Federal data shows children COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to climb

US Department of Health and Human Services reports 224 children currently in Florida hospitals

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Daily data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows there are currently 224 children in the hospital in Florida Monday, the highest reported in more than a year.

According to the data, there were only 20 children admitted to hospitals across the state on July 1. On Aug. 1, that number increased 505% to 103 cases and as of Aug. 30, the HHS reports 224 kids are currently hospitalized.

“Yes, there has been an increase in children hospitalized,” said Dr. Raul Pino at a news conference in Orange County Monday.

These numbers reflected by health leaders in Orange County Monday as Dr. Raul Pino with the Department of Health in Orange County says children make up the largest group of new cases, with 19% of all new cases in children ages 5-14, adding this is the age group where most are not eligible to be vaccinated.

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“That is to assume that those are students or individuals who are school-aged,” Pino added.

Pino also reminded parents to continue the same precautions taken at school at home and in the community, including social distancing and mask-wearing.

“We don’t want parents to think that’s the only place a child is going to get exposed,” Pino said. “The piece that comes after schools is the community and that’s on parents and it’s important, they continue to be protected because if they don’t get it at schools, they will get it at home.”

Pino said the delta variant has changed the game with COVID-19 and children, with this message to parents.

“The message to everyone that is young or anyone who has a young member in the family that thinks this is a walk in the park...this is not a walk in the park,” he said. “This is not the same pandemic where we had before where younger individuals tend to do better.”

Pino says the FDOH in Orange County no longer receives daily data in regard to pediatric hospitalizations referring News 6 back to the hospitals. News 6 contacted local hospitals on how many pediatric cases they currently have.

Nemours Children’s Hospital reports it has 12 COVID-19 positive pediatric cases and UF Health has 14.

Orlando Health admitted 5 pediatric virus patients on Sunday alone and has a total of 27 in-house COVID-19 patients as of Monday.

Check back for responses from more hospital systems.

About the Author:

Nadeen Yanes joined News 6 as a general assignment reporter in 2016. She grew up in Leesburg and graduated from the University of Florida. Nadeen has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting on the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the trial of the Pulse gunman's wife and the capture of an accused cop killer, Markeith Loyd.