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Working parents in Santa Maria are out of work due to the rise of RSV cases

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- Local parents in Santa Maria are concerned for their livelihood after post-pandemic restrictions in daycares and schools have them taking frequent time off from work. Caregivers and schools are calling parents if children are showing any symptoms of the flu or cold.

Some mothers in Santa Maria say it's a difficult time due to the recent rise of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases. They feel their children's health is threatened as well as their jobs.

“So, as a mom, I was in and out of work. My husband is a teacher, so it's a hard situation to be in because he has a difficult time getting substitutes. He teaches at the high school," said Karina Acosta from Santa Maria.

Other local caregivers say they have to be cautious for the safety of all children.

“It makes it really hard because you know that the parents have to work, but we also have to do what's best for the community and the center as a whole. So it's really difficult to make that choice," said Delena Zamora from Santa Maria.

The American Academy of Pediatrics along with the Children's Hospital has asked the federal government to declare a formal state of emergency.

They say health professionals nationwide have seen a surge in RSV.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says reported more than three-quarters of pediatric hospital beds are in use.

As a result, many parents are receiving calls to pick up their children from school and not allowing them to return with any flu or cold symptoms.

“It's important to when you recognize signs and a child to get the help you need and figure out what the next steps should be because that can help your child along with others around them," said Zamora.

Parents say they are left with no other choice but to lose time from work, some temporarily and others permanently.

“RSV has definitely been really tough for families, for caregivers, for schools. It is a difficult time to be in," said Acosta.

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Christina Rodriguez

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