COVID surge worries health officials with the upcoming school year
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- There has been a resurgence of COVID-19 in the area, and health experts are concerned. They say you should be too, especially with school right around the corner.
Experts at the University of Virginia Health Systems think the school year may start off bumpy.
In a briefing Friday morning, Dr. Costi Sifri said cases are on the rise in Central Virginia.
Experts say with these new variants, immunity is not guaranteed or lasting. They have seen people developing cases for a second time.
That could be challenging when school starts in a couple of weeks.
"There is going to be different approaches in different school districts and discussions and we know that this is a significant topic of discussion, you know, in many households and dinner tables, in all communities including ours’ and so I think we may see different approaches across the state," said Sifri.
At Albemarle County Public Schools, spokesperson Phil Giaramita says the division is keeping an eye on case numbers, but there are no new policies planned for the fall.
"We encourage mask wearing and that we have supplies of masks in schools, so if a child comes to school and is not wearing a mask but wants to, wants to wear one, we have masks that we can provide to them," he said.
Governor Glenn Youngkin banned mask mandates in schools through an executive order he signed on his first day in office, meaning the decision will be left to parents.
UVA Health also gave an update on its patient count to show the surge. It currently has 42 patients who are mostly adults. Thirty-six are in acute care and six more are in the ICU.
Officials say it’s been a “pretty significant uptick and a dramatic increase from two weeks ago.”
Experts say while variants may be getting around vaccines, the shots are still very effective at keeping illnesses minor, and keeping people out of the hospital.