Coronavirus Updates

Amid rise in pediatric COVID cases, kids should wear masks and get vaccinated when eligible, AdventHealth physician says

Likening the struggle against COVID-19 to a war, an AdventHealth physician today called for an increased focus on vaccinations, masking and social distancing amid a rise in both adult and pediatric cases.

AdventHealth hospitals in Central Florida are currently caring for 1,580 COVID patients, including 22 pediatric COVID patients, both all-time highs for the health-care system, Dr. Michael Keating, chief medical officer of AdventHealth for Children, said at today’s briefing. Keating said there are about 12 COVID patients under age 18 in Orlando.

While many children who get COVID do not get seriously ill, Keating noted the potential for asymptomatic children to spread the disease to other members of their households.

“I would strongly encourage everybody to mask your children” with the new school year beginning, Keating said.

Keating said children of all ages have been hospitalized with COVID-19, including newborns. Teen and adolescent patients tend to get sicker than younger children, especially if they have pre-existing conditions such as obesity.

“A lot of this could have been avoided by better vaccination, and will be blunted by better masking and vaccinating when age-able,” Keating said.

We encourage you to refer to the video by downloading it here to pull direct quotes from Keating.