Oklahoma schools see positive COVID-19 cases; health experts say it will likely continue, advise on safe practices

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Back-to-school is in full swing for some districts- and in the first week, there have been reports of confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.

Newcastle Public Schools announced Thursday that an elementary student tested positive.

The same day, the Oklahoma City-County Health Department sent out an advisory about possible COVID-19 exposure at schools in the county.

With many experts saying these cases are inevitable as kids head back to the classroom – what do parents, students and staff need to know to ease their minds?

While the start to the school year may be alarming to some – experts say this will probably keep happening.

“Let there be no doubt that kids can get this infection and we will likely see some outbreaks across the state,” said OU Chief COVID-19 Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler. 

“As we all know, it is definitely widespread and not surprising that this is happening already,” said Oklahoma City-County Health Department spokesperson LToya Knighten.
She also says parents should plan ahead for possible quarantine or school shutdowns.

“Begin now thinking of your plan b and plan c options if your child starts showing symptoms,” Knighten said. “It may not be COVID but it could possibly be.”

Parents also need to educate their kids on safe practices like the use of masks, hand-washing, social distancing and sharing personal items during the pandemic – even though those conversations can be hard.

“You know, there’s a lot of resources out there to try to help parents know the best way to communicate with their child about the pandemic and then ways their child can protect themselves,” said Knighten. 

Experts say mask ordinances have helped slow the spread – so it will be important for kids to as well.

“Don’t let your kids get on the bus without wearing a mask,” Bratzler said. 

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is reminding the public many COVID-19 cases are asymptomatic – so it’s important for kids and adults to practice preventative measures at home to stop the spread.

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