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COVID-19 cases on the rise with children in the St. Louis region

Pediatric infectious disease physician Jason Newland says they're seeing high rates in the 5-14 age group.

ST. LOUIS — The number of St. Louis County students with COVID-19 doubled over the last month and a half.

Pediatric Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Jason Newland tracks the trends by age group.

"The highest rates or the highest numbers were in children like 5-9 and 10-14 years of age, and then the 15-19 years of age was kind of in third place in regards to number of cases," Newland said.

This makes sense to him, because it's only been a month and a half since children ages 12 and under were approved for the vaccine.

"We know it takes times for people to get comfortable with vaccination and I think that's why this younger age group is kind of seeing more cases right now," Newland said.

St. Louis County's Dec. 4 report said 402 students have COVID, which is the most they've had since September. They have 95 staff cases -- the highest it's been all semester.

RELATED: COVID-19 cases on the rise in St. Louis County schools, study finds

"The school transmissions are still stable still low, we haven't been seeing those," Newland said.

The four major health systems that make up the task force reported 30 new COVID pediatric patients currently hospitalized on Wednesday.

"Our hospitals are full. Our adult hospitals are getting fuller and our pediatric hospitals are full not only from a little bit of COVID, but from other respiratory viruses because when people are out doing things there are other respiratory viruses causing people to be sick," Newland said.

Newland says this is all primarily from the DELTA variant, but with Omicron on our doorstep, it's vital to keep yourself protected.

RELATED: Yes, you can be infected with the delta and omicron coronavirus variants at the same time

"Vaccinations work so we really need to promote vaccination for these age groups that are eligible," Newland said.

Dr. Newland emphasized the importance of masking. 

Studies show that masking works and places that mask have less transmission.

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