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News Update

Pediatric Covid hospitalizations spike in California

Pediatric Covid hospitalizations have shot up over the past few days, surpassing the number of pediatric hospitalizations at the peak of last winter’s surge, California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly told reporters Wednesday. However, he did not specify how many beds are filled at pediatric hospitals or how much of an increase California had experienced.

Despite general hospitals nearing capacity in California, pediatric hospitals and hospitals serving children are “able to take on the current demand,” Ghaly said. Many children hospitalized with Covid are not being sent to intensive care units and are not having to be put on ventilators, Ghaly added. Children who are hospitalized with Covid typically have other underlying health issues, he said.

Pediatric hospitals throughout the country are also reporting surging Covid hospitalizations. During the week ending Jan. 2, an average of 672 children were hospitalized with Covid each day across the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

California Health and Human Services is continuing to call on families to get their children vaccinated against Covid and to provide them with well-fitting, filtrated masks.

Ghaly also announced that, as of Wednesday, 6.2 million at-home tests have been delivered to counties to distribute to schools. Gov. Gavin Newsom had initially pledged to provide all 6 million California K-12 students with an at-home test prior to their return to school, but only about half of those tests made it out to counties by Monday due to transportation and weather issues.


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