New York City Mayor Eric Adams declares that schools and childcare institutions will remain open amid the rise in the numbers of young children being hospitalized due to COVID-19.
Adams remarked that disrupting the stability of childcare and education has a "rippling impact" throughout the entire city as parents need to work. Thus such institutions in the city will continue to coordinate with health care professionals.
Schools to remain open, NYC Mayor Adams says
The New York Mayor made the statement when asked in the CBS program Face the Nation if daycares will still be open considering that cases of hospitalization among children not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination are on the rise, according to Insider.
Adams admitted that he faces a great challenge in balancing between health safety and the economy in this time of crisis.
"We have to ensure the financial ecosystem is healthy as well as our children and our families are healthy at the same time," he said.
Adams has been firm in the decision to keep schools open though most parents and staff struggle amid fast-rising cases of COVID-19. He also noted that his administration would continue to take the necessary steps to ensure safety in schools, daycares, and other locations in the city.
More Younger Children in Hospitals
Hospitals have reported an increase in younger children who got infected by the COVID-19. Health officials blame the spiking numbers in hospitalizations on the omicron variant, a highly contagious but milder strain and currently dominant among the COVID-19 strains in the United States.
New York State Department released a report on Friday indicating the increase in hospital admissions from 70% in the earlier part of December to 571 per week by the latter part of the month.
In New York City, the admissions jumped from 22 to 385 per week, with massive increases in the Mid-Hudson and Long Island.
As of January 1, more than four in 100,000 children four years old and below have been admitted to hospitals due to COVID-19. It is two times higher compared to the rate recorded one month ago, according to ABC.
The increase in cases was observed among children age five and below who are not eligible for vaccination. Also included in the data are those who got hospitalized for non-COVID-19 conditions but turned out positive in tests.
Medical experts explained that the rise in omicron cases in the country might have something to do with the increase in hospitalized children. However, children have less risk of developing severe conditions compared to adults.
A Cause For Alarm
Dr. Eli Rosenburg, deputy director for science in the Health Department's Office of Public Health, noted that COVID-19 cases in children are rising faster than adults. Around 70% of newly hospitalized children infected by the virus experience symptoms, while half had no comorbidities, as per the New York Times.
She said they are alarmed about the "alarming" increase, adding that downplaying the risks for younger patients might be dangerous.
"What we're trying to show is there are serious consequences for some children," Dr. Rosenburg said.
Meanwhile, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky advised the public, especially those eligible, to have themselves vaccinated to ensure the safety of the young children at home, school, daycare, and throughout the entire community.
"Please, for our youngest children, those who are not yet eligible for vaccination, it's critically important that we surround them with people who are vaccinated to provide them protection," she said.