Michigan hospitals fear surge in pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations

The CDC has elevated Michigan's risk for community spread of COVID-19 to substantial, meaning the state is now falling in the category where we should all wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

The country, overall, is seeing a big increase in cases - specifically in kids - according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics. That's a cause for concern for parents nationwide but, here in Michigan, it's not happening so far. Health experts fear that could change in the future.

Beaumont Health Pediatrician, Dr. Sandy Patel, reassured that the state's COVID-19 numbers in children are stable, for now. However, kids are heading back to the classroom soon for the start of the school year and the highly contagious delta variant is making up most cases in the country at this point.

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"We are predicting with the new delta variant, we are predicting there’s going to be an increase in hospitalizations, pediatrician visits for fevers, cold - it can be Covid, it can be RSV, it can be influenza. In the fall we're going to overall see an uptick in illnesses that are affecting children," Dr. Patel said.

Medical experts say now is the time for kids 12 and old to get the COVID-19 vaccine, if they haven't done it yet. It's not approved for children 12 yet but government officials and medical experts predict will be sometime in the upcoming school year.

Dr. Patel is urging everyone to consider what life looks like in December or January and not necessarily what it looks like in early August.

"I feel like right now is not a reflection of where we’re going to be 4 or 5 months from now so I would like to behave in a sense of I’m living 4 or 5 months in the future and what can I do to protect my family, my community, and I believe it’s getting the vaccine, masking and being safe," Dr. Patel said.

The COVID-19 is safe and effective. It's also free and is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the virus.

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