AdventHealth doctors offer guidance on COVID-19 as school year approaches

Delta variant, behavior could be leading to more cases, doctors say

Local doctors want parents to get their children vaccinated as COVID-19 cases increase.

APOPKA, Fla. – Thousands of Central Florida students will be heading back to school next month, which is why AdventHealth doctors are urging parents to get their kids, who are 12 and older, vaccinated before they go back to class.

Dr. Vincent Hsu, Executive Director of Infection Prevention and epidemiologist, said COVID-19 cases are going up again, but explained the majority of positive cases they are seeing are people who are unvaccinated.

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“There’s a couple of factors one could be behavioral as we are opening up more and more people are taking their masks off and not social distancing that could be a factor,” Hsu said, adding another factor is the rise in the delta variant cases.

As of July 12, only 59.69% of Orange County residents 12 years and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

And because not all children are eligible right now, doctors recommend they continue practicing safety measures against covid-19 in school.

“I know the different counties have come out with different recommendations about masking in the schools, I would still strongly suggest your children mask up in school because most children are symptom-free but could be carriers,” Dr. Michael Keating, Chief Medical Officer for AdventHealth for Children said.

This week, Orange County Public Schools voted on making masks optional for the upcoming school year.

Other Central Florida school districts like Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Flagler and Marion all have optional mask policies in place.

“If your child hasn’t been vaccinated and is eligible to get the vaccine - then please - really strongly consider - getting your child vaccinated that’s the best thing you can do to protect your child,” Hsu said.

For Orange County Public Schools vaccination events click or tap here.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!