COVID cases rising in children across Middle Georgia
The largest age group that's increasing in COVID cases is 10 to17 years-old.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– With COVID cases increasing across Middle Georgia right now, health professionals are noticing a concerning trend.
“The largest age group in the minor demographic that is increasing in COVID cases is the age 10 to age 17 range,” said Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District.
This week, Baldwin County and Monroe County schools announced temporary mask requirements due to positive COVID cases and community spread. But after protests from Monroe County parents, the school board dropped its mask requirement Wednesday evening.
Nearly a dozen districts across Middle Georgia have some sort of mask requirement in their schools.
“We have seen a slight bump in testing across the state,” Hokanson explained. “I would not be surprised if a lot of that was children being tested prior to going into classrooms, or children in classrooms being notified that they might have been a contact of somebody with a positive case and then going to get tested.”
On August 10, Monroe County Schools reported 51 students and 11 staff members tested positive for Coronavirus. Baldwin County has not reported any COVID cases, but says it’s requiring masks due to high community spread. We reached out to the Bibb County School District to request their COVID case counts, but declined to give updates until Friday. Houston County Schools says it had 57 students test positive for COVID last week.
We also checked in with local hospitals to see if the’are noticing an increase in pediatric COVID cases. Fairview Park Hospita in Dublin, reports seeing a 40% increase in children being hospitalized.
Lindsay Black, a representative for the hospital says, “We have admitted 20 pediatric patients due to covid since the beginning of the pandemic. Eight of those have been admitted in the last two months.”
Houston Healthcare reported it closed their pediatric ward to make room for more adult patients. In Macon, Piedmont currently has more than 70 COVID patients in their hospital, but would not say how many of those patients were children.
“I would say that our overall numbers have significantly increased in both kids and adults. We have definitely seen more positive kid cases here in the past few weeks,” said Charles Soares, a Resident Physician at Piedmont Macon.
With the start of a new school year, Michael Hokanson with the North Central Health District is asking everyone to help keep the children of Middle Georgia healthy.