NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - New COVID-19 cases threaten to make for another unpredictable school year at Metro Nashville Public Schools as students returned to class on Monday after winter break.

With COVID cases spiking after the holidays and health officials warning of a rise in pediatric patients, many parents told News 4 they are wary of how the virus will impact schools.

“I think that this holiday season was really hard with the new variant,” Nashville mother Mindy Grimes said. “I’m just hopeful that it’ll calm down as quickly as it spiked, and they can stay in school.”

At the height of the pandemic, schools across the country often juggled between in-person learning and virtual options. Grimes is hoping for consistency.

“Our whole family is vaccinated. My children are lucky enough to be vaccinated, so I’m not scared,” Grimes said. “I just hope that there’s consistency for them and for me.”

Mandana Azhbari has two children in Metro Schools. So she’s observing how the Omicron variant will impact students and teachers as they return to class. Last week, the Tennessee Department of Health updated its COVID data showing a spike of 64 pediatric hospitalizations from COVID-19.

“I’m hoping the kids wash their hands constantly. Parents help them and remind them every day how important it is to have a social life and to follow the CDC,” Azhbari said. “I just want it to be back to normal, and all of us have to help each other.”

With the new strain of COVID-19, doctors are telling parents to be on the lookout for their child sneezing, coughing, and having a runny nose, as Omicron is more like a respiratory infection. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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