2.7% of hospitalizations in Ohio due to COVID-19 last week involved juveniles

MIAMI VALLEY — New data released from the Ohio Hospital Association showed juveniles accounted for 2.7 percent of the total admitted hospitalizations in the state last week due to COVID-19.

None of the juvenile hospital admissions were reported in the regions that include the majority of the Miami Valley and Greater Cincinnati area, according to the data from Ohio Hospital Association released Monday.

However, Dr. Patty Manning with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital said she believes the data is lagging the real-time data during a news conference Tuesday.

Ohio Hospital Association spokesman John Palmer said there could be a delay in data being reported if a hospital misses the deadline for reporting hospitalizations to the agency.

Dr. Adam Mezoff with Dayton Children’s Hospital said on Tuesday, Dayton Children’s now had 13 children hospitalized with COVID-19 and 40 percent of those were in the ICU. He said at the beginning of August Dayton Children’s was seeing one, maybe two, children in the hospital with COVID-19.

“We are seeing sicker and sicker children,” Mezoff said.

For the week of Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, hospitals in the state had 67 juveniles admitted to the hospital to be treated for COVID-19. More than half of those were admitted in Central Ohio.

Overall, 2,476 people were hospitalized last week with the virus, according to the Ohio Hospital Association.

>> Hospitals plea for help in letter as state sees highest weekly juvenile COVID-19 case count

While children represent the smallest percentage of hospitalizations among the age groups tracked by the hospital association, they did see the highest week-over-week rise in hospitalizations with an 81.1 percent jump. The next closest age bracket was ages 50 to 59, which saw about a 30.7 percent increase in hospitalizations compared to the week before.

The data comes as six Children’s Hospitals across Ohio are pleading for help from Ohioans as rising medical issues are “threatening the capacity of our pediatric safety net in ways we have never experienced before.”

The six hospitals, including Dayton Children’s, said they are seeing more kids coming into hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms and more kids are being hospitalized because of COVID-19, specifically the Delta variant. They also reported more kids in the ICU with COVID-19 than ever before.

The highest weekly number of juveniles hospitalized due to COVID-19 prior to last week that was available in the data released was Feb. 8, when 48 children were hospitalized with the virus.

In Ohio, one percent of all the COVID-19 cases involving children have ended up in hospitalization, according to the Ohio Department of Health. During the pandemic, 1,413 children have been hospitalized with the virus.

Paired with respiratory illnesses like RSV, which are at levels not usually seen until the peak season in winter, illnesses are threatening pediatric hospital capacity, according to the Children’s Hospitals.

“This is a reality for us,” an open letter signed last week by the presidents and CEOs of six Children’s Hospitals in the state read.

The hospitals also said mental and behavioral health issues and workforces being strained are playing an impact.

“We are asking and urging all Ohioans to do what you can to stand with us to help protect our state’s children by using the tools that we have,” the letter read.

Those tools, according to the hospitals, include:

  • If eligible, get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask during school and while attending large gatherings
  • Adhering to safe practices of physical distancing and handwashing.