More students get tested for COVID-19 in St. Johns County

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Testing sites across St. John’s County are seeing an increase in one group of patients.

Action News Jax spoke to parents about why they are bringing their kids in to get tested at higher numbers than ever before.

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“To get a COVID test for her. after an exposure at school.”

Parents say they’re bringing their kids to get tested for two reasons. Some parents, like Joseph Beavers, brought their kids in after getting reports of exposures.

“We got an email from school from the department of health- and it was actually five days late. So she was supposed to be on day five of quarantine by the time we got the email,” Beavers says.

Others, like Rita Eriksen, came in when their kids started displaying symptoms.

“He’s had a little bit of congestion and a cough the last couple of days that I’ve been treating but i just didn’t wanna take any more chances.”

Workers at this testing site in St. Johns County tell me they have seen far more parents bringing kids in to get tested this week. The last two days they saw an average of 1050 patients, over 120 an hour.

“In addition to the delta variant being more transmissible, it’s leading to more positive tests and more kids are getting sick and those kids, even if they’re not sick are carriers,” Beavers said.

Infectious disease specialist Mohammed Reza works for the Mayo Clinic. He says there’s a reason kids are getting sick.

“People are doing everything at a school setting compared to what they variant there was initially which is far less contagious and as a parent I have less choices for my kids now than I had with the less contagious.… that absolutely makes no sense.”

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Joseph Beavers agreed.

“In schools they’re actually using less precautions because they’re not mandating masks, they’re not having any kind of dividers or social distancing as far as i know, so they are taking fewer precautions overall.”

Guardians are worried their child could be picking COVID-19 up at school and bringing it home.

“I’m just concerned because if he gets it he stays with us about five days a week during the school week and I’m afraid I’ll get it.”

Today, parents are asking each other to get their child checked out.

“If your child is sick or you are sick, seek medical attention, just got checked out,” Beavers said.