“Let me clarify the masking message that I garbled on @NewDay this morning. Vaccinated parents who live in communities with high COVID transmission rates should mask when out in public indoor settings to minimize risks to their unvaccinated kids. No need to mask at home,” he wrote on Twitter later on Tuesday.
The head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggested Tuesday that parents should wear masks while at home around children even if they don’t have COVID-19.
“It’s clear that this variant is capable of causing serious illness in children. You heard those stories coming out of Louisiana pediatric ICUs, where there are kids as young as a few months old who are sick from this,” Dr. Francis Collins said during a CNN interview, although he admitted that such cases “[are] rare.”
But he added that “anyone who tries to tell you, ‘ah you don’t have to worry about it if you are a young, healthy person,’ there’s many counterexamples.”
“That’s the reason why the recommendations are, for kids under 12, that they avoid being in places where they might get infected, which means recommendations of mask-wearing in schools and at home,” Collins said. “Parents of unvaccinated kids should be thoughtful about this and the recommendation is to wear masks there as well. I know that’s uncomfortable. I know it seems weird, but it is the best way to protect your kids.”
So far, about 400 children under the age of 18 have died with COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
While “studies have consistently shown that children, adolescents, and young adults are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infections,” the agency also said, “children and adolescents have had lower incidence and fewer severe COVID-19 outcomes than adults.”
COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2 or the novel coronavirus.
A number of studies, separately, have also shown that children are at an extremely low risk of suffering severe health problems or dying from COVID-19.
A study from July obtained by the Wall Street Journal suggested that a child’s odds of surviving a COVID-19 infection is about 99.995 percent. It also noted there is no evidence yet that the Delta COVID-19 variant causes more deaths or severe illnesses among children.
Last week, the CDC issued an update to its guidance around mask-wearing, saying that vaccinated individuals should wear face coverings in high-transmission areas. The agency also is now recommending that children, staff, and teachers wear masks in public schools regardless of vaccination status.
“If your child is younger than 2 years or cannot wear a mask, limit visits with people who are not vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown and keep distance between your child and other people in public,” the agency says in its recent revision.
The CDC, however, does not recommend that people wear masks at home unless they are sick.