Pediatricians call for masking in classroom, local doctors and parents react


INDIANAPOLIS — Calls for kids to wear masks in the classroom have gained new momentum after the American Association of Pediatricians said everyone 2-years-old and older should wear a face-covering in school.

Dr. John Christenson, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Riley Hospital for Children, agrees.

“These children have potential of acquiring the virus and then bringing it home or spreading it in schools to teachers and staff,” he said.

Christenson said masks in school is about protecting kids, and those they could potentially pass COVID-19 on to. Especially people who still are not vaccinated.

“When you look at the people being admitted to the hospital right now 99% of them are unvaccinated individuals,” Christenson said. “When you look at the people dying of coronavirus right now 99% of them are unvaccinated individuals.”

Christenson said this call for masks in the classroom is definitely fueled by the spike in the Delta variant.

Few people know more about the dangers of Delta than Anisha Gray. 10 of her family members recently got COVID-19, with some getting the Delta variant.

“The new strand is something else,” Gray said.

Thankfully, all of her family members recovered, but Gray said this definitely gave her family a wake-up call. She said they’re all for kids wearing masks in schools.

“I think it’s still okay for them to wear masks because you don’t know if that new strand… if they’re going to bring it home or take it to school,” she said.

Rainel Castillo said he wants to make sure his kids are learning in school this year, and if they need to wear masks to do it, then he’s okay with it.

“I would rather them get their education in school with a teacher, rather than virtual learning,” Castillo said.

On Tuesday, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the CDC is still recommending school districts make the best decision based on community spread where they live.

“We continue to recommend that schools implement layered prevention strategies to protect those who are not fully vaccinated and encourage vaccination for those who are eligible,” she said.

Gray said she’s hoping more people get vaccinated and those who still aren’t continuing to wear their masks so life can continue getting back to normal.

“I love the fact that I can go to the store, come to the park and not have to wear a mask,” she said.

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