The New York State Department of Health warned of an increase in children hospitalized with COVID-19, in a notice sent to doctors on Christmas Eve.
“NYSDOH is closely monitoring an upward trend in pediatric hospitalizations associated with COVID-19,” the notice read.
The jump in hospitalizations of children — who usually face very mild COVID-19 cases — is “concentrated in New York City and the surrounding greater metropolitan area,” according to the health advisory.
Pediatric admissions in the city have risen four-fold from the week starting December 5, 2021, to the week starting December 19, according to the bulletin, which did not quantify the actual number of children hospitalized.
The DOH did not immediately return a message seeking the number of hospitalizations.
About half of the children hospitalized were under five, and therefore ineligible for the vaccine, according to the notice, which encouraged physicians to continue to promote social distancing and wearing “a well-fitting mask” among their younger patients.
In addition, the notice advises doctors to remind parents “not to assume a mild respiratory illness is a routine ‘cold’; test for COVID-19.”