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Parents concerned as COVID-19 cases increase and start of school nears

St. Landry classroom
Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 19:10:48-04

Coronavirus hospitalizations hit an all-time high Wednesday, increasing by 135 patients from Tuesday's record. Cases are on the rise in every age group, and with the start of school just days away, some parents are concerned.

Two St. Landry Parish parents we spoke with say they're happy masks will be mandated, but fear vaccination rates will impact in-person learning.

"We need that and we don't want our babies gone before us," said parent Latasha Benson.

Benson, a mother of two, is concerned because her children aren't old enough to be vaccinated yet.

"In the event that they were, they would get their shots and still wear their masks because it's very important. It's better safe than sorry."

Some parents like Tasha Iford, who had both of her children vaccinated, worry the school district may not do enough.

"She's afraid. I'm just wondering how they're going to social distance that many kids," she said. "I'm just wondering how do they have the staff ... because before they had the groups. This year everyone is going back to school."

She's trusting school officials to protect the students.

"We have wise school board members so I'm sure they'll make the right decisions. I have confidence in them."

Board members will meet Thursday evening to finalize back to school plans.

We also checked with other districts in Acadiana to find out what their back to school plans will look like. Lafayette, Iberia, Vermilion, Calcasieu, Acadia, Evangeline, and St. Martin Parishes say they will comply with the statewide mask mandate set forth by Gov. Edwards.

Discussions in Jeff Davis and St. Mary Parishes continue to modify their back to school plans.

Read more here.

On Wednesday, Governor Edwards took part in a town hall discussion on COVID-19. One question raised was whether he would consider pushing back the start date for schools in Louisiana.

He stated that right now, the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics says that students can attend school in person with proper COVID mitigation. That includes vaccination for those eligible and masks for those attending.

Edwards says that data shows children do better while in school as apposed to virtual learning or pushing back start dates. Not having children in schools put stresses on parents who can't leave their children at home.

See more from the town hall here
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