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Health experts worry about Delta variant as kids head back to school

Posted at 6:11 AM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 10:33:29-04

TULSA, Okla. — Wednesday marks the last day of summer for a lot of Green Country students. From Bartlesville to Claremore, several school districts begin their year Thursday.

As students lay out their school supplies and get ready, health experts are preparing too. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister joined health experts in a meeting this week saying they're worried about how the Delta variant will impact the upcoming school year.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said Tuesday, more than 640,000 Oklahoma students are unvaccinated. Some of those kids are not eligible for the vaccine yet, but the number is still big enough to worry health officials.

The Delta variant is more infectious and infects more young people. Hofmeister says all eligible students should get vaccinated to help slow the spread of the virus in schools.

Dr. Ashley Weedn, with OU Health, says that means anyone 12-years-old and up.

“As more adults are becoming vaccinated, children and adolescents are making up a greater proportion in the U.S. Last week they represented 24 percent of new cases."

Masking is one way to help mitigate the spread of disease according to health experts. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is expected to meet with Gov. Stitt on the school’s masking policies next week.

Meanwhile, there are several Green Country schools starting up Thursday, including Bartlesville, Pryor, Wagoner, Tahlequah, and Claremore.

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