COVID cases rising in children; health care workers wave the warning flag

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)- Prisma Health is reporting record-high numbers of children hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Upstate.

They’re urging parents to keep them as protected as they can.

Right now, Prisma Health says there are 7 children hospitalized and 4 in the ICU from COVID-19 in the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital in Greenville.

“I know parents are concerned for the health and safety of their children,” Dr. Robin LaCroix, Director of The Division of Infectious Disease at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital, said.

In a press conference Thursday, pediatricians gave reasons behind the increase.

“We don’t necessarily have all the tools that we do to apply to the adults,” Dr. Caughman Taylor said.

One of them being children under the age of 12 aren’t eligible to get the vaccine.

Dr. Taylor said, “That’s a big tool of prevention, we know it prevents infections. The second tool that we don’t have is monoclonal antibodies. It is not authorized for kids under the age of twelve.”

Also, higher susceptibility to the delta variant.

They say delta is impacting people the most, ages 11 to 22.

“The delta variant is more contagious. This variant is different in many ways because of that how easily it spreads,” Dr. Taylor said.

As this reality meets South Carolina head-on, Prisma pediatricians are asking parents to put protective barriers in front of their kids, even more now that school is back.

“It’s hand hygiene, it’s masking, it’s staying a distance from each other, the physical distancing, doing the public health measures that made the last school year so successful and certainly can set us up for this school year to be one that we can continue to keep kids in in-person education,” Dr. LaCroix said.

Something else doctors mentioned for preventative measures is even though your child younger than 12 can’t get vaccinated right now, family surrounding them who are eligible can.

This creates a safer environment, called a cocoon for kids.

Prisma says they understand the anxiety it causes parents to have kids ineligible to get the vaccine.

They say unfortunately there’s no timeline set in stone from the CDC as things are changing every day.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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