BRIGHTON, Mich. (FOX 2) - "I have done everything in my power over the last two years to prevent it – she wears a mask," said Christina Kafkakis.
But she said it wasn't enough. Her 6-year-old daughter who wears a mask to school became infected with Covid after being exposed at her Brighton Elementary School located in Livingston County where there is no mask mandate.
Christina says parents expressed their concerns to the school board, but it refused to require kids to wear a mask.
"I brought that up at a couple of the board meetings when I spoke," she said. "I asked them how would they feel somebody went into the hospital or got seriously ill from it. They said it was the parents' choice. I didn’t choose for my daughter to get Covid."
Cases are spreading so quickly, that on Tuesday Christina says the school sent students home until November 30th. The outbreak in Brighton is part of a growing number of pediatric cases in our state, which Beaumont hospital officials say has helped create our state's fourth surge.
"I have sensed anecdotally, and I have seen with my own eyes, that there is still vaccine hesitancy in that age group," said Dr. Nick Gilpin, Beaumont Health System. "So the largest increase amongst school-aged kids – also most of the new case outbreak of Covid, is happening in schools."
Gilpin, an infectious disease doctor, attributed the rise in childhood Covid cases to cold weather sending more people indoors, as well as relaxed behaviors in large gatherings, schools that don't require masks, and the unvaccinated.
He says 70 percent of patients treated in the hospital right now are unvaccinated. A portion of them is children.
"Remember those kids might not get as sick from Covid, but some of them will. They can catch it, spread Covid to others, their teachers, household, and it becomes a way for the virus to propagate more."
Christina says her daughter got her first dose last Thursday and was exposed the next day. She has now spread it to her 10-year-old brother.
Symptoms so far are mild and no one else in their now isolated, fully vaccinated family has become infected.
Going forward, Christina hopes despite their political beliefs, people do what they need to do to stop this surge of Covid, that doctors predict could last up to five months.
"A lot of people talk about their personal freedoms and their personal beliefs," she said. "I really think we should think about the greater good."
Christina Kafkakis' daughter who recently caught Covid at school.