Record-high number of children hospitalized with COVID in St. Louis area

Missouri

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis region has set a new record for children hospitalized with COVID-19.

According to the St. Louis Pandemic Task Force, the region recorded its highest single-day total of pediatric COVID patients Friday, with 64 children hospitalized.

Within the past week, doctors at St. Louis Children’s Hospital have also seen a dramatic increase in patients.

“I can tell you we’ve at least tripled at St. Louis Children’s, and the number of admissions has doubled just from one week to last week,” said Dr. Jason Newland, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital.

Newland said most of the children are in fair condition, but some are seriously ill in the ICU. Doctors worry that COVID-positive children with mild symptoms may see problems down the road, like fever, rash, and fatigue.

“And let’s not forget there’s this post-infectious complication called multi-system inflammatory syndrome,” said Newland. “We’ve talked about that from the beginning of the pandemic, but that occurs four to six weeks later. We could see that here in four weeks from this big surge.”

Children have more vaccination options now that the St. Louis County Health Department is offering the Pfizer booster shot for 12- to 15-year-olds.

“I want to encourage anyone who qualifies for a booster shot to get one we know booster shots strengthen our defense against contracting covid we need to use all the tools have to fight this pandemic,” said St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page.

On Monday, St. Louis County will open another COVID testing site to meet the strong demand. It will be located at the North County Recreation Complex on Redman Road. You can make an appointment at https://revivestl.com.

The task force also reported a new record in COVID hospitalizations, with 227 patients admitted to area hospitals in the last 24 hours. A total of 86 people have died of the virus just since the beginning of the year.

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