Kentucky mom asks for mask mandate in daycares as COVID-19 cases in children spike

Published: Aug. 7, 2021 at 2:01 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A growing number of children are getting COVID-19. Health experts say data shows the Delta variant is more contagious, and children are a big target.

The concern comes as families prepare to send their kids back to school or childcare five days per week. Estill County mother Rachel Godby said she’s begging her children’s daycare center to require masks as the virus continuing to spread.

Her oldest, 15-year-old Caiden, is vaccinated. The rest of her children are too young to get the shot. Godby said she’s sent emails to her children’s daycare center, asking them to reconsider making masks a requirement for employees.

“My children enjoy daycare, they like to go, they have a great time there and learn a lot of things so, you kind of don’t want to interrupt their routine a whole lot,” Godby said.

The working mom said she couldn’t go through more quarantines. She said, as a nurse practitioner and a working mother, she’s worried history will repeat itself. Dr. Scottie B. Day, Physician in Chief at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, said if schools and centers don’t follow proper protocols and vaccination doesn’t increase, it will.

“There will be so many people out with the virus that they’ll have to cancel,” he said.

He said the Delta variant is making children very sick. He said hospitalization records are being broken.

“Their respiratory symptoms are pretty significant. We have children that have been on a ventilator for it,” he said.

Godby said it’s these stories that scare her.

“These are healthy kids that are getting sick. They don’t have a way to protect themselves, especially my youngest, he can’t even mask, so I think when you’re looking at that and seeing hospitals are filling up, seeing that children are having to travel over 100 miles to get treatment because there’s nowhere for them to go, it’s really concerning,” she said.

It’s not just Godby who’s concerned about hospital capacity.

“Now all of these children’s hospitals across the country that had been able to help out on the adult side, now we’re full of children that are sick,” Dr. Day said.

He said COVID-19 and other viral infections are spreading amongst children.

Godby said she wants more protection for her kids. She said knowing everyone is masked would give her more peace of mind.

Godby said she wants Governor Andy Beshear to make formal recommendations for wearing masks at daycare. Beshear has said he recommends masks are worn inside the centers.

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