Back-to-school and COVID: bringing the risk home

Children ready to go back to school during Covid-19

Recently, Sunaina Suhag, MD, Pediatrician at ARC East 7th, in an interview with KXAN, addressed what to expect as kids head back to school. "We know more kids are getting COVID-19 because it's twice as contagious with the new Delta variant," said Dr. Suhag. "In terms of the severity of disease, the portion of those kids who are getting severely ill is still the same, but that number is higher, because more kids are sick."

David C. Gray, MD, Internal Medicine at ARC Pflugerville, in an interview with KVUE, discussed how kids going back to school affected older members of a household with school-age children, saying, "Children can bring COVID-19 home to the family, and the hardest place to prevent it has been in the family, in my experience."

Dr. Gray continued, saying "The transmission of the virus can still happen, especially with some of the variants, even with vaccination. Especially with the Delta type we're seeing.

What to watch for

For kids under 12, symptoms could vary. Dr. Suhag says, "I'm still seeing milder cough congestion symptoms, watery eyes, scratchy throat, that kind of thing, but there are always cases that can fall into that 2% that tend to be more significant." In older patients, Dr. Gray says, "This virus has a complicated presentation, but the most characteristic symptom is the loss of smell and taste." But he points out that vaccinated patients can come in with anything, and some who have no symptoms can have the virus.

What can people do to protect themselves if they have kids that are going back to school?

"First, vaccinate. Second, wear a mask. Be cautious with people you don't know who could be infected," advises Dr. Gray.

Make an appointment today

Vaccination appointments are available at ARC for anyone over the age of 12. Scheduling info at

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Suhag, call ARC East 7th at 737-910-6700, or do so online at If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Gray, call ARC Pflugerville at 512-989-2680, or do so online at

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