Tulsa Doctor Sharing Data To Help Track Spread Of COVID-19

Sunday, August 23rd 2020, 9:46 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero

TULSA, Okla. -

A Tulsa doctor suggests children are potentially more infectious than adults in spreading COVID-19.

Although the research is in its early stages, My Health CEO Dr. David Kenrick said parents should take this information seriously, especially if their kids are going back to school.

"COVID-19 is in the community, and I think the issue is, if we don’t educate everyone that a child can be just as infectious as an adult can, as in the study, and may not have symptoms showing it, we should be encouraged to have mask policy extend to children," Dr. Kendrick said.

My Health is a private company that compiles medical data, particularly COVID-19 trends such as finding outbreaks in nursing homes and school districts.

Dr. Kendrick is also a faculty member at OU-Tulsa with a master's degree in public health.

Dr. Kendrick said he hopes to relieve back to school fears with facts.

"There is no silver bullet, one-time answer," Dr. Kendrick said. “You follow the data. You see what's happening today, and you look at yesterday, and the day before to decide if you need to change course. That's the most important thing about the schools’ policies is that they're evaluating things all the time.”

Owasso mother Aubrey Lakey said her son and daughter are learning at home this school year.

"My son has had his respiratory issues in the past,” Lakey said. “It just didn't make sense risking putting them back into a situation that could potentially be harmful for him or that my daughter could bring that home to him also.”

Dr. Kendrick cited the study by JAMA Pediatrics that suggested kids are even more infectious than adults.

The study observed approximately 200 children at Boston Children's Hospital. Most of those children were tested to have the virus in their nasal pathways. However, Dr. Kendrick encouraged learning in person due to developmental needs but said schools need to have safety measures in place. 

"Returning to school without a masking policy is something that would be less wise now giving this advice," Dr. Kendrick said.

Dr. Kendrick said the data and the JAMA Pediatrics study doesn't pertain to everyone.

Lakey said she’s grateful her kids have the option to learn virtually. She advises other families to stay informed.

"The more you know, the more education you have on making decisions for yourself and for your family and those around you," Lakey said. 

A link to the research can be found here.