S.C. child COVID inpatients soar as Ga. total nears past peaks

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 8:11 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - As the omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to surge, South Carolina hospitals on Tuesday reported a record-breaking number of children hospitalized with the virus.

According to the South Carolina Children’s Hospital Collaborative, which is made up of four children’s hospitals across the state, 40 kids are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. The previous high was 38, which came at the height of the delta variant surge.

Columbia-based pediatrician Dr. Deborah Greenhouse said this is evidence of a worrisome trend.

“It’s very concerning,” she said. “We have more children in the hospital, we have more children in our intensive care unit, we have more children in our emergency rooms. And that impacts our ability to care for everyone. Not just children with COVID, but everyone else who needs care, as well.”

According to the Children’s Hospital Collaborative, of the 40 children currently hospitalized, only five percent are fully vaccinated.

Twenty-four are unvaccinated, and 14 are younger than five years old and therefore not yet eligible for the vaccine.

There are 10 children statewide with COVID-19 in critical care on Tuesday, and three on ventilators.

“That should be just a glaring sign for folks,” Greenhouse said.

Across the river in Georgia ...

Meanwhile, hospitals in Georgia continue to se an increase in COVID inpatients.

While the statewide number isn’t quite where it stood at the previous two peaks — 5,700 in January 2021 and 6,000 in September — it’s starting to get close. The number stood at 5,200 on Tuesday.

In the Georgia portion of the CSRA, there were 264 COVID inpatients Tuesday, up from 245 the day before and 189 a week earlier.

As demand for COVID testing continues to grow, Georgia has opened two new mega-testing sites while the Department of Public Health works to ease strain on other resources.

The site in Marietta can test 400 to 600 people a day.

The other site is in DeKalb County.

And the health agency says it might open more sites soon.

Also in the news ...

BOOSTER TIME: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and the first lady of South Carolina, Peggy McMaster, received COVID-19 booster shots Tuesday and urged others to, as well.

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