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HomeHealthHead of pediatrician org in Mississippi urges schools to keep mask mandates

Head of pediatrician org in Mississippi urges schools to keep mask mandates

The Mississippi chapter president for a pediatricians’ organization is pressing schools to keep their mask mandates in place, saying “Now is not the time to let our guard down.”

“Many school boards in Mississippi are removing mask requirements. Kids under 12 cannot be vaccinated and only about 30% of all 12-17 year-olds in Mississippi are fully vaccinated. Now is not the time to let our guard down. We must do all we can to #PutKidsFirst #VaxUpMS,” Anita Henderson, president of the Mississippi chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, tweeted on Wednesday.

Many school boards in Mississippi are removing mask requirements. Kids under 12 cannot be vaccinated and only about 30% of all 12-17 year-olds in Mississippi are fully vaccinated. Now is not the time to let our guard down. We must do all we can to #PutKidsFirst #VaxUpMS https://t.co/fozBRYlwky

— Anita Henderson MD, FAAP (@babydocAnita) September 29, 2021

Henderson followed up with a similar plea again on Friday, saying that six children have died in the state since July 25.

“Schools are now lifting mask requirements and @childrensofms is full of very sick kids with myocarditis, acute COVID, MISC and more. @MSAAP1 is pleading with schools to continue masking to protect our children #PutKidsFirst,” Henderson tweeted.

6 children in Mississippi have died since July 25th Schools are now lifting mask requirements and @childrensofms is full of very sick kids with myocarditis, acute COVID, MISC and more. @MSAAP1 is pleading with schools to continue masking to protect our children #PutKidsFirst https://t.co/JCZKiEcsdn

— Anita Henderson MD, FAAP (@babydocAnita) October 1, 2021

The comments come as several school districts and school boards have done away with mask mandates, The Associated Press reported. Ocean Springs School Board, a school district that encompasses close to 6,000 students, earlier this week voted to get rid of its mask mandate given that hospitalizations in the state clocked under 925 for a straight week, noting this was met on Sept. 24.

In Madison County School District, which serves around 13,000 students, masks became optional starting on Sept. 24, though the facial coverings are still required on buses, the AP noted. 

COVID-19 cases have largely started to trend downward in the state. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state reported over 800 cases on Thursday and over 1,000 the day prior. In August, the state at one point saw over 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, in comparison.

However, the state has seen a handful of pediatric COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic; according to state data, nine children aged up to 17 years old have died from COVID-19 between Jan. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30. 

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