NewsLocal NewsCoronavirus


Treasure Coast pediatrician recommends schools reinstate mask mandate

Masks currently optional in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River County schools
Children wear masks during in-person learning
Posted at 8:45 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 00:06:33-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A pediatrician is recommending school districts on the Treasure Coast reinstate a mask mandate.

The guidance comes from the CDC, which now advocates anyone inside of a school to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

MORE: New CDC recommendation causes stir at St. Lucie County schools meeting

"We have always been pro mask, wear the mask. Even when I see it under the chin, I try to tell them, 'Put your mask on,'" said Ayanah Alexander, mother of two.

Alexander said her 12-year-old daughter is vaccinated, but the recent spike in coronavirus cases is concerning.

"This spike is kind of scary," Alexander said. "Because we all kind of probably let our guards down, and now we have a new variant, and now the numbers are going back up, so it's even more scarier."

Masks are currently optional in all three of the Treasure Coast's school districts.

"I do recommend that the school district mandate or reinstate the mask mandate for people two years and up," said Dr. Emily Sou, a pediatrician at St. Lucie Medical Center.

Sou said children can spread the virus just as easily as adults.

"I just also recommend that everyone get their regular preventative vaccines," Sou said. "Because you don't want to be caught with two major illnesses. For example, you don't want to have measles and then catch COVID on top of that."

The Department of Health in Martin County is offering free school immunizations and the COVID-19 vaccine at an outreach event on Aug. 7.

Students who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine if exposed, as long as they remain symptom-free.

"We have quarantined once, and it was a very long -- 14 days," Alexander said.