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Pediatric COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations rising around US, Arizona

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 7:02 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Classrooms are filled, backpacks are on and kids are back in class. But COVID-19 is back too.

More children around the nation are being admitted to hospitals with COVID-19, some severe enough to be put on ventilators.

More than 2,000 cases across Arizona have been reported in the last several days, according to the state Health Department. And it’s getting worse all around the U.S, too.

A Houston baby had to be airlifted to another hospital because there was not enough room due to a COVID-19 surge in the Lone Star State. A Louisiana doctor is concerned at the numbers he is seeing as well.

“Half of the children that we have hospitalized at Children’s Hospital New Orleans today are under two years of age,” said Dr. Mark Kline, Physician and Chief of Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

Florida saw 50 children admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 in one day, the same number Banner Health said they currently have as patients.

“In the month of July, we had 71 COVID -positive pediatric patients admitted to Banner hospitals, which is double what we saw in the month of June,” said Dr. Marjorie Bessel, Banner Health Chief Clinical Officer.

Bessel said pediatric cases make up about five percent of COVID cases they’ve treated. While numbers are well lower than the pediatric cases seen in the winter surge, current pediatric stats now compare to October 2020, according to Banner Health.

Banner Health shows COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the pandemic for children in their...
Banner Health shows COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the pandemic for children in their hospitals.(Banner Health)

“Most of our COVID-positive pediatric patients only require progressive care, rather than needing to be in our intensive care units. This does not mean that the virus cannot have a serious impact on children,” said Bessel.

Banner said their pediatric cases do not seem to be as severe as other states are seeing. In fact, they say the number of children in ICUs or using ventilators are so small they cannot release the data due to privacy. Still, its confirmation children are having to be put on ventilators to fight this disease.

“Unlike what Banner has experienced thus far this summer, hospitals in other major metropolitan cities across the country have seen COVID pediatric ICU admissions and ventilator usage increase dramatically this past month,” said Bessel.

According to ADHS, 34 people under the age of 20 have died from COVID-19, but exact ages and time frames of these deaths are unknown.

Banner Health urges students and staff to wear masks in school and for those who are able to, to get vaccinated.

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