Cases of COVID in those under 18 worry local health departments

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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As Covid-19 cases rise across the country, we have updates from health departments right here in Michiana.

Health officials say they’re seeing an increase in cases in both Berrien County in Michigan and St. Joseph County in Indiana.

Dr. Mark Fox of the St. Joseph County Health Department says he’s worried about people under the age of 18 catching Covid-19.

Currently that age group is 15% to 18% of cases in St. Joseph County.

However, last week the number was at 30%, and peaked at 40% prior to that.

He fears with the spread of the Delta variant, that more young people will catch the virus going into the school year.

Dr. Fox adds that hospitalizations are on the rise for all age groups. That number in St. Joseph County was in the single digits back in July, but now sits at around 60 residents in the hospital.

If you aren’t vaccinated, you are at risk .

“The vaccines really are remarkably effective at reducing infections and reducing transmission, but especially all the severe consequences, severe disease, hospitalization, and death,” Dr Mark Fox, Deputy Health Officer SJC Department of Health says.

Dr. Fox says the county is seeing significant community spread and averages about 110 to 115 cases per day.

According to the Covid Data Hub, the cases in the county are certainly on the rise.

Berrien County also provided an update on Wednesday. They’re seeing more young people catching Covid-19. That means they’re missing school, but it’s more than just the positive cases.

In just the first four days of the school year, there were 26 positive cases of Covid-19 between students and staff.

That resulted in around 83 quarantines.

In addition, Spectrum Lakeland says there are more Covid patients in the hospital. They had just a few cases a month ago and now they have a couple dozen. They expect to average 30 per day here soon.

They are urging the public to get vaccinated, avoid large groups, and keep yourself safe.

“This surge has been severe and it’s taking lives across the country everyday. We hope that it doesn’t get as bad in your neighborhood as what we’re seeing across the country. I fear that it will,” Dr. Loren Hamel, President of Spectrum Lakeland Hospital says.

The health department says that if you have symptoms of Covid-19, such as a cough or other respiratory issues you need make sure you get tested for Covid-19. They also remind you to talk your doctor. Doing these things could help stop the spread.

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