EL PASO, Texas -- El Paso's top medical expert voiced concerns on Monday about a possible new source of Covid-19 cases.
Appearing before City Council, Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza made it clear that once distance learning in public schools comes to a close, the flow of kids into classrooms could trigger new infections.
More specifically, his concern is that once students go back, the city will see a jump in pediatric Covid cases, as well as overall cases.
"One thing I want to mention is that we will expect to see an increase in positives as school starts with in-person instruction," Dr. Ocaranza said. "Once we start the in-person instruction we will see an increase in the positive cases. But also we will see an increase on the pediatric population which is going to be below 20 years of age."
The doctor and his team intend to begin monitoring pediatric hospitalizations, noting that the medical community is still working to get a clearer picture of how the virus reacts around children.
Also, there is a specific reason why this could lead to even bigger problems in the Borderland.
"We know that our particular situation in El Paso is such that we have many multi-generational homes and we have a lot of the grandparents taking care of our children. Those are the ones where we are going to be sending messages to about being careful, and as soon as the children come back from school they need to practice good hygiene."
To better avoid the possibility of a spike in cases, the doctor is urging those multi-generational households to keep a strict system that emphasizes returning students thoroughly wash their hands before touching anything else in the house.