Cook Children's Hospital seeing spike in COVID-19 cases among kids

Doctors at Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth are seeing a recent spike in COVID-19 cases.

The hospital is reporting 238 positive cases, but it says about half of those cases came in the last week and a half.

Cook Children’s currently has six hospitalized in the COVID unit. Though the virus doesn’t appear to be affecting children as severely, doctors warn kids can still spread COVID-19.

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Dr. Nicholas Rister is a pediatric infectious disease physician at Cook Children’s who is monitoring the recent increase.

“We've had 238 positives from those. And the key thing is that more than half of those are from the past one and a half weeks. So we've seen a huge uptick lately,” he said. “Reopening Texas, of course we knew we were going to see more cases when we did that, and that's what we saw. There are other things for kids, especially during the summer, things like camps and daycares.”

Doctors are concerned with the Fourth of July holiday coming up and summer activities, they could see more cases.

“Sporting events, firework displays where you're around close other people, those are what we're worried about,” Dr. Rister said. “Because we think the virus could easily spread in those situations, even when you're doing your best to wear masks.”

In the meantime, the hospital is expanding testing to everyone who is admitted. Doctors say 90 percent of their cases are children showing symptoms, but most don’t require hospitalization.

“We only have six kids in the hospital at the moment, which speaks to the fact that children generally do very well with the disease,” Dr. Rister said. “But one of those kids is in fact in the ICU. So it can be a severe disorder for anyone really.”

As the numbers at Cook Children’s continue to rise, doctors expect the situation to get worse before it gets better because the virus can take up to 14 days before a person shows symptoms.

“I expect at least for another week for cases to go up and potentially more beyond that,” Dr. Rister said. “But the key thing is that we just keep a close eye on those numbers and react.”

Doctors at Cook Children’s say they still have plenty of hospital capacity and are prepared to help take on adult patients if needed, but they say they haven’t gotten that request yet.

MOREInteractive map of Texas COVID-19 cases