Alabama pediatric COVID hospitalizations at record high

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 12:36 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Public Health reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations of children in Alabama are at a record high.

According to ADPH officials, immediate measures need to be taken to reduce COVID-19 in the pediatric population.

ADPH officials along with the Alabama Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics 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’re eligible.

On Thursday, 9,266 total COVID-19 cases were reported in Alabama, according to ADPH. That number includes both children and adults. The breakdown of cases by age is as follows:

  • Percent of cases, ages 0-4, 3.1%
  • Percent of cases, ages 5-11, 4.3%
  • Percent of cases, ages 12-17, 5.3%

“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.”

On Thursday, 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.

ADPH says there were also 41 pregnant women admitted, with one in the intensive care unit and one on a ventilator.

According to ADPH, only 10.5% of children in the 5- to 11-year-old age group have initiated vaccine. For ages 12-17, 35.5 percent of young people in this age group have initiated vaccine.

ADPH also reported a major increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state’s public schools this week, with the Montgomery Public School system leading the list for the week. The number of new cases jumped to 16,035 cases this week, up more than fivefold from the previous week when systems reported 2,940 cases.

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