JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of children testing positive for COVID-19 is on the rise.
As of Sunday morning, there were 17 children at Wolfson Children’s Hospital being treated for COVID-19, according to the hospital. That’s five more than were in the hospital just two days before.
Of those 17 being treated Sunday, five children are in the ICU.
The delta variant is proving children are not immune from the potential harms of the coronavirus.
COVID-19 Update for patients across our 5-hospital health system: pic.twitter.com/50w7dphk8C— Baptist Health (@BaptistHealthJx) September 5, 2021
“Children now make up over 20 percent of all the positive tests around the country and we have seen between 350 and 400 children die of this virus in the last 18 months. Whereas last year, from 2020 to 2021 flu season, we only saw one child die of the flu,” said Duval County Medical Society Foundation President, Dr. Sunil Joshi.
According to Wolfson Children’s Hospital, seven children have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, including two children this past week, according to officials.
Dr. Joshi said school being back in session could be a contributing factor to the rise in cases.
According to the Duval County Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard, across the district, there are 1,960 reported cases. The district starts its 90-day mask mandate for students and staff on Tuesday.
Dr. Joshi said the mask mandate is a start to helping the number of child COVID-19 cases go down.
“I feel like there needs to be more of a layered approach, but certainly, having masks in schools hopefully before these younger children can get vaccinated will make a difference,” said Dr. Joshi.
As of right now, children under 12 years old cannot get vaccinated. Dr. Joshi said the best way to protect them from COVID-19 is by having those who are eligible to get the vaccine and wear masks.