Kentucky Child COVID-19 Hospital Admissions Have Hit a Record High

COVID cases in Kentucky children increased more than 400% last month, from 133 on July 16 to 548 on Aug. 16.

A rendering of the COVID-19 coronavirus. - Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A rendering of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Seventeen children were hospitalized on Aug. 16  for COVID-19 — the highest number ever in Kentucky.

The previous high was 12 admissions in December, according to Gov. Andy Beshear’s office. 

COVID cases in Kentucky children increased more than 400% last month, from 133 on July 16 to 548 on Aug. 16.

“COVID-19 isn’t just hitting adults. With the Delta variant, your kids are at a greater risk than they have been before,” said Gov. Beshear. “In a Southern Indiana school district, 750 students are already in quarantine. Do the right thing: Get vaccinated, mask up in schools and in high-risk indoor settings. Protect our kids.”

At Norton Hospital in Louisville, 18 children are hospitalized with COVID, according to Norton Children’s Hospital Medical Director Dr. Mark McDonald. Four are in the ICU. None are vaccinated. (Children under the age of 12 are currently not eligible to receive the COVID vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

At the previous height of the pandemic, only two to three in-patients were hospitalized at one time at Norton Children’s.

“The patients are much sicker with the Delta variant and they’re requiring a lot more support than previously,” McDonald said in a news release from Louisville Public Health & Wellness.

McDonald also said adolescent COVID patients are reporting long-haul COVID complications, including myocardial dysfunction, fatigue, memory fog, headaches, and an inability to focus when they read. 

McDonald urged parents to get vaccines. 

“If you have children 12 and over you can get the vaccine for them,” he said. “We’re actually going to start vaccinating children within the hospital, that are admitted, that are not vaccinated.”

On Saturday, the number of children hospitalized across the U.S. hit a record high, too. More than 1,900 kids were in the hospital that day, according to WebMD

Beshear pointed to other Southern states that are hitting tragic COVID milestones: Mississippi recorded its fifth child death from COVID complications on Monday. And, only two ICU beds are available in Alabama. 

In Kentucky, 86.9% of COVID cases, 90.5% of COVID hospitalizations and 87.4% of COVID deaths were among unvaccinated or partially vaccinated residents. 

In other COVID news, a third dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is now recommended for immunocompromised Kentuckians at least 28 days after the second dose. 

This story was originally published by our sister paper LEO Weekly and republished with permission. 


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