Concerns continue over COVID-19, the Delta variant and children who are unvaccinated

Coronavirus

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Concerns are growing in the Commonwealth regarding the coronavirus and its effect on the youngest community members.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 3.5 million children have tested positive for the highly-infectious disease. That number includes 1,775,346 children ages 12 to 17, and 1,765,398 children zero to 11 years old.

According to Dr. Cynthia Morrow with the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts (RCAHD), “It’s hard, from a public health perspective… I just feel so sympathetic for those parents who have children under the age of 12 who really want to protect their child.”

Numbers from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) show there have been 754 children ages 10 to 19 and 353 under the age of 10 who test positive for COVID-19 in the Roanoke City Health District. In the Alleghany Health District, 465 children up to 9 years old have tested positive for the virus while 1,710 between 10 and 19 years old have tested positive.

“The data don’t lie,” said Dr. Morrow. “These are facts.”

One major concern parents have is keeping their child safe when a vaccine for people younger than 12 does not yet exist.

“I think it’s really important that all of us — parents, teachers, and administrators — do what we can to protect our children and at this point, because children under the age of 12 cannot get vaccinated, we should be masking,” said Dr. Morrow.

Masking up again is something Dr. Morrow knows is frustrating, but she says it is necessary as we fight the life-threatening illness.

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