Children's Hospitals Issue Plea to Protect Kids from COVID-19

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Leaders of children’s hospitals across the country including some in Connecticut have issued a plea to protect kids from COVID-19.

Now ICUs in children’s hospitals, especially in the south, are becoming full of COVID-19 patients amid the spread of the Delta variant.

“Children, when they have COVID and come to the hospital, they are sicker. This is more contagious and much more virulent strain,” said Jim Shmerling, Connecticut Children’s president & CEO.

That hospital joined Yale New Haven Children’s and dozens of the nation’s children’s hospitals to put out a plea to protect children.

“Because there is so much controversy around the country and misinformation that it is putting children more and more at risk,” said Shmerling.

In a national campaign, the group is calling for everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. Second - everyone should mask up, particularly while in large groups or during school. And finally, people should keep up social distancing and hand washing.

“We have an obligation to protect one another particularly our children,” said Shmerling.

Connecticut Children’s is expecting a very active winter with kids possibly being exposed to COVID and the flu.

The hospital is already pretty busy with a respiratory virus that’s going around this summer.

The national group of children’s hospitals say they’re under unprecedented stress with COVID cases, respiratory illnesses and demand for mental health services. That’s why they’re pushing President Biden to send federal funds to help support pandemic-driven staff cost increases.

Among the parents taking action is Gabrielle Pierre who works in a NICU and has seen babies with the virus.

“I take the precautions that I have to take and hope me and my kids can stay safe,” said Pierre of Manchester.

Mother of three – Sherelle Gunn of Hartford – is comforted kids will have to wear masks when classes start this week.

“I was nervous at first but they were doing it all last year so they are pretty used to the routine by now,” said Gunn.

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