LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock County has seen an in increase in COVID cases over the last few weeks with 26 hospitalizations as of Monday, according to the City of Lubbock Health Department. With kids going back to school, the health department said parents should act to keep their kids and others safe.

“This is actually the third school year that COVID’s been an issue. We have seen a blip in those numbers anytime that groups of people start coming together,” said City of Lubbock Public Health Director Katherine Wells.

Wells encouraged families to test their kids if they come home from school with any allergy-like symptoms, sore throats, fevers, or other COVID symptoms.

“A child that tests positive should stay home at least five days from when their symptoms started. They also need to be fever free for at least 24 hours,” the health department shared.

It’s important to notify the child’s school if they test positive so that other parents can test their kids as needed, Wells said.

Booster vaccines tailored toward the Omicron variant could be distributed around the country as early as September.

“We don’t know if it’s gonna be an approval for individuals 65 years and older or [if it’s] going to be available to the general population. They’ll probably give us a recommended interval between the last booster and when you should receive this new formulation,” she said.

If you’d like to learn more about getting free vaccines and COVID testing, visit the health department’s website here.

Order up to eight, free, at-home COVID tests here.