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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “I think I’ve said before, I felt like school outbreaks were pretty much inevitable,” said OU’s Chief COVID-19 Officer, Dr. Dale Bratzler.

That’s what our state’s COVID-19 numbers show.

From Aug. 22-28, the age groups 5-11 years old and 12-17 years old made up 24 percent of our new cases.

“The Delta variant is real, it is a real true emergency, one that is very different than the native COVID we experienced last year,” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

Dr. Bratzler says the numbers aren’t surprising, but that doesn’t make them any less concerning.

“Even if you look at the 12 to the 17-year-old that are eligible to get vaccinated, only about 1 in 5 have done so,” he said. “Sadly, because we don’t do a good enough job of doing mitigation to stop the spread, some kids, some adults are going to end up in the hospital, and we’re going to continue to see some deaths in Oklahoma.”

Photo goes with story
Metro students heading out of the classroom.

Another factor at play, those under 12 are not eligible for the vaccine.

Dr. Bratzler says a lot of these infections are household contacts.

“If you have children that are not eligible for vaccination in your home, make sure that everybody else around them is vaccinated,” he said.

Hofmeister says the number of children hospitalized has ranged anywhere from 40-65 since schools reopened.

“This is far too many. I would hope to think that there is no number that is acceptable,” she said.

The solution?

Both Bratzler and Hofmeister say get vaccinated.

“We do know how to drop this risk, and we are not yet doing enough in Oklahoma to do that,” said Hofmeister.

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