LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock County Medical Society (LCMS) on Thursday presented a letter to the Lubbock ISD school board, recommending “universal masking in the schools, regardless of vaccination status.”
LCMS said within 30 days of the start of the school year, Lubbock ISD will have 50 estimated cases of COVID-19 that require hospitalization and 17 cases needing care in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
Within 60 days, it will be an estimated 126 cases with 42 of them needing PICU.
There are a total of 35 PICU beds in Lubbock, LCMS said.
“By itself the cases from the LISD may overwhelm our available PICU beds,” the LCMS said.
“At our present rate without mitigation, we are going to run out of pediatric ICU beds within the next few weeks,” said Dr. Courtney Cowden, Section Chief of Orthopedics, Covenant Medical Center.
Cowden spoke Thursday to the Lubbock ISD Board of Trustees.
“And when that happens,” he said, “whether it’s because of COVID or other problems, kids are going to start to die. The COVID policies in place here are inadequate, and they are out of touch with modern, current medical guidelines.”
But even with masking in the schools, the spread of COVID would only be cut in half, LCMS said.
For now, the Lubbock ISD board did not vote on the issue, nor is there a vote scheduled. Legal battles continue in various courts in Texas over whether schools have the authority to declare mask mandates in defiance of an order by Governor Greg Abbott. So far, those court battles have given schools some latitude.
In addition to masks, LCMS recommended;
- Allowing vaccination clinics in the schools for everyone who is eligible
- Social distancing, good hygiene (hand washing)
- Frequent disinfection
- Quarantine of persons exposed to COVID
- Distance learning for certain immunocompromised students, and
- Instructions that parents refrain from sending sick children to school.
CLICK HERE to read a copy of the letter.
Several parents during the public comment period urged LISD to allow kids to attend without a mask mandate.
For example, Jay House of Lubbock, told the board, “I want to applaud you [board members] for so far allowing parents to continue to make the decision whether or not their kids come to school in a mask.”
House said numerous studies cast doubt on the effectiveness of masks. He also said trying to make people feel responsible for someone else’s death was a form of bullying.
Carl Tepper, who just happens to be the former Chairman of the Lubbock GOP, said he feels like masks are inhumane and don’t work.
Some parents also spoke in favor masks, including Dr. Jessica Tullar Caroom who is the mom of two LISD students.