Children hospitalized with COVID-19 hits record high in Alabama

Staff Report
Posted 1/14/22

The number of children admitted to the hospital this week across Alabama has reached a record high, said the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

On Jan. 13 there were 9,266 COVID-19 cases …

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Children hospitalized with COVID-19 hits record high in Alabama

Posted

The number of children admitted to the hospital this week across Alabama has reached a record high, said the Alabama Department of Public Health. 

On Jan. 13 there were 9,266 COVID-19 cases reported across Alabama. The number doesn't include what could be thousands of others who went untested or were asymptomatic. 

That same day a total of 2,091 patients were admitted to Alabama hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 (of which 71 are pediatric patients). Of these patients, there were three pediatric patients in the intensive care unit, including one on a ventilator. There were also 41 pregnant women admitted, with one in the intensive care unit and one on a ventilator.

“In the crisis of higher virus transmission with the Omicron variant, immediate measures are critical,” ADPH District Medical Officer Dr. Wes Stubblefield said. “School-wide masking is at the top of the list of preventive steps that need to be implemented. Masks can still make a difference in school settings and allow students to remain in class, if properly used.”

Baldwin County Schools returned to the classroom in January without a mask mandate despite other districts around the state re-instating the measure early in 2022. In a letter to parents on Thursday, Superintendent Eddie Tyler said he would make a decision about masks on Monday. 

Baldwin County Schools will not be in session Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday and will hold a remote learning day Tuesday, a day that was added to the calendar before school began in August.         

Officials wi the ADPH and the Alabama Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), are urging parents to minimize their children’s exposure to COVID-19 in schools and public places, wear well-fitting masks in schools, and get vaccinated if they are eligible.            Only 10.5 percent of children in the 5- to 11-year-old age group have had the vaccine. For ages 12-17, 35.5 percent of young people in this age group have had the vaccine.

According to numbers submitted to the state, there were 16,035 cases of COVID-19 in Alabama schools this week with all but four of the 143 districts reporting. There were 2,940 cases reported last week. Dr. Katrina Skinner, President of the Alabama Chapter, AAP, said, “The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is extremely contagious and fast-spreading. Pediatric hospitalizations are at record high numbers, and we continue to see children with serious complications of COVID-19 infections such as MIS-C. Parents should take the current COVID-19 outbreak seriously as it poses a very real threat to the health and well-being of their children. Children depend on their parents to protect them by minimizing their exposure to high-risk settings, to teach good masking practices and other preventive measures, as well as getting them vaccinated if eligible.”