Local doctors warn of COVID risks as students return to the classroom

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With the Bay District Schools beginning on Aug. 10, medical officials are wary of a COVID-19 spike.

PANAMA CITY, FLA. (WMBB) — COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout Bay County. According to the Florida Department of Health, 1,615 people tested positive between July 30 – August 5.

That averaged out to about 230 new cases a day.

The data released on Friday also shows 46 percent of Bay County’s population is vaccinated, which is a 2% increase from last week’s data. 

With children returning to Bay District Schools on Tuesday, local doctors are concerned that the school year could create another COVID spike. Medical officials are warning that parents should keep children with symptoms at home.

“Right now any symptom could be a symptom of COVID-19,” Pediatrician Rubina Azam said. “So if you are sick, if you have abdominal pain, if you’re nauseous, if you have diarrhea, if you have a fever, if you have a headache, it’s COVID-19 until proven otherwise.” 

Besides wearing a mask at school, Azam is urging parents to vaccinate their children if they are 12 years old or older. Currently, Azam said almost every other kid that walks into her office is positive with COVID-19.

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