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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Children’s Mercy Hospital announced Monday beds were at full capacity due to an increase in COVID patients, along with other illnesses. That new reality has Dr. Angela Myers concerned.

“This pandemic is not over,” she said. “The cases have continued to increase week after week throughout the month of July.”

With summer in full effect and school starting soon, the debate continues about the safety and effectiveness of masks and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Beth Savaidge is a retired educator, and believes children’s protection against the pandemic lies heavily in the hands of the adults, and they can’t fight for themselves.

“It is incumbent upon the adults to take that responsibility and to do what is necessary,” she said.

Dr. Myers urges parents to get their children vaccinated if they’re old enough, and she’s asking all schools to consider having students mask up if they are unvaccinated.

“Since school hasn’t started yet, the schools who made masks optional still have time to really look at data and think about an alternate decision,” Dr. Myers said.

She says parents should also think about what is best for their children to help keep them safe.

“At this point, we need to do a bit of a pivot, and we need to kind of take stock and kind of do those protective measures again, and not panic.”