Local mother warns people to take pandemic seriously after her kids test positive for COVID-19

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A mother of six, Sandra Loera found herself watching her kids get sick one by one— including her newborn baby.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — New data shows almost 100,000 children nationwide tested positive for COVID-19 in a recent two-week span.

A Northwest Arkansas mother speaks out Tuesday after six of her kids beat the deadly virus.

“I just thank God that none of my kids ended up on a ventilator because it could have happened,” said Sandra Loera.

A mother of six, Loera found herself watching her kids get sick one by one— including her newborn baby.

“One day my two-year-old starts getting fever, and after the third day, I was like something is wrong,” she recalled.

Her kids had headaches, body aches and one even lost their sense of smell.

“Each day a new symptom came in and it was just scary,” she said. “It was scary because there’s nothing that you can do for them. I couldn’t do anything for her.”

Then, it was confirmed.

“We got our results back and everyone in our household had tested positive except myself,” Loera said.

Loera is just one of many parents whose children caught the virus.

In Arkansas, more than 6,000 children under 18 have tested positive for COVID-19, making up about 12 percent of all cases in the state.

Joel Tumlison, the medical director for child and adolescent health at the Arkansas Department of Health, said, “It is significantly more than say the first two months of the pandemic.”

Tumlison said the number of kids contracting COVID-19 in the state is rising.

This lines up with a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

But, in Tuesday’s press conference, Dr. Jose Romero said the opposite.

“Our analysis from yesterday doesn’t support that we’re seeing an increase in this,” Dr. Romero said.

KNWA/Fox 24 then asked Governor Asa Hutchinson if he would consider changing the start date for school.

Based on Dr. Romero’s response, he said “plans to open school in two weeks is still the target of Arkansas.”

Tumlison said if you’re sending your child to school, mask them up. Even if they’re under 10 years old.

“The advice to schools is around the nation every kid should wear a mask, K-12,” he said.

After seeing first-hand how the virus can affect kids, Loera begs other parents to take this pandemic seriously.

“At the end of the day, whether you want to believe your children could catch it or not, what you need to know is that there is still a possibility,” she said. “If you’re willing to expose your child because you think it’s never going to happen, then I will have you in my prayers.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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