Makayla Robinson Mississippi eighth grader dies of COVID-19 hours after receiving positive test result.
Makayla Robinson, 13, had attended Raleigh Junior High School in Smith County, Mississippi for most of last week before succumbed to complications from the virus on Aug. 14, according to the Mississippi Free Press.
A social media post indicated the girl’s health had started to quickly decline after she started having trouble breathing Saturday morning and died on the way to the hospital, but this could not be verified.
It was not clear on Sunday, whether Robinson, a junior-high band member, had received the vaccine.
School reopened on Aug. 6 and students were not required to wear face coverings but had the option to bring them in.
Virus no worse than ‘the sniffles’ for most infected children?
Within the first few days of the new school year, 76 students and 11 educators tested positive in the district, forcing an additional 411 students and 11 educators to quarantine, the paper reported.
Come August 10, the school decided to make masks mandatory.
‘After much consideration for the welfare of our children, Smith County Schools will require all personnel and students to wear a mask,’ the district said in a statement, according to the Mississippi Free Press.
Mississippi required masks for schools last fall, however at a press conference on Friday, Governor Tate Reeves said he had ‘no intention’ of establishing a mask mandate this year, maintaining that the virus is no worse than ‘the sniffles’ for most infected children.
‘I don’t have any intention of issuing a statewide mask mandate for any category of Mississippians at this time. I don’t know how I can say that differently other than the way I’ve said it repeatedly for a number of days and weeks and months,’ he said.
According to the latest data from the Mississippi Department of Health, the state reported 5,023 new cases on Aug. 14, including 31 new deaths.
Statewide, only 12% of children ages 12-15 are vaccinated. Children younger than 12 are not currently eligible for any of the currently available vaccines.
Debate as to whether children ought to wear masks at school comes as a recent report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association revealed nearly 4.3 million U.S. COVID-19 cases have affected children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all students, staff and visitors inside school buildings wear masks at all times. Some states have adopted CDC guidelines, with the guidance having prompted local protests across the US- with some states, particularly Florida and Texas not requiring students and educators to wear masks.