ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital said hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients have increased since the last surge in late summer and early fall.
Currently, 20 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 at the hospital.
"Some are healthy kids and some are kids with underlying medical problems," said Dr. Joseph Perno, Chief Medical Officer of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital.
The hospital said in November it had 17 patients with COVID-19. Those numbers spiked to 55 cases in December. Hospital staff diagnosed about 500 cases in just the first two weeks of January. The hospital said it is also seeing patients test positive for the flu.
Dr. Perno encourages people to be cautious and wear a mask.
"Avoiding risky situations is probably the number one thing I can say for our pediatric population. I think we’ve all gotten a little lax on that, really avoiding situations where catching COVID is highly likely," said Dr. Perno.
The hospital said nearly all of the children hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated since they are under the age of 5 and are not eligible.
"The COVID symptoms can be anything from high fever to vomiting to diarrhea to cough and congestion," said Dr. Perno. "If you're eligible for the vaccine, get vaccinated, get your kids vaccinated. If your children are teens, they may even be eligible for a booster."