UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital sees an increase in Covid-19 cases

Case numbers among children have increased and so too has the severity of the cases they’re seeing.
Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 11:32 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - State restrictions are being loosened, playgrounds are reopening, and once empty ball fields are filling up with kids.

And at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital the number of children testing positive for Covid 19 has noticeably increased, even as the number of overall new cases in the state seems to be trending down.

As the pandemic took hold, children were testing positive for Covid-19 at just 1 to 2 percent, according to UH’s Dr. Amy Edwards.

“That’s creeping up to like 4 percent or 5 percent, and actually, if you look at just the last seven days it’s more like 7 percent so we’re definitely seeing an upward trend,” Dr. Edwards said.

It is important to note, Dr. Edwards says, that compared to adults there are still a relatively small amount of children’s cases, but it’s a significant enough marker that she wants to make sure that parents do not let their guard down when it comes to keeping their children protected.

It’s unclear why the infection rate in children has risen.

“We don’t know why,” Dr. Edwards said. “Maybe it’s because the kids who are at higher risk, the parents were being more protective.”

She’s hoping that parents will see the increase in cases as a reason to remain cautious with their children’s activities because she says the concern is deeper than a simple increase in cases.

Throughout the majority of the pandemic, Dr Edwards said, very few children were admitted to the pediatric Covid -19 unit at Rainbow, but in the children’s cases they have seen recently, the symptoms have been severe.

“We’ve had very few kids admitted to our Covid unit, but in the last couple of weeks we’ve actually had periods when our unit has been full,” she said.

Governor Mike DeWine, earlier this month, gave the go ahead for schools to reopen in the fall, so the increased number of cases at Rainbow will be watched very closely, the hope being that the increase in cases is isolated.

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