MILWAUKEE — State and local health officials say confirmed cases of COVID-19 in children have doubled in a month's time.
Children's Wisconsin provided data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. It shows there are 4,052 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in kids 17 and under statewide in the week of Sept. 12—up from 2,080 the week of Aug. 15.
Children's Wisconsin says a daily average of nine kids were admitted to its hospital in Milwaukee this week, compared to five last week.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Gutzeit says the risk of children getting severely ill from COVID-19 remains low, but any time a child misses school or gets medical care, it's concerning.
"I think the thing that we are most worried about is the doubling of kids with COVID-19, means the potential that more kids might have severe illness with COVID-19, and things we want to make sure we are watching very carefully," Gutzeit said. "And the other thing I want to make sure we are mindful of is that we don’t know any long term effects in kids in this point in time."
He said the number of patients at Children's Wisconsin remains steady, but they are seeing more severe illness in the kids who are admitted.
Dr. Gutzeit also noted they are seeing an uptick in RSV, another respiratory virus not typically seen until November.
He says families who want to get tested and not seek medical care should not come to urgent care or the emergency room. Instead, they can find a testing site near them here.
Meanwhile, state health officials say confirmed cases continue to grow among kids ages 9 to 13, and they report a surge in cases overall.
"Our seven day average of cases also stands at 2,857 and that's nearly double where we were two weeks ago," said DHS Secretary-Designee Karen Timberlake. "And it's 123 percent higher than where we were a month ago."
They say it's especially important for adults to get vaccinated because kids under 12 are not yet eligible. State and local officials say they are prepared for when they can vaccinate kids as young as five.
"All of those systems and processes are in place and ready to go," Timberlake said. "And we are very eager for that next phase of emergency use authorization for those young kids."