Pediatric COVID cases, hospitalizations on the rise

Published 10:29 am Thursday, August 26, 2021

Pediatric cases and hospitalizations are on the rise in the state and one pediatric death has been recorded, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The MSDH reported 3,425 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, 34 deaths and 178 ongoing outbreaks in long-term care facilities. Bringing the state totals to 423,599 cases and 8,214 deaths. In addition, 1,133,096 persons have been fully vaccinated.

Lafayette County has 22 more cases of COVID-19 and no LTC facility outbreaks or deaths.

State Epidemiologist Paul Byers said a child younger than the age of five died as a result of COVID-19 making this the 6th pediatric death since the beginning of the pandemic.

On the week of August 22, there is an average of 33 children hospitalized or in acute care hospitals with confirmed COVID-19. A data chart shows that as of Tuesday, seven children with COVID-19 are in the critical care unit and three are on life support.

Pediatric cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise, particularly in children from ages five to 17, since mid-June and early July. Experts have also attributed the recent increase in cases to the start of classes.

From August 16 to August 22, Lafayette County School District has approximately 36 positive COVID-19 cases, about 2 cases are faculty and staff and the other 34 are students. The LCSD has 470 individuals quarantined, three are faculty and staff and 467 are students. These numbers are estimates given the approximations reported by the LCSD.

In the same period, Oxford School District has a total of 17 positive cases, two staff and 15 students, and 85 quarantine cases, which are all students.

“We’re going to continue to see increased hospitalizations and, unfortunately, some children who are infected with COVID will have some severe complications that require more intensive care,” said Byers. “Although the vast majority of children do recover.”

Overall number of cases and hospitalizations may be plateauing, but there is still enormous pressure on Mississippi hospitals’ healthcare systems.

MSDH data chart shows 1646 patients are hospitalized with confirmed COVID infection, 52 patient are suspected to be infected, 484 patients are on ventilators and 342 patients are on ventilators.

In a Tuesday morning press conference, Governor Tate Reeves announced that over 1,000 healthcare providers have been deployed to various hospitals in the state to the relieve pressure and staff beds. Baptist Memorial Hospital North Mississippi has requested a mobile hospital with 50 beds to address their internal disaster.

For more information on the Mississippi State Department’s COVID-19 news release and data, visit msdh.ms.gov.