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Pittsburgh doctors weigh in on safety of kids returning to the classroom as COVID-19 cases surge

PITTSBURGH — As the number of COVID-19 cases rises in Pittsburgh, doctors at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh are saying students can safely return to the classroom, with proper mitigation efforts.

>> RELATED HEADLINE: More kids diagnosed with COVID-19 in first 11 days of August than all of July in Allegheny Co

COVID-19 hospitalizations have slightly increased; however, the number of kids admitted to Children’s is in the single digits, doctors told our news partners at

Dr. Andrew Nowalk said pediatric COVID-19 is typically less severe than adults and most of the cases involved the unvaccinated, according to

Nowalk said a return to the classroom is essential and regardless of students’ vaccination status, masks should be worn.

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The Allegheny County Health Department is encouraging adults to get the shot for the sake of kids. They reported 44 new cases in children under age 13; that is more than the 65 and older group.

The numbers are up from July to August with 67 kids under age 4 testing positive.

More than 120 kids between ages 5 and 12 tested positive.

The message from health officials is if your kids are eligible to get the shot, make sure they get it.