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Several Michigan's largest school districts in the state will not require kids to wear masks

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Several of the state's largest school districts say they won't require kids to wear masks this fall.

But some medical experts believe that's a dangerous policy.

At Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, pediatrician Dr. Sandy Patel says as many as half of kids who get COVID may go on to develop long-term complications.

She says some parents are underestimating the risks for their kids:

"It's just something that's not talked about. It's sort of like, 'Oh, it's a cold. He had a cold for two weeks and he's fine, or a few days. But there definitely are some long-term complications that we're seeing, especially in our patients who have who are obese, have diabetes, they definitely have a higher risk for getting complications."

Patel says they're seeing pediatric COVID patients come in with a wide variety of symptoms, like hives, asthma, dehydration, and psychological disturbances.

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist and co-host of the Michigan Radio and NPR podcast Believed. The series was widely ranked among the best of the year, drawing millions of downloads and numerous awards. She and co-host Lindsey Smith received the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Judges described their work as "a haunting and multifaceted account of U.S.A. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar’s belated arrest and an intimate look at how an army of women – a detective, a prosecutor and survivors – brought down the serial sex offender."