TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – The classrooms are filled, the backpacks are on and the kids are back in the classroom. But also COVID-19 is back.
More children across the country are being admitted to hospitals with COVID-19, some severe enough to be given ventilators.
More than 2,000 cases have been reported across Arizona in recent days, according to the Department of Health. And it’s getting worse all over the US, too.
A baby from Houston had to be flown to another hospital because there was not enough space due to a COVID-19 wave in the Lone Star State. A Louisiana doctor is also concerned about the numbers he sees.
“Half of the children we have admitted to Children’s Hospital New Orleans today are under the age of two,” says Dr. Mark Kline, physician and chief of Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.
In Florida, 50 children were hospitalized 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 the COVID cases they have treated. While the numbers are much lower than the pediatric cases seen during the winter wave, current pediatric statistics are now comparable to October 2020, according to Banner Health.
Banner Health showcases COVID-19 hospitalizations during the pandemic for children in their hospitals. (banner health)
“Most of our COVID-positive pediatric patients only require progressive care, rather than in our intensive care units. This does not mean that the virus cannot have a serious impact on children,” Bessel said.
Banner said their pediatric cases don’t appear to be as serious as other states see. In fact, they say that the number of children in ICUs or using ventilators is so small that they cannot disclose the data for privacy reasons. Still, it needs confirmation that children should be placed on a ventilator to combat this disease.
“Contrary to what Banner has been through so far this summer, hospitals in other major metropolitan cities across the country have seen a dramatic increase in ICU admissions and ventilator use due to COVID-19 in the past month,” Bessel said.
According to ADHS, 34 people under the age of 20 have died from COVID-19, but the exact ages and time frames of these deaths are unknown.
Banner Health urges students and staff to wear masks at school and for those who can, get vaccinated.
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