HARRISBURG, Pa. – With the school year fast approaching, state officials are sharing some COVID-19 safety tips for children who are not yet eligible to get the vaccine.
Their warning comes as the state is seeing a few hundred new infections each day.
Wolf administration officials gathered in Harrisburg to discuss recommendations for children under the age of 12, who are still not eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The administration said people must remain vigilant and work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among children and their families.
Acting Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said getting kids back to the classroom is the best thing for them this upcoming school year.
"They have missed all of that socialization as well as education," Johnson said.
She added, "To get kids back to school safely, we've had lots of lots of experience that has shown that if we're taking the precautions, meaning the hand washing that Secretary Snead talked about, masking as part of it as well, then we could decrease transmission in schools and have kids there safely."
Acting Department of Human Services Secretary Meg Snead is encouraging children between the ages of 2 and 12 to wear masks in public settings, at events and gatherings, as well as indoors if they're around people outside of their own household.
"If a child is unable to wear a face covering or get vaccinated, the CDC recommends more low-risk activities such as enjoying activities outdoors with members of your household or attending a small outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated friends and family," Snead said.
The DHS is suggesting everyone who qualifies to get the vaccine to consider it, in order to protect those who cannot.
"At this point we don't know when the vaccine will be available to younger kids," Snead said.
DHS also said it is important to note that children with underlying conditions, regardless of age, are at higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19 when compared to other children.