PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There are concerning statistics coming from UPMC Children’s Hospital.
In the last month, doctors said 30 kids have been hospitalized at UPMC Children’s Hospital with COVID-19. Just in the last week, doctors said they’ve seen 11 new hospitalizations, including babies.READ MORE: Allegheny County Jail Oversight Board Votes To End Training By Contractor Hired To Train Corrections Officers
Health experts fear these numbers will keep going up if people don’t act now.
“The children we serve are all under the age of 12,” said Program Director at Rainbows End Learning Center Courtney Angert.
This means the kids at Rainbows End Learning Center in Washington County can’t get the COVID-19 vaccine because there isn’t one for their age group. The staff has now decided to start masking up again.
“We have to wear them because we have to protect the children we are serving, and we have to protect ourselves,” said Angert.READ MORE: Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine Works In Kids Ages 5 To 11
Protecting the kids is also a priority for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. The Y is mandating that everyone over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors at its day camps and child care facilities.
“The kids’ safety is first. We don’t want the kids to miss out on any of their summer. They missed out on enough things. If it means wearing a mask and they can still be at camp, that’s what we want to do,” said Associate Vice President of Youth Enrichment at the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh Todd Brinkman.
“I don’t really like it, but I’m already used to it,” said YMCA camper Levi Eismont.
Doctors said taking precautions is necessary.
“I think as a parent or pediatrician, kids can do these activities. There still should be masks at this point in time given they can’t be vaccinated and given there’s a lot of contagious Delta virus going around,” said Division Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UPMC Children’s Hospital Dr. John Williams.MORE NEWS: 3 Medical Helicopters Called To Crash In Butler County
Dr. Williams said everyone 12 and older should get the COVID-19 vaccine unless they have a medical reason not to. He stresses that getting the shot will reduce the severity of the virus if you get sick and lower the chances of passing it on to someone more vulnerable.