FLOYD County, Ga. (CBS46) -- Just one day after 13-year-old Porter Helm died of COVID-19, state Democrats are calling on Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to shut down in person learning until children can get vaccinated.

Jennifer Helm, who is Porter’s mom, is now in favor of Governor Brian Kemp issuing a statewide mask mandate after losing her son to COVID-19.

”Absolutely you can’t just keep farming these kids around in these schools,” Helm said.

Helm said she believes her son caught COVID-19 a Coosa High School.

“I just received another notification this morning.”

According to the data on the Floyd School District website Coosa High School had 11 cases within three days.

Helm said she was notified that her son came in close contact with at least six people who tested positive at the school.

The Paramedic and mother of two said, she chose not to vaccinate her son because she felt there was not enough research on the vaccine, and she feels the success rate is low.

Helm tested positive for COVID-19 the day before her son Porter.

Even after losing her son, she said she is still not sure if she will now get vaccinated.

Helm just returned home from the hospital Wednesday, where she now remains on oxygen.

She said her son Porter was at his Dad’s house less than a week after testing positive, when he suddenly didn’t wake up on Tuesday.

“He gave him some medicine and when he went back to check on him, he wasn’t breathing.”

Helm was still in the hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19 when her sister told her that Porter didn’t make it.

“It’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever been through.” 

Helm still has not had a chance to see her son or tell him she loves him.

However, she said she knows what she will tell him when she finally gets to see him for the last time.

“Oh my God buddy I miss you so much, I’d give anything if you were still here.”

Porter was a lover of video games who made everyone laugh.

She said she was just now starting to learn how to cook and he always found a way to surprise people.

Helm told CBS46 she also now supports the latest call from democrats.

“We're asking that the schools be closed until all of the children are able to get the vaccine," said State Rep. Roger Bruce of Atlanta.

However, Governor Brian Kemps office said he still isn’t budging.

“The science and data has shown that kids learn well when they are in the classroom,” Governor Brian Kemp’s Spokesperson, Cody Hall said in response.

Meanwhile, Helm believes more needs to be done to get people to wake up.

“It’s just not being taken seriously,” Helm said.

According to the school districts website, Coosa High School has about a 1.2% case rate.

Under the current district policy, masks will remain optional as long as the case rate remains under 2%, otherwise the campus must return back to a mask mandate.

Copyright 2021 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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