Children’s hospitals prepare as pediatric COVID cases rise

Published: Dec. 28, 2021 at 9:52 AM EST
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(CNN) - More kids across the U.S. are getting COVID-19 and children’s hospitals are bracing for it to get even worse.

On the heels of holiday celebrations heading into the new year, omicron is spreading, cases are rising, and now more kids are getting hospitalized with COVID-19.

The numbers are closing in on the record high for pediatric hospitalizations set in September.

In Houston, children’s hospitals say they’re getting ready for more kids with COVID to fill up beds there. One pediatrician said they think “we are going to see more numbers now than we have ever seen.”

An attending physician and infectious disease specialist at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago said case numbers there are three times as high as the hospital’s previous peak last December.

In Cleveland, the director of pediatric infection control at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital said effective monoclonal antibodies, a life-saving treatment, is in short supply.

State data shows pediatric hospitalizations in New York City increased five-fold over a three-week period.

And in Washington D.C., the infectious diseases chief at Children’s National Hospital said close to half of the COVID-19 tests they’re doing are coming back positive.

It’s not just these cities. Nationwide, on average pediatric hospitalizations are up 35% in just the past week.

Hospitals are bracing for a busy January as health experts continue their vaccination plea.

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