Alabama pediatricians see an alarming uptick in COVID cases among kids

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As COVID cases rise throughout the state, so does the number of hospitalizations. Thursday, Children’s of Alabama reports a new record high of positive COVID patients in their care.

The hospital is currently caring for 35 COVID patients with fewer than five on ventilators.

With school back in session and COVID-19 cases up, hospitalizations are rising and it’s just the beginning of the omicron surge.

“We have not seen this before, Children’s of Alabama has increased the number of hospitalizations more than three times in the last three days,” said Dr. David Kimberlin, UAB Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

“Both our kids are vaccinated so that’s fortunate and our older one is boosted. They went back to school wearing masks of course but especially in high school, many children weren’t,” said Hoover parent Shilpa Gaggar.

Gaggar says it’s just a matter of time before her home is impacted by the virus.

“Then that puts my kids out of school and at home, but it removes myself and I work in the infusion clinic where people get chemotherapy so that’s one less staff member there and that pulls my husband out and that’s one less critical care physician who isn’t able to work,” said Gaggar.

With an uptick in COVID cases throughout the community, some school districts have had to transition to virtual learning to help mitigate the spread but doctors say it’s not enough.

“With the crisis we face right now, for another time during this pandemic, the immediate thing we can do right now is masking and that’s the primary thing I recommend schools do,” said Kimberlin.

Healthcare leaders say it’s going to be a community effort moving forward to help us get to the other side of this pandemic.

“It’s on us now we have to do the right thing and we know what to do mask inside don’t gather in large crowds and social distance get vaccinated and get boosted if you’re eligible,” said Kimberlin.

As a reminder, if you are in need of a COVID test or if you’re experiencing mild COVID symptoms, doctors ask that you contact your primary care doctor and not go to the Emergency Department to help prevent crowding.

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