Parents share optimism, concern around Covid ahead of school year at health fair

NOW: Parents share optimism, concern around Covid ahead of school year at health fair

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Students and parents are looking forward to the start of another school year, but the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is a cause for concern for some.

"I hope that everybody stays safe, be masked up and enjoy the school year," Lexus Mitchell, a parent of two students, told CBS 58.

"A little bit of nervousness because of the Covid and stuff like that, but otherwise it's pretty good," Jessica Medina, another parent, said when asked about how she felt about the upcoming school year.

The City of Milwaukee Health Department is aiming to help ease those concerns and inform families with back-to-school health fairs. Parents and students can get free backpacks and masks as well as COVID-19 vaccines and other immunization shots, something affected by the pandemic.

"Within the pandemic there was some slide back in terms of keeping up with childhood immunizations," Nick Tomaro, the health department's preparedness coordinator, said in an interview.

City health leaders hope boosting the community's vaccination rate and the use of masks in schools can keep kids safe and in the classroom.

"When you look at a population like children who still are susceptible to getting this infection and can become ill with it, we have to be vigilant and we have to use masks," Tomaro said.

"The vaccine is effective and we really need people to take it to protect our most vulnerable," Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said.

More information on childhood immunizations and COVID-19 vaccines provided by the city health department can be found at:

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