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Tulsa health leaders urge COVID precautions to keep kids safe at Tulsa State Fair

Posted at 7:07 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 08:32:36-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa State Fair is almost here. Before you go enjoy the rides and eat the food, health officials want to make sure you’re taking the proper COVID precautions.

There’s especially a concern for kids under the age of 12, who are still unable to get vaccinated.

The Tulsa Health Department said children ages 5 to 17 make up 21.7 percent of the county’s covid cases, which is the second-highest number behind those ages 18 to 35.

“Which is why we really encourage individuals 12 and older to get vaccinated to help protect those around them that are not able to receive the vaccine at this time," said Kelly VanBuskirk, THD Division Chief of Prevention, Preparedness and Response.

THD said schools are the settings with the most cases. So, what about bringing your child to a place like the fair?

“As a parent, it’s just doing what’s right for your family and protecting your children the best way you can," VanBuskirk said. "And if that is wearing a mask and social distancing and washing hands and yourselves receiving the vaccines to protect those around you is what we would recommend.”

When it comes to hospitalizations, THD said 6.7 percent of new hospitalizations in Tulsa County are children ages 4 and under. Meanwhile, 13.3 percent of new hospitalizations are ages 35 and younger.

Over at Saint Francis Health Systems, Dr. Mark Frost, senior vice president/medical affairs, said they currently have four children hospitalized with COVID. He said while they’re seeing the Delta variant infect more children, they’re not getting as sick as adults.

“So most of the children are diagnosed in the outpatient center and sent home with precautions," Dr. Frost said. "So it’s a small percentage of our hospitalized patients that are under the age of 18.”

The fair will be following COVID protocols such as disinfecting surfaces, installing sanitation stations, buildings will be sanitized with electromagnetic sprayers on a regular basis and workers will wear masks and gloves when appropriate or required.

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