COVID-19 pediatric hospitalizations in North Texas double since January, UTSW says


COVID-19 pediatric hospitalizations in North Texas have doubled since January, says UTSW

Doctors say the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant is increasing the number of children’s hospitals. It is something that school administrators also keep an eye on.

DALLAS – Doctors say the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant is increasing the number of children’s hospitals. It is something that school administrators also keep an eye on.

North Texas inspectors all say their districts still face huge challenges.

Due to the pandemic, many teachers are choosing to retire early. Students still struggle with learning loss. Many have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

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The latest UT Southwestern report shows that hospitalizations for pediatric COVID-19 have more than doubled since January.

During a virtual chat hosted by the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

Superintendents described the long-term concerns for public education during the pandemic.

Leaders of Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Coppell and Irving ISDs shed light on those challenges.

“This will not go away in the 21-22 school year. We have a lot of work ahead of us,” said CFBISD Superintendent John Chapman.

They all have to do with teacher burnout.

“Many of our teachers have said they are tired April, May and it’s only September,” said Coppell ISD Superintendent Brad Hunt.

Directors are also concerned about the growing learning gap.

The Texas Education Agency estimates that children have lost about three months of learning time.

“It will take all of us to get back on track,” Irving ISD Superintendent Magda Hernandez said.

Coppell and Carrollton-Farmers Branch both offer virtual learning for select students — at least for now.

State legislators recently approved funding for virtual classes on a limited basis.

“Again, it was because my child can’t get a vaccine right now, so we understood that,” Chapman said.

According to the latest UT Southwestern COVID forecast, the number of pediatric hospital admissions continues to rise rapidly. It is likely the impact of the return to personal learning and some students who are too young or unable to be vaccinated.

“Our emergency rooms are just overwhelmed by the number of children who are sick right now,” said Seth Kaplan of the Texas Pediatric Society.

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Rapid growth can still be seen in the 0-17 age group with a large increase in pediatric admissions in Dallas and Collin counties.

And in Tarrant County, pediatric hospitals hit another pandemic this week.

“We see exactly the same things in our offices,” said Dr. Kaplan. “Our offices are the busiest in more than a decade with sick children.”

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The report states that only the pediatric age group continues to experience strong growth in new admissions.

“We’re starting to see reduced hospitalizations and decreased positivity in adults,” said Dr. Kaplan. “So we’re hoping this wave is about to peak and come down a little bit.”

dr. Kaplan says getting the COVID vaccine approved for children under 12 will be a real game-changer. That could happen by the end of this year.

He says that for now we can really do our best to limit infections by continuing to use all those safety practices like masking and distancing.

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