An AHN doctor said one way to protect kids too young to be vaccinated is by getting everyone else around them vaccinated.By Nicole Ford

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) – COVID-19 is back in the headlines and case numbers are continuing to rise across our area. It’s now impacting schools as whole classrooms are heading into quarantine.

“In June, 67 reported cases were in children 12 and younger. In July, that number increased to 157 and in August there were 773 cases in this age group,” said Allegheny County Health Director Dr. Debra Bogen.

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Those numbers have parents on edge. One asked KDKA how kids are supposed to be protected if they can’t get vaccinated. It’s a question we took to the experts.

“My recommendation is: do what you can to protect the family, not so much the child. That everyone in your house who can be vaccinated is vaccinated and everyone your child comes into contact with that can be vaccinated is vaccinated,” said Dr. Joseph Araci with Allegheny Health Network.

Dr. Araci said it’s likely these numbers will drop as kids get used to being around other kids again.

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“As it continues to circulate and more of the population gets vaccinated or natural immunity from having the virus, we will see less of these outbreaks or less severe outbreaks,” Dr. Araci said.

As parents and schools deal with the outbreaks now, some activities are being impacted. We’ve seen football games canceled already this season, but athletic directors KDKA spoke to believe as long as kids keep their masks on in school this season looks to be better than last.

“It looks like for COVID for us, we are coming close to peak. We are having a little bit of an increase with schools opening over the next few weeks but it should come down rapidly,” Dr. Araci said.

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Dr. Araci went on to say while masking is mandatory in schools and important, it’s not the only protection measure for districts. He said more are still practicing social distancing and quarantining to help protect the kids.