Parents in Washington Co. on the fence on masks in school, SWUPHD recommending it

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HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – In Southwest Utah, public health officials are seeing an uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in children. But leaders from the health department say despite a rise in cases, it will not make mask-wearing mandatory.

Britni Urry says her son wasn’t masking-up his first week of school, but that’s changed after she noticed an uptick in cases in children.

“I just have more peace of mind and he’s actually quite comfortable with it, we just presented it of it’s another safety measure and we also have family members that we just want to be careful around so we feel like that’s the best way until he can get vaccinated,” says Urry.

Urry’s son is just a select few of those masking-up and officials say face coverings will only be suggested.

“I kind of don’t like the rules, I kind of more for a mask, especially where they don’t have the vaccination protection and unfortunately this stuff’s been politicized, and it’s a human health crisis it shouldn’t be political,” says Matt Ewing of Hurricane.

Mikaela Campbell says she doesn’t think masks should be mandatory, but she’s willing to have her son wear one if there’s an outbreak, as long as that means keeping kids in school.

“It’s a little nerve racking, but also I know that kids do pretty well with it generally, at home learning was hard, and as a mom just being busy and stuff, I didn’t feel adequate doing it and stuff so in person is just better for me,” says Campbell.

David Heaton of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department says there are no children currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the district, but that could change.

“Children are remarkably low risk, themselves if they contract covid-19 of having serious symptoms or being hospitalized, and especially losing their lives, any loss of life is unfortunate of course, but even in the state there’s only been a small handful of fatalities in that age group, and even though that is the case kids can still spread the virus,” he says.

Heaton says this is why parents should consider having their kids wear masks in school, where it could be difficult to social distance, to prevent the virus from spreading to the community.

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