Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Inc.

10/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/13/2021 12:09

Pediatric COVID-19 trends in Wisconsin — Oct. 13

NewsOct 13, 2021

Pediatric COVID-19 trends in Wisconsin - Oct. 13

Each week, Children's Wisconsin will provide hospital census information to help our community better understand how respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), are impacting kids. As the only health system in the state dedicated to the health of kids, Children's Wisconsin has the largest pediatric intensive care unit in the state. Check back on Wednesdays for the latest update.

This week's takeaway

"We are still seeing a large number of kids in the community testing positive for COVID-19, and the number of kids hospitalized with COVID-19 and respiratory viruses remain near highs. We are thankful that we have not seen an increase in numbers, but the high prevalence of COVID-19 emphasizes the continued need to wear your mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, work or attend school only when well, and get vaccinated when you are eligible. These are the best tools to limit disruptions to the school year and prevent illness. It is also of note that in the country and in northern Wisconsin, we are starting to see cases of the flu. Flu vaccines are available and now is the time to get them."

- Michael Gutzeit, MD, chief medical officer, Children's Wisconsin

What has changed since last week

  • Hospitalizations at Children's Wisconsin continue to be high, but steady: Over the last week, the number of rooms occupied at Children's Wisconsin remained high, but steady. The average daily number of children admitted to Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee who tested positive with a respiratory virus, including COVID-19, RSV and rhinovirus, also remained steady.

  • Almost a quarter of new COVID-19 cases are in kids: According to the latest data available from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), 23 percent of new confirmed cases on Oct. 10 were in those under the age of 18. While we haven't seen a recent increase in those being hospitalized with COVID-19, this indicates kids in the community are continuing to test positive for the virus and contribute to the spread of the virus.

  • All counties in Wisconsin continue to see high COVID-19 cases: While cases are beginning to plateau, according to the Wisconsin DHS, all counties in Wisconsin continue to have "critically high" or "high" case activity levels. This highlights the continued importance of mitigation efforts.

  • Flu cases have been reported in northern Wisconsin: The first reported cases of the flu have been reported in Wisconsin. Upper respiratory illnesses caused by viruses can be dangerous for the youngest and smallest kids in our community, especially kids with underlying health conditions. Now is the time to get your flu shot, and in most cases you can receive the flu and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.

What continues to be a focus

  • Pfizer-BioNTech asks U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5-11: Last week, Pfizer-BioNTech officially asked the FDA to amend its emergency use authorization to allow the use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children 5 through 11 years of age. The FDA has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Oct. 26 to consider the request. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is also expected to hold an advisory meeting in early November, and a decision should be made shortly thereafter.

  • Mitigation is vital: In other parts of the country, schools in communities with lower vaccinations rates and less stringent mitigation efforts appear to experience more outbreaks. Until more kids age 12-17 receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the age eligibility is lowered, masks continue to be the best way to protect kids from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Two recent studies published by the CDC provide additional evidence that masks protect children from COVID-19, even when community rates are high and the more contagious Delta variant is circulating

  • The W's (and a V): To decrease the chance of seeing kids hospitalized in Wisconsin due to COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses, we need everyone to wear masks, watch their distance, wash their hands, work or attend school only when well, and to get the COVID-19 and flu vaccines when they are eligible.


Average daily occupancy trends at Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee

The average daily occupancy at Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukeee

% of rooms occupied % of rooms occupied in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
Oct. 6-12 72% 82%
Sept. 29 - Oct. 5 72% 82%
Sept. 22-28 71% 78%
Sept. 15-21 68% 78%
Sept. 8-14 68% 79%

% of patients in isolation % of patients in isolation for a respiratory illness
(including COVID-19 and RSV)
Oct. 6-12 37% 26%
Sept. 29 - Oct. 5 33% 25%
Sept. 22-28 37% 28%
Sept. 15-21 34% 26%
Sept. 8-14 31% 24%

Respiratory virus trends seen at Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee

Average daily number of children admitted to Children's Wisconsin Hospital-Milwaukee who tested positive with a respiratory virus
Average number hospitalized with:
COVID-19 RSV Rhinovirus Influenza
Oct. 6-12 11 14 11 0
Sept. 29 - Oct. 5 11 16 11 0
Sept. 22-28 12 16 13 0
Sept. 15-21 10 15 11 0
Sept. 8-14 5 17 9 0

Confirmed pediatric COVID-19 cases

Confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide for kids 0-17 based on Wisconsin Department of Health Services database.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide Total Age 0-3 Age 4-8 Age 9-13 Age 14-17
Week of Sept. 26
4,422 461 1,012 1,538 1,411
Week of Sept. 19
5,205 519 1,220 1,843 1,623
Week of Sept. 12
5,577 494 1,290 1,941 1,852
Week of Sept. 5
4,386 490 1,117 1,426 1,353
Week of Aug. 29
3,093 404 793 961 935
Week of Aug. 22
377 633 691 641
Week of Aug. 15
2,106 346 559 631 570

*The latest information from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is still preliminary and will continue to be updated by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as cases are investigated and confirmed.

National and state context

  • In Wisconsin, the hospitalization rate of those age 0-17 with COVID-19 has begun to decrease after a spike in September.

  • According to the latest data from the CDC, last week, almost all states saw a plateauing or decreasing COVID-19 hospitalization rate in those 0-17 years old.

Current hospitalization rate age 0-17 (As of Oct.5)

Previous highest hospitalization
rate age 0-17

.39 .61 on 9/25/21
1.61 on 8/30/21
.26 2.23 on 8/13/21
.35 .80 on 9/28/21
.10 .31 on 11/11/20
Iowa .24 .83 on 11/10/20
Louisiana .30 1.2 on 8/15/21
Minnesota .37 .42 on 12/11/20
Montana 1.44 3.31 on 10/2/20
Ohio .68 1.01 on 9/21/21
Tennessee .51 1.12 on 9/5/21
Texas .35 .92 on 9/4/21

Current hospitalization rates are an average of how many kids, age 0-17, out of 100,000 are hospitalized. For example, on Sept. 25, an average of .61 children out of 100,000 were hospitalized in Wisconsin with COVID-19, though many of those kids were hospitalized for other reasons. To see more of this data, please visit the COVID-19 Data Tracker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information and data specific to pediatric cases of COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

Past reports

Our high standard of care has always required an uncompromising approach to safety. And during this COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to ensure every visit, appointment, procedure and surgery offered across all our Children's Wisconsin locations is safe. Learn more on our COVID-19 web page.