‘We have a lot to worry about right now’: Alabama doctor on the surge of omicron, impacts on children

Coronavirus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UAB Medicine held a Q&A session in regards to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Alabama and the potential impacts it could have on children.

Alabama recently passed 1 million cases since the pandemic began back in early 2020 and several school districts have brought back masking requirements inside buildings to help curb the spread.

Dr. David Kimberlin, the co-director of UAB and Children’s of Alabama’s Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, led the discussion. He also addressed guidelines on vaccination and isolating to help protect children in the state.

The positivity rate in Alabama, including in children, is “unprecedented,” according to Dr. Kimberlin. He says 56% of patients at Children’s of Alabama that are in the emergency department have tested positive for COVID-19. He says 5% would be considered a high positivity rate.

“We have a lot to worry about right now,” Dr. Kimberlin said.

Dr. Kimberlin advised everyone to revert back to earlier guidelines during the pandemic such as masking at all times and avoiding large crowds. He says he would also like to see more children get vaccinated as only 9 out of 10 children between the ages of 5-11 are currently unvaccinated in Alabama.

“Until we’re all safe, none of us are safe,” he said. “We have to do our part.”

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You can watch the full Q&A in the video player above starting at noon.

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