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Doctors say most coronavirus cases among school-age kids are treatable

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    Pittsburgh, PA (KDKA) — It seems like every week that we’re hearing about coronavirus cases among students and teachers in various school districts.

Statistics from the Pennsylvania Department of Health fluctuate between 5- to 18-year-olds. However, doctors with UPMC said do not be alarmed.

Doctors said while transmission of the virus is happening among those 5-18 years old, most of those cases aren’t difficult to treat. Doctors say kids should be focused on wearing a mask, social distancing, and getting tested if they have symptoms.

“It’s to be expected because transmission is happening,” said Dr. Graham Snyder with UPMC.

Doctors with UPMC said it’s not surprising that coronavirus case numbers went up in school-age kids once they returned to class. The stats from the Pennsylvania Department of Health showed that in the beginning.

In the first week of September, the state saw more than 380 coronavirus cases among those 5-18 years old, but that number nearly doubled the second week of the month to more than 750. The most recent numbers show that cases in that age range slightly dropped to more than 620.

However, doctors said case numbers in our school-age kids will likely ebb and flow.

“I think the same measures we talk about for everyone — distancing, masking when it can be done, hygiene, not having your child interact with others when they’re sick — those still make a lot of sense and that’s what I’d be focusing on,” said Dr. Donald Yealy with UPMC.

Most recently, we’ve seen two cases pop up in the Ringgold School District and before that, two at Gateway High School. The North Hills School District is all too familiar with the coronavirus as well. The district has had a total of five cases so far: two teachers and three students.

“With the health and safety protocols, and wearing a mask at all times, six feet distance between students and staff, we have directional signage, one-way hallways … everything that we have put in place is really going to help keep under control,” said North Hills School District Communications Director Heather Pelat.

North Hills School District said it is inevitable that there will be more cases the longer students are in school. That is why the district is reinforcing that wearing masks and social distancing is the best method for preventing the spread of coronavirus.

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