Conn. hospitals reporting surge in children hospitalized with COVID; outcomes typically positive


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There are currently a record number of children hospitalized with COVID. Both Yale New Haven Hospital and Connecticut Children’s are reporting a surge.

“This morning, 16 children were in house, three in the ICU. We’ve been averaging around 16, 17 a day,” said Dr. Juan Salazar, physician-in-chief at Connecticut Children’s.

“Last year, our previous high for an entire month was 20. This past December, we hit 46 and in the five days in January, we’ve already admitted 22 children,” said Dr. Tom Murray, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Yale Medicine.

Yale said 80% of the children are hospitalized for symptoms related to COVID-19 infection and they usually have underlying conditions that put them at increased risk for hospitalization.

“Things like seizures, asthma, or some other medical problem that when they get COVID, they get a little bit sicker than a healthy child,” Murray said.

There is some good news to take away: At both hospitals, they say when the children are admitted, they usually have really good outcomes and are released quite quickly. They say there is also that huge section of the population that is infected and does not even need to go to the doctor’s office or hospital.

“Even though we have thousands of kids who have been infected, the majority of them are doing quite well, and that’s good news for us,” Salazar said.

Yale has treated nearly 300 children with COVID in the hospital and says all have had a positive outcome.

“The vast majority of children being admitted, regardless of their age, are unvaccinated children. So for any age group over the age of five, but especially that five to 11 year old range, we really encourage vaccination as a way to help keep your child out of the hospital,” Murray said.

With the approval for the Pfizer booster for those ages 12 to 15, they will begin Thursday at 7 a.m. at Connecticut Children’s.

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