Pediatricians Worried About Rise In COVID-19 Cases As Oklahoma Schools Start

Tuesday, August 17th 2021, 9:11 pm
By: Jordan Tidwell

TULSA, Oklahoma -

The state health department said 48 children are in the hospital in Oklahoma with COVID-19, which is about four percent of total hospitalizations. 

Some doctors said they are worried about the virus spreading once school starts. 

Local pediatrician Dr. Elizabeth Dunlap said she's seen more positive COVID-19 cases in kids the past few weeks than she has during the entire pandemic.

"I would say on average we are probably having five a day, that is a lot for an office my size,” Dunlap said.

Dr. Dunlap sees patients at Florence Park Pediatrics in Midtown and said there has been a rise in COVID cases among kids this summer. She said her clinic has been overwhelmed with patients and calls. 

"We went from seeing virtually no sick kids in the clinic, to seeing almost all sick kids, all day long," Dunlap said. 

Dunlap said it's important that kids wash their hands and see a doctor if they show any symptoms.

She said the best way to keep kids safe at school will be to wear masks. Since schools can't require it, Dunlap said it will have to be up to the parents. 

"What I tell all of my patients' parents is that you have to sort of instruct your own kids in what to do, and that is to reinforce mask wearing, your kid is not going to be the only kid wearing a mask," she said. 

Dunlap said most kids, if they do test positive, will likely be fine, but she's worried about kids infecting others, which could further strain our hospitals. 

"I think what is going to happen is that case numbers are going to go up tremendously and that is going to burden the resources that are already burdened," Dunlap said. 

To view districts in our area back to school plan, click here.