Children’s hospitals across the Upstate experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The number of COVID-19 cases in children is on the rise in the State of South Carolina. Doctor Hunter Moore, a Pediatrician at Children’s Medical Center argues if we don’t do anything to mitigate the spread among young people now, things are only going to get worse.

“We have a very small window to try to act and mitigate what’s going on here,” Dr. Moore explained. “If we do things quickly, we have a chance to potentially even this thing out. But if we don’t, it’s just going to continue in this direction.”

With schools back in session, he said he’s worried that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

“I see roughly 30 to 40 patients a day and I’m probably testing ten of those for COVID-19,” Dr. Moor said. “That’s about a third to a quarter of what I see every day.”

He said roughly 20-percent of those tests come back positive.

According to the South Carolina American Academy of Pediatrics, the state’s children’s hospitals combined pediatric COVID patient count is:

  • 34 children in the hospital with a COVID-19
  • 7 kids are in the Intensive Care Unit
  • 3 are on ventilators

“That wasn’t happening last year. We weren’t seeing those kinds of numbers,” Dr. Moore said. “We weren’t seeing that kind of severity.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics reported more than 180,000 new COVID-19 cases in children for the week ending August 19, 2021.

The same week last year, that number was a little more than 33,000. The highest number on record, 211,466 new COVID-19 cases in a week.

“We’re seeing higher numbers, we’re seeing sicker kids, and we need to be aware of this,” said Dr. Moore.

He suggested universal masking is one way to start the mitigation process for kids who aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet.

Doctor Brannon Traxler, the Director of Public Health for the Department of Health and Environmental Control backed up Dr. Moore’s claims during a press conference Wednesday.

“Many of our schools are seeing much higher cases of COVID-19 among students and faculty than they were at this time last year,” said Dr. Traxler.

She said the daily inpatient bed numbers continue to trend upward statewide as the number of COVID-19 cases climb.

Doctor Moore said to stick to what the experts are saying.

“Among the people in the medical community who have the highest degree of expertise in the medical community… This is not a debate,” Dr. Moore stated. “Vaccines work, masks work, and those are two best ways to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and to protect ourselves.”

Hospitals across the upstate are expected to hold a presser on Thursday, August 26th at 12 p.m. to update the community on what they’re seeing inside their organizations.

We’ll have that coverage tomorrow for you on air and online right here at WSPA.com.

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