News7 In Depth


Michigan leaders urge caution as pediatric COVID hospitalizations rise in other states

emergency hospital sign
Posted at 1:47 PM, Dec 28, 2021

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A representative at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan at the Detroit Medical Center says the number of patients with COVID-19 is “relatively low.”

It’s good news considering what’s happening in other states.

“Currently right now, I do work for one of the largest COVID testing labs here in Michigan, LinxDX. And we’re seeing the positivity rate skyrocket right now,” Gennifer Cooper said.

Cooper brought her soon-to-be 8-year-old son Hunter to get his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at I Pharmacy in Livonia.

Dr. Hossain Marandi, the President of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, treats some of the state’s youngest patients.

“We feel that vaccinations are a significant portion of the armament that we have to combat the admissions to the hospital and serious illnesses,” Marandi said.

He says the hospital has treated anywhere from five to 19 patients at time.

Historically, most of them age 12 and older.

“I would say in the most recent time, we have seen more patients that are on the younger age, in the 5 to 9 range, and also some now we are seeing younger than 5,” Marandi said.

Children ages 4 and under are more vulnerable to contracting the virus because there’s not a vaccine available for them yet.

Marandi says a normal child gets anywhere from nine to 12 cold virus in a one-year period from playing closely and being less hygienic.

A spokesman for the Children’s Hospital of Michigan at the DMC says cases there have been steady.

“It’s been steady over the last couple of weeks and only a handful of those patients have required care in the ICU,” the hospital said in a statement.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a face mask advisory for the holiday season and continues to recommend layered mitigation strategies like mask wearing and testing, especially for those who aren’t able to be protected by a vaccine yet.

“I hope, I hope that this is something that people see and take seriously because it’s really disheartening to see these children that are now coming down with this,” Cooper said.