TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Cook Children’s pediatric hospital in Fort Worth has once again sent a letter to North Texas Regional Schools including Fort Worth ISD advocating for COVID-19 safety.

According to court filings, the letter was sent three times this month. The message has remained the same, but the support has grown.

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The first letter they sent in early August had the signatures of about 165 doctors. Though the one sent yesterday had 292.

“We are begging you to make decisions that will help us in the hospital,” said Dr. Diane Arnaout, a general pediatrician for Cook Children’s.

The letter advocates for masking, minimizing student contact, and all opportunities for eligible children to get vaccinated.

Dr. Arnaout said keeping COVID at bay is increasingly important as its stacked upon other seasonal illnesses, RSV, and parents unnecessarily bringing their kids in the ER that’s flooding their staff.

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“I can tell you there was never been an August like this, in the history of me practicing,” Arnaout said.

Cook Children’s said their current wait times are sometimes 6 to 8 hours.

On Monday they saw the largest number of patients in the ER since swine flu, taking in a patient every 2 1/2 minutes for 24 hours straight.

And though masks won’t go into effect immediately in Fort Worth ISD, they said last night’s vote is a start for the kids of North Texas.

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“It’s amazing what physicians can do when they come together. I was proud to be a part of that letter, it seems to have made a real difference.”

Nicole Nielsen