understanding the children are least susceptible to it than anything else,” said Clyde Cross who has three grandchildren heading back to school in Rutherford County.
That same study from the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that kids currently make up just under 9 percent of those affected in the U.S.
“I feel like mixed feelings. Kids are happy to go back to school, get to a normal environment. But everything is going on where it’s kind of weird,” said Guevart.
The AAP study lists Tennessee as the the state with the 4th highest cumulative number of pediatric cases in the country, reporting over 16,000 positive cases at the end of July.
Doctor Amanda Gammel, a Murfreesboro Medical Clinic Pediatrician, says if schools are are practicing proper mitigation techniques, like mask wearing, social distancing, good hand washing, then it is likely safe for kids to return.
“For families that have children with compromised immune systems, or grandparents in the home with compromised immune systems, it may be something to consider to keep them at home. If virtual learning works for you and your family, it definitely is a safer option,” said Gammel.