Kids with COVID is a big problem

Area hospitals report rising rates of child COVID patients.

Kids don’t get COVID. But when they do, they don’t get very sick. Those are among the claims made by opponents of mask requirements and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts in schools.

Area hospitals say that’s just false. And they have the numbers to back that up.

“My best guess is children are getting COVID at roughly the same rate as the rest of the population,” said Dr. Greg Tiongson, the medical director of Bronson Children’s Hospital, in an interview with WWMT. Roughly a quarter of positive coronavirus tests at Bronson have been in children.

That’s worrisome as children returned to classrooms this week. Before the school year even started there have been two school outbreaks in Kalamazoo County – at Greenwood and Parkwood elementary schools in Kalamazoo.

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And kids aren’t just catching the virus, they’re also going to the hospital at rates that have been increasing over the past few months. Bronson reported that more than two-thirds of its pediatric COVID patients have been from this year.

“Our hope is that we have as few outbreaks in schools as possible, I think if we do things like masks, hand washing, and vaccinations, we can slow the spread,” Tiongson said.


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