ST. LOUIS– As thousands of school children prepare to head back to class, the St. Louis County Health Department said there is substantial transmission of the Delta variant among children.
Health officials say the spread of the Delta variant among children is at a rate the area did not see last year with the Alpha variant of COVID.
Of all new positive COVID cases, 20% of them are St. Louis County residents age 18 and under.
In St. Louis County, 47% of St. Louis County residents have initiated vaccination. When it comes to those ages 12-19 in the county, 42.9% of them are vaccinated.
County health officials say that is concerning as children prepare to head back to class.
“We do expect an increase in school-related cases. We will see additional outbreaks with the sheer volume of kids going back to school,” said Spring Schmidt, Deputy Director of St. Louis County Public Health Department.
County officials say they have been having conversations with school leaders about how to mitigate the spread. Officials stress that low COVID cases among children keep children in school and parents at work.
Schmidt says it is important to have a conversation about how children and adults eligible for the vaccine get the shot to keep the school environment as safe as possible.
The health department says there is 238 daily COVID case on average and that puts the county at a high rate of transmission.
Schmidt also wanted to clear up what she says is misinformation on COVID. She says people who are vaccinated are three times less likely to catch COVID if you are vaccinated. She also said you are 10 times less likely to get severely ill, be hospitalized, or die if you are vaccinated.