PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More tri-state school districts are implementing mask mandates in order to keep their students safe. The developments come as students return to school, and doctors say masking up is the only thing districts can do.
Delaware Gov. John Carney is the latest to announce universal masking for the school year, drawing a visceral response from parents this week. The reaction at an Abington Township school board meeting was mixed and fervent, with one parent calling a mask mandate “a generational crime.”READ MORE: FDA Authorizes Pfizer's COVID-19 Booster Shot For Americans Over 65, Those At High-Risk
CBS3 sat down with Dr. Ala Stanford of the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, who attended that meeting as a parent. She says the Delta variant makes masks necessary this school year.
“94,000 children were diagnosed just last week, we know that half of the kids that are hospitalized were vaccine eligible so they could have gotten a vaccine,” Stanford said.
Stanford, who is also a pediatric surgeon, is advocating for mask mandates due to the number of children that currently cannot be vaccinated.READ MORE: More Than 100 Penn State Students Temporarily Suspended After Missing Weeks Of COVID Tests
“Right now, the mask mandates or recommendations for schools are warranted. We are seeing an uptick with coronavirus across the united states,” she said.
Despite the masking guidelines becoming a divisive issue as in-person learning becomes the norm again, experts say parents should talk to their children about how to wear the masks. It’s also key for parents to set an example.
“As a family, you decide. My younger kids can’t get vaccinated, and I’m vaccinated, but I wear it for everyone. So everyone wears a mask, then the kids don’t feel so left out,” Stanford said.MORE NEWS: 3 Men Injured In Wynnefield Shooting, Police Say
Children over the age of 12 don’t need parental consent to get vaccinated in Philadelphia. Stanford said there are more kids getting vaccinated, but there are also more people coming in for testing.