There are seven daycares with COVID-19 cases in the Ledge Light Health District’s jurisdiction, which includes East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Lyme, New London, North Stonington, Old Lyme, Stonington and Waterford.
“Some are isolated cases. There are a few small outbreaks, but two of them are significantly large outbreaks. Currently our largest daycare outbreak involves more than a dozen staff and children and those individuals are both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals,” Stephen Mansfield, the director of health at Ledge Light Health District, said.
Mansfield said this is minimal compared to the height of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, but it is still an uptick and it is an increase the health district is seeing across the area.
“We had more than 100 infections in the past two weeks, which is more than double the previous two weeks. So, we’re seeing an uptick and that should be a reminder that we’re not through this pandemic yet,” Mansfield said.
Parents of young children NBC Connecticut spoke with in New London said they are concerned.
Adriana Reyes, who lives in New London, has five children, ages 18, 15, 10, 4 and 1.
“The little one, she’s not quite 2, but I still put a mask on her as much as I can. Just try to make sure we wash our hands and stay away from crowded places. There’s not really much we can do. Just follow the guidelines we’re given,” she said.
Reyes said her older three children have been vaccinated, while Stefanie Skorvanek, another New London mother, said even if there were a vaccine for her 6-year-old she would not vaccinate her.
“I hear these people are getting the COVID even though they’ve gotten both rounds of the shots so it’s like I don’t know what they’re putting into the bodies, there’s just not enough behind it yet. You know what I mean, it’s too soon,” Skorvanek said.
Health experts stress that the vaccines are safe and Dr. John Schreiber, the chief of infectious disease at Connecticut Children’s Hospital, recommends children and adults, vaccinated or not, wear a mask indoors.
“They’re probably going to need to wear a mask. I know it’s not what people want to hear, but that would be a good protective mechanism because we know it worked last time. We’ve been through this once, we know it worked. I think if they’re too young to wear a mask you have to use your own judgement and decide if this is a risk situation,” Schreiber said.
Dr. Schreiber also said he saw the data for vaccinating kids 12 and older, he trusts the data and would recommend parents vaccinate their kids.
He also wants people to know that children can get very sick from COVID.
“The fact of the matter is kids do get very sick and some of them also develop this strange inflammatory disorder called MIS-C,” Schreiber said. “Arkansas Children’s Hospital, which is their big state children’s hospital, has a lot of kids who are in the hospital right now, more than they’re used to seeing and they’re very worried about it.”
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