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As New School Year Approaches, Delta Variant Causing COVID-19 Concerns To Rise In Oklahoma

The Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread, and health experts say the new variant is more transmissible. With the new school year starting next month, at least one Oklahoma doctor is worried.

Dr. Hal Scofield with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation says the Delta variant of the virus is more transmissible among children. He says younger individuals were not the main concern with the original strain of the virus, but now that’s changing with the Delta variant.

"[It] looks like it’s much more likely to infect and be transmitted by children," Scofield said.

With school just around the corner, Schofield said the number of those infected could dramatically increase.

"It makes me worried about schools starting in the fall when no one under 12 has been vaccinated yet and the vaccination uptake between 12 to 16-year-olds is still low," Schofield said. "You’re going to have a lot of potential to have people out there infected with this variant, [with] no mask on, spreading it around in school."

Health officials are urging younger individuals to get vaccinated ahead of school starting. The Oklahoma State Department of Health reports only about three percent of children ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated.

Nyk has worked in radio since 2011 serving as a board operator, on-air announcer and production director for commercial radio stations in Iowa. Originally from the Quad Cities area, Nyk joined KGOU in 2018 as a practicum student studying Creative Media Production at OU. Upon graduating the following year, he became part of KGOU’s staff and is now the local Morning Edition host. When not on the air, Nyk likes to read, listen to music and follow news about the radio industry.
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