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Local doctors strongly advise mask-wearing in schools

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Delta variant's alarming impact of Big Bend community
Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 18:45:11-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Local pediatrician Dr. Thomas Truman says dealing with the delta variant is a different beast than what we saw last year, and offers words of caution for those with kids in schools.

He is the same doctor Superintendent Rocky Hanna reached out to before issuing his most recent plea to the Leon County Community for parents to send their children to schools with masks.

Dr. Truman says the delta variant is impacting our community in alarming rates, with more cases in the last two months than the previous five months combined.

TMH currently has 4 pediatric patients hospitalized for COVID care, one under the age of five, one between five and 12, and two over the age of 12. One of them is in pediatric intensive care.

With these numbers, the faces they represent, and the affected families in mind, Dr. Truman says, "the fact that it's a more virulent, more likely to make you sicker and it's affecting children more, I don't know how you can make any other decision but to mask, to keep the kids safer physically present in schools."

Masks are currently required in Leon County Schools at all grade levels.

Parents can complete and return an opt-out form by next Monday, although Superintendent Rocky Hanna asks that this only be done if it is unavoidable.

Dr. Truman also says TMH has seen its first COVID-related pediatric death within the last month. That was a child under the age of five. He offers his advice in order to protect our community from similar future occurrences.