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Parents react to CDC guideline recommending students mask up in schools

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that all students, teachers, staff and visitors wear a mask while attending school.

Officials at Hidalgo ISD are hoping that this will prompt Gov. Greg Abbott to reconsider his decision to prohibit school districts from requiring masks.

"We would like to have the flexibility to do what we have to do within our schools because truly we know what's best for our community and our kids,” Hidalgo ISD human resources Director Albert Guerra said. 

For some parents, the decision of whether or not to have their children wear a mask is an easy one.

"Since it's an enclosed space, I think it's better that he wears a mask so that he is protected because when you are inside the same air circulates and has nowhere else to go," Gabriella Cepeda said. 

Other parents say they’re not sure even a mask can help.

Jorge Martinez says his daughter will not be sending her children back to school.

"She doesn't go along with the idea because kids can't decide for themselves,” Martinez said. “They don't know what they are getting into. The Delta variant is very dangerous, it's the next one coming...The mask isn't going to hold this next virus coming. It will not."

Dr. Marissa Gomez-Martinez, a medical director at the Edinburg CISD School Based Health Center, says that the number of children coming into hospitals with COVID is rising

"Now we have several young adults and a lot of kids who have been hospitalized and even intubated, so some of them are critically ill,” Dr. Gomez-Martinez said. “This is not sparing anyone. This new variant has really taken over."

While the mask is not perfect, Dr. Gomez-Martinez says that some protection is still better than no protection.

"I would even encourage wearing a face shield because if we are going to have a lot of kids in one room it is very hard to keep their mask on and contain an infection, so the more barriers we can provide the better for our children," Dr. Gomez-Martinez said

Dr. Gomez-Martinez also suggests that parents start having their children practice wearing a mask at home for a few hours so they can start getting comfortable, and to get them vaccinated as soon as they qualify. 

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