To the Editor:
In studying the COVID-19 data from the Oregon Health Authority, I found that one statistic stands out.
Grant County has by far the highest rate of infections among residents below the age of 18, around 13%. Only Jefferson County comes close, at around 9%.
Of the 131 child infections recorded through August 21, only 24 were from last spring’s school outbreaks. How are kids getting infected?
This problem goes beyond our by-now familiar controversies over masks and vaccines (although I feel these are necessary). Lake, Malheur and Harney counties have lower rates of vaccination than Grant County, but all three have less than half our rate of child infections.
I hope that the Grant County Court and the school districts will consult with public health authorities and seek ways to keep children safe from the virus, which in its current delta variant form is causing many more hospitalizations among children and young adults.