“Optional” masks in schools causing some room for concern

Coronavirus

LAFAYETTE, La — (KLFY)- Local school systems are making masks optional as the state-wide mandate was lifted.

Double board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics, Dr. Britni Hebert says Acadiana should proceed with caution.

“By no calculations should Lafayette have herd immunity. We have not vaccinated enough people or infected. There will be room for COVID to put a strain on medical resources,” Hebert explains.

K-12 schools are allowed to opt-out of the mask mandate as long as they continue to follow the existing quarantine guidelines and mitigation rules set by the CDC.

Dr. Hebert explains why the removal of masks could put the most vulnerable population at the highest risk.

“That group we are about to allow to mingle, they don’t have the option for the vaccine,” adds Hebert.

Louisiana is seeing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations at their lowest levels since the pandemic began despite 5 to 11 year-olds not yet eligible for a vaccine.

Dr. Hebert continues, “Long COVID is happening to children.”

As we approach colder months, Dr. Hebert tells News Ten she ideally would have liked a “trade out”, a mask for a vaccine.

Dr. Hebert says, “As we see a winter rise in COVID, with that comes exposure. There will be a lot more exposure because of no masks.”

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