Clovis Unified parents given option to fill out forms for children regarding masks

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The continued spread of the Delta variant has local health officials very concerned.

It comes at the same time many students are ready to go back to school.

Even though younger people were keying the latest surge, some Clovis Unified students may be able to go "mask-free" this fall.

Fresno County's health officer Dr. Rais Vohra said we are entering another COVID surge that will likely last into September.

Data revealed a rising infection rate among younger people up to the age of 19.

Health Division Manager Joe Prado explained, "What we don't like to see in any graph is any start turns upward and that's what we're seeing with the 10-19."

Prado added the number of emergency room visits by people 18 and under has steadily increased since May.

He said, "This is concerning because the under 18 population, they're not all eligible to be vaccinated."

Only kids 12 and older can be vaccinated.

Many kids will soon be returning to school, where students and staff will be required by the state to wear masks indoors.

But the Clovis Unified board agreed to give parents the option of filling out a form to have their child exempt from wearing a face covering due to physical or mental health concerns. Those forms must be returned by August 6 so they're on file before school starts.

Trustees discussed the issue during Thursday night's board meeting. "A parent will be able to know for certain whether or not their child is exempt from wearing a mask starting day one. Correct. And the staff at the school will now as well."

Because of the infection trends, Dr. Vohra worried we may see a rise in COVID case counts among young people when schools reopen.
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