New data shows that nearly 800 children under the age of 12 in Saskatchewan tested positive for COVID-19 last month.
That’s a figure that pediatrician Dr. Ayisha Kurji said she fears will only increase as those who are too young to be vaccinated return to school.
“The more children we have contracting COVID-19, the more likely we will have children who will need to be in the hospital, who will get very sick, who could need ICU, could die, could suffer from prolonged COVID,” he said.
793 Saskatchewan children under 12 contracted COVID-19 in August, report says
He said being unmasked indoors with lots of people is a significant risk factor.
“Most children still do well with COVID, even if it is the Delta variant,” Kurji said.
“But as our number of infections increases, they increase,” Kurji said, adding that he hopes to see more seriously ill children and need to go to hospitals and ICUs as cases increase.
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In the meantime, he said he has heard of some children showing prolonged COVID symptoms.
“We do not know what a few years will be like with children who had COVID,” he explained. He said it is important to limit the time children spend in shared spaces indoors.
“School is a priority. They should go to school, ”he said.
“But making sure that we are limiting all the other times that they are in those who share interior spaces, especially without masks.”
793 children under the age of 12 contracted COVID-19 in Sask. in August, the report shows
Meanwhile, some in the healthcare system said they are overwhelmed by the number of young patients arriving with the virus.
“We see people who are younger and sicker than ever,” said Tracy Zambory, president of the Saskatchewan Nurses Union (SUN).
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Zambory said many hospitalized are in their 20s and 40s.
“The largest number of sick people in the hospital are the unvaccinated,” he said.
“We need to vaccinate people. People need to go and do that. But we also need the government to reintroduce those public health orders. “
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The union said it wants mandatory masking for public spaces returned.
In an emailed statement Wednesday, the province said it is working with the Saskatchewan health authority to monitor the COVID-19 situation.
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