City leaders support sending kids back to school - FOX34 Lubbock

City leaders support sending kids back to school

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

According to the health department, the number of COVID-19 cases reported has leveled off over the past few weeks, but with school about to start there is some concern that the progress made will be lost.

"Our children need to be back in school and we have developed all sorts of plans," Public Health Authority Dr. Ron Cook said. "We're all a bit nervous about it and I do expect our numbers to increase, but if we do our part and continue to social distance and wear our facial coverings in schools, we'll be able to slow this virus."

Mayor Dan Pope echoed these thoughts, adding that schools reopening is vital for working parents. 

"In Lubbock County, if you look at our big school districts at least 7 out of 10 of our parents have said that they want to send their kids back to school live," Pope said. "I think that's good, I think it's good for the social and mental development of our kids."

A difficult task however, will be separating true COVID-19 symptoms from ones they typically see in young children. 

"The important thing here is to make sure you go get your flu vaccine and then we can say well you got your flu vaccine, it's most likely not related to the flu, it may be COVID-19," Dr. Cook said. "So that's how we would sort of work through our differential on which disease or virus that you have." 

If a student lives with a person vulnerable or high risk for COVID-19, Cook encouraged taking extra precautions after school or opting for the distanced learning option.

"As soon as your child gets home from school, wash them up really well, scrub them down and perhaps change their clothes," he said.

Mayor Pope said schools are prepared to adapt to the positive cases that could occur. But he also understands people not feeling comfortable sending their kids back yet. 

"That online school option is available and I think it will be effective," Pope said. "I'm proud of the way our districts have responded."

A concern of college students reuniting is house parties. 

"We're not out driving streets looking for those," Pope explained. "But we do expect that we would get phone calls to LPD and we'll respond to those." 

Lubbock schools are set to start the week of the 17th. Texas Tech and LCU will start a week later.

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