VIDEO: Children's Mercy doctor talks COVID-19 cases ahead of school year

angela myers cmh children's mercy covid update
Posted at 1:43 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 14:59:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As schools across the metro get ready to go back to school in-person, Children’s Mercy Hospital Infectious Disease Director Dr. Angela Myers said the number of COVID-19 infections in children is on the rise.

Myers said Children's Mercy has had 22 children in the hospital with COVID-19 Monday and 11 on Tuesday. While children are less likely than adults to experience severe COVID-19 symptoms, it still happens, Myers said.

“Clearly kids do get sick with COVID; Clearly they get sick enough to require hospitalization," Myers said.

The rise, according to Myers, can be attributed to the more contagious delta variant, the fact that vaccinated people can still pass the virus, and that many children are not vaccinated. That's part of why Myers thinks schools are smart to require masking going into the school year.

“I think the school districts are making a really wise decision to best protect kids, to be able to keep them in school," Myers said. "The best place for kids to be is in school all day everyday, and the best way to keep them there is to keep them from getting sick in the first place.”

She added that, though children are not likely to have severe COVID-19 cases, doctors have no way of knowing which children will be significantly impacted.

“Every time you get in your car, you put on your seat belt, right, even though your risk of getting in a car wreck with that one car drive is really, really low," Myers said. "You don’t know on any given day when somebody’s gonna haul out and hit you, just like we don’t know which kid is gonna need to be hospitalized or get really sick.”

Myers said she has two children who are both fully vaccinated. She said before their school district had even announced their policies, she told them they would need to wear a mask at school no matter what.

“We have really good data from last year's school year when schools were in person, how masking prevented spread to kids," Myers said.

Myers said wearing an effective mask correctly is a proven way to keep people safe and keep school in session, especially given increasing RSV cases and an oncoming flu season.