Surfside—Shortly after acknowledging a group of First Responders that took part in the rescue effort at the Champlain Tower collapse, Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed reports of increased COVID infections and hospitalizations of children around the state.
Gov. DeSantis stated that only “1.0 and 1.4% of COVID positive patients in the state were children and that the currently the hospitalization rate is comparable to when the pandemic first broke out.
“I can tell you if you look throughout the entire pandemic between 1.1 and 1.4% of COVID positive patients in Florida hospitals have been Pediatrics and right now it’s 1.3%, so you’ve not seen a change in the proportion of the young people who end up being admitted,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis also outlined that on average, 25% of all patients have tested positive for COVID, but “are not being treated for COVID,” adding that when it comes to children, the average hospitalization rate for pediatrics is between “25 and 40%.”
But while COVID is infecting children, DeSantis says that Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), poses a bigger concern for parents and healthcare providers.
“The one thing I think is different from last year to this year, with respect to Pediatrics is not as much COVID,” but RSV,” added DeSantis. “We’ve had an RSV wave this year we did have very little last year. Florida, I think has peaked on that, but that actually RSVP for young kids I mean that’s much more of a concern than the COVID.”
Hospitals like Broward Health have reported a spike in pediatric infection and hospitalizations, but the good news is that it appears as if all of the COVID positive children are recovering within a few days of falling ill and are being discharged, according to one nurse is who is one of the pediatric overflow wards at Broward Health.
After addressing the question on pediatric COVID cases, DeSantis reaffirmed his position that he would not impose mask mandates on children because he believes it’s up to the parents to do so.
“It’s the parent’s decision,” stated DeSantis.