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County health department reminds parents to safeguard unvaccinated children

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Monroe County health officials are again advising parents and guardians to take steps to both protect children and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The reminder comes after some providers complained that children with COVID-19 related symptoms are being dropped off to summer camps and programs.

Dr. Michael Mendoza, the county’s public health commissioner, said parents should exercise good judgment before their kids leave the home. 

“We know that keeping kids who are sick at home is one of the ways that we can prevent the spread of COVID,” Mendoza said. “We want to encourage the public to take those preventive measures now.”

The U.S Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve the vaccine for kids younger than 12. Mendoza said getting more adults vaccinated can help safeguard children.

“What we do know is the best way to protect kids who can't get the vaccine is to surround them with a bubble of vaccinated adults,” Mendoza said.

He said unvaccinated children should be wearing face masks in indoor public spaces and remaining socially distant as much as possible. He said these measures are to ensure that things don't get out of hand going into the school year.

Mendoza said a child who is experiencing a cough, runny nose, headache, or fever should see a health care provider.

Racquel Stephen is a health and environment reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Rochester and a master's degree in broadcasting and digital journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.