Amid Pediatric COVID-19 Spike, Dallas Dad Conducts Weekly Testing

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Pediatric COVID-19 cases are on the rise in North Texas, and schools are faced with polarizing opinions from concerned parents. One Dallas father decided to establish his own testing rules for his children.

Conducting COVID-19 tests is now routine for Keith Pillers and he doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

“I’ve done this, I don’t know, 15 times probably at least,” he said. “It’s expensive, yes. It’s expensive."

Once a week, everyone in his house takes an at-home COVID-19 test he purchased online. Pillers made the decision along with his wife when reports of breakthrough cases started making headlines, and they wanted to continue extended family gatherings.

 “So everyone would test, and we would feel more comfortable getting together.”

Then his eight-year-old and five-year-old returned to in-person learning, and pediatric cases spiked across North Texas. Soon after, the school notifications about lab-confirmed cases began.

“We started testing her daily for six days every morning when she would wake up,” he said.

UT Southwestern Medical Center says Pediatric COVID-19 hospital admissions have more than doubled what they were in January. This month, Cook’s Children’s Hospital set a record for the highest number of COVID-19 patients since the start of the pandemic.

Pillers said, as expected, opinions about his family’s weekly testing are split. However, but he said it’s not just to protect his own household, but others as well.

“These are minor inconveniences to the potential high magnitude risks,” he said. “We’ll do what it takes for as long as it takes. We’re okay with that.”

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