BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The U.S. is seeing an alarming spike in coronavirus cases among children, reporting nearly 94,000 new pediatric cases in the last week.
“This virus will do devastating damage to our children and to our adults in Alabama,” UAB and Children’s Pediatric Infectious Diseases Dr. David Kimberlin said. “The Delta variant has changed the game.”
Here at home, the Robinson family is isolating and quarantining as five-year-old Grace, too young to get the vaccine, tested positive for the virus.
“The reality is right now you just don’t know, so when in doubt, if there’s potential that you’re exposing people to the virus, the most responsible thing you can do is stay home,” her mom Melany Robinson said.
Robinson got the call from Grace’s babysitter last Monday that she had tested positive for coronavirus. Both the babysitter and the person who exposed her were vaccinated.
“I immediately went to Grace’s school, snatched her up and immediately brought her home,” Robinson said.
Grace had a low-grade fever but tested negative for COVID. By Friday, she still wasn’t her normal spunky self, and her mom got her another test that came back positive.
“One negative test doesn’t mean you’re negative,” Robinson said. “The reality is just because your child doesn’t have symptoms doesn’t mean they don’t have it.”
Kimberlin said severe cases and death in kids is possible with the Delta variant.
“This Delta variant is a different type of virus than what we faced last year and what we faced last winter. Think how bad it was then. It’s going to be worse now,” Kimberlin said. “I see what’s coming, what is about to absolutely slam us and knock us down. We don’t have a lot of time.”
Robinson is thankful her daughter had mild symptoms but said to take direct exposures to the virus seriously to protect your family and community.
“This virus is spreading at a rate that when you’re surrounded by people that aren’t masking and aren’t taking the vaccination, it’s going to happen,” Robinson said.
According to Robinson, everyone but Grace is old enough to get vaccinated in their home and has already received the vaccine. Grace is considered positive until Thursday.
Her parents will continue to quarantine 10 to 14 days after that at their doctor’s request to ensure they are not carrying the virus. Neither has tested positive at this point and continues to take both antigen and PCR tests.