ADPH: “Immediate Measures Necessary” with Pediatric COVID Hospitalizations at Record High in Alabama
The Alabama Department of Public Health has announced that “immediate measures” are necessary with pediatric COVID hospitalizations at a record high in the state.
ADPH and the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics urge 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.
ADPH says on January 13, there were 9,266 COVID-19 cases reported in Alabama, with this breakdown among children:
Percent of cases, ages 0-4, 3.1 percent
Percent of cases, ages 5-11, 4.3 percent
Percent of cases, ages 12-17, 5.3 percent
“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.”
Only 10.5 percent of children in the 5- to 11-year-old age group have begun the vaccine process. For ages 12-17, 35.5 percent of people in this age group have initiated vaccine.
According to the latest school dashboard, 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, “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.”
On January 13, 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 3 pediatric patients in the intensive care unit, including 1 on a ventilator. There were also 41 pregnant women admitted, with one in the intensive care unit and one on a ventilator.
— Information from Alabama Department of Public Health