Stanislaus County reports spike in COVID cases among kids as students get back to the classroom

Local News

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) —Thousands of Stanislaus County students are back in school and public health officials said they’re seeing an increase in the number of kids 17 and younger testing positive for COVID-19. 

School was out for the day and parents were waiting in the pickup line outside Joseph A. Gregori High School Monday.

“I’m very happy that they’re back in school,” said Sherri Smith.

But Smith said her 12 and 14-year-old sons were already exposed to COVID-19 just weeks after school started. 

“I had to leave him out of school and get him tested because he was exposed,” she told FOX40. “I also have a 14-year-old here, he was exposed but he has his vaccination, and so he’s fine.”

Stanislaus County is reporting a sharp increase in positive COVID-19 cases in children 17 and under.

The county says the case rate among kids is rising at the same rate as adults — numbers they have yet to see during the pandemic.

“It’s different day-to-day, on average we’ve seen about 45 children testing positive a day,” said Stanislaus County Public Health spokeswoman Elizabeth McCuistion.

According to Modesto City Schools, the largest district in the county, all schools are open despite the recent positive cases, although two classes have had to be quarantined.

“Public health is encouraging the other mitigation practices like hand washing and social distancing, staying home when sick to slow the spread,” McCuistion said.

Some parents at Gregori told FOX40 while the rising COVID-19 infection rate in kids is concerning, it hasn’t made them rethink sending their kids back to class. 

“Moving forward, I’m going to get my 12-year-old vaccinated so we don’t miss any more school days,” Smith said. 

“I do feel confident. She has her shots and she’s still very vigilant with wearing the mask, so I trust her with herself and what she’s doing here in school to stay safe,” said Louie, a Gregori High School parent.

After a year of distance learning, both parents were keeping their fingers crossed students can remain on campus. 

“As long as they let them stay in school, I’m good with it,” Louie said.

“I hope, I hope, if there’s enough kids vaccinated, I hope,” Smith said.

Stanislaus County’s Health Services Agency is still pushing parents to vaccinate their kids 12 and older to slow the spread in schools.

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