DALLAS — As the Omicron variant spreads, 103 children on Tuesday are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the DFW Trauma Service Area E.
Pediatric hospitalizations have been increasing since Dec. 23, according to health officials.
In previous surges, pediatric hospitalizations reached 111, so this current number is nearing the highest peak.
"This is definitely the highest surge I've seen in terms of COVID in children," said Dr. Marcial Oquendo with TLC Pediatrics of Frisco.
At his practice, Oquendo said, "It's more than tripled in the last two weeks."
Oquendo's main concern is for the patients who are not vaccinated.
"Those are the kids that are more likely to end up in the hospital, and we see that. We see that today in the hospitals that most of the kids that are in there, especially with severe disease, are kids that are not vaccinated either because they chose not to or because they are not eligible for it," he said.
Dr. Angela Moemeka with Mark9 Pediatrics in Coppell is also seeing a higher positivity rate in patients she tests for the coronavirus.
"We see anywhere from 40 to 70% being positive when they are tested. With Delta, they were probably closer to the 15 to 30% range," said Moemeka.
She said while Omicron is more contagious, most of her patients are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms.
Moemeka said it's up to families to protect the children under 5 who are not eligible to get the vaccine.
"Washing hands frequently, keeping hands away from your face, making sure you cover coughs and sneezes, wearing a mask if you're going to be around others outside of your household, especially in indoor areas and crowded areas," Moemeka said. "The household being vaccinated, anyone who is elilgible, can protect those kids who are not yet eligible."
Both Oquendo and Moemeka say now is not the time to let your guard down.