Schools learn to handle possible COVID-19 exposures at Valley schools

Students and staff experienced a COVID-19 scare at a Valley elementary school after a student tested positive, and now some parents are a little concerned about sending their kids back to the classroom.

On Friday afternoon, James Mcllroy got a call that his third-grade daughter at Four Peaks Elementary School needed to be picked up. They said she was exposed to COVID-19. 

Apache Junction Unified School District says a student on the school bus had the virus. The district says it found out later from the student's mother. 

All of the students who were around the student were asked to stay home for 10 days due to exposure. They were able to come back if they had a negative COVID-19 test.

Mcllroy says he's concerned about his daughter heading into the classroom and many parents share the same concern.

But a study is underway for kids to get the vaccine and that could help ease the worry, but the Food and Drug Administration has not approved it.

Dr. Steve Plimpton, the lead investigator for the COVID-19 vaccine trial for children, says he's hearing younger people are leading hospitalization numbers.

"So we have to worry a little bit that as we protect certain demographics we're going to open up the opportunity for the infection to grow within the other demographics. So we're now looking at the adolescence, and the younger age groups coming into the hospital sick. We want to protect the kids, especially as they go out into school now and they're exposed potentially and then exposing their parents and grandparents at home. So it makes even this study, even more important to get done so that we can get emergency FDA approval," Plimpton said.

Pfizer-BioNTech has joined Moderna in testing its COVID-19 vaccine in children younger than 12, including babies as young as 6 months, with the possibility of expanding availability of the shot to the age group in early 2022.