Some parents pull children from classes during COVID-19 surge


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Health experts say a growing number of children are catching COVID-19 … creating massive headaches for parents, teachers and administrators as we resume in-class instruction. Some local parents say they’re scared to send their children to class. This comes as the state says over 300 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Kern County. Cynthia Munoz has a 9-year-old son. She says she remembers the first time the Bakersfield City School District told her a student in his school got sick.

“It stresses me out. I can’t afford to get sick, I can’t afford for my son to get sick,” said Munoz. “I’m a breast cancer patient. I went through intravenous chemo two years ago, and I’m on oral chemo for the next 8 years.”

She says she doesn’t feel safe sending her son to school.

“I’ve left numerous messages with student services at BCSD and I haven’t heard back,” said Munoz. “Because I want my son to be at home and virtual.”

She’s not alone. Isabel Moreno has a child in seventh grade.

“In February, I lost my sister due to COVID,” said Moreno. “So I feel more safe with him being home, instead of being at school and bringing it home.”

Meanwhile local hospitals say this surge of the virus is making more young people sick.

“Kids may not get as sick as adults, but they do bring it home and then we just continue to spread,” said Terri Church, Chief Nursing Officer at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.

This comes as health experts scramble to treat a flood of coronavirus patients, as hospitalizations threaten to break January’s record. Doctors say getting vaccinated can help you and your family stay safe.

“One thing that we definitely are hearing from our patients is ‘wow I was an anti-vaxxer, I wish I got the vaccine,'” said Church. “98 percent of our patients, we could have prevented them from being hospitalized.”

The Kern High School District says it tells the public health department whenever a student catches the coronavirus. But each district appears to have its own set of rules, and none of Bakersfield’s largest school districts have released how many of their students have tested positive for the virus.

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