OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) – COVID-19 numbers are rising across the country, but also among children and those under the age of 19.
As of Tuesday, that age group accounts for as much as one fifth of new Coronavirus cases in states that release data by age.
In Ohio County, Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble said while they are seeing a rise in cases among that age group, it not as much as other groups. He explained there are larger increases in the 20 to 30 and 60 and over age groups.
With school just around the corner, the health department released its recommendations to the Ohio County Board of Education. Part of those include mandatory masks for teachers and staff, but not for children.
The Idea is you’re protecting and getting people vaccinated around the child. Now, we all know when the the kids are finished at 2:30 or 3:00 or 3:30, they are going to go somewhere else. School, extra-curricular, church, they are going to go to the gym and there is no statewide mask mandate.Howard Gamble, Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Administrator
Gamble said masks are a relatively small part of the recommendation. He believes the main focus should be on vaccinations for students ages 12 and older. He also added the importance of following proper quarantine procedures and frequent testing.
The Ohio County Board of Education is expected to release their final policy by August 23.