Children will be a priority group at State Run testing sites

Children are being tested for COVID-19 ahead of the school year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — As children are gearing up to go back to school, state-run testing sites are now making children a priority group for testing.  

Starting Wednesday, sites at the Regency Square Mall and the Legends Center will begin testing children as a priority. 

Last month, 9-year-old Kimora Lynum died from coronavirus complications, the Putnam county girl is the youngest known coronavirus related death in the state of Florida.  

Content Continues Below

 Kimora’s death comes just a month before many local school districts plan to start school.  

Dr. Bethany Atkins, a pediatrician at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and President of NE FL Pediatrics Society, said more testing in children is needed.

“My concerns are similar to any parents concerns we know that when we put groups of people together there is going to be more transmission,” Dr. Atkins said.

Atkins predicts with school around the corner, expect to see a jump in infection numbers, but credits the school board with making thoughtful decisions and having backup plans in place.

“We are going to have increase in infections when we start putting more children together,” Atkins said.

A new study by JAMA found infected children have just as much coronavirus in their nose and throats as adults. Atkins said this does not necessarily mean they are passing the virus on at a higher rate.