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Hinesville pediatrician seeing increase in COVID patients

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:33 PM EST
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HINESVILLE, Ga. (WTOC) - The spread of the Omicron variant has proven to be highly transmissible among children.

PedsNow! Urgent Care for Kids normally sees about 30 to 40 patients a day. Now, that number can be as high as 100 per day. Dr. Matthew Wilson says the spike in COVID cases is responsible for the increase.

Dr. Wilson says the holidays combined with a return to school have likely contributed to the influx in patients he’s seen over the past few weeks.

“When kids go back to school, they’re in smaller spaces, and if they’re exposed to one person, that one person can cause the entire classroom to be positive for COVID.”

Wilson says the COVID tests performed in the clinic are coming back at a higher positivity rate—around 28 percent positive over the past seven days. Wilson says this is much higher than before the holidays.

“At that time, we were only having about a 3 percent positivity rate for COVID. Then, once the Omicron variant hit, now we’re somewhere between 20 and 30 percent positivity.”

However, with many area school districts moving to virtual learning, things have calmed down slightly at the clinic.

“When students don’t have to go to school, parents aren’t quite so at a rush to get them tested. So, we expect our numbers to kind of fluctuate.”

Dr. Wilson says the best thing to do, is to get your child vaccinated if they’re old enough.

“I compare it to an airbag in a car. It may not prevent you from becoming injured, but it prevents the really bad injuries. The vaccine is very much that way.”

This office also offers COVID testing for all ages, not just children. Dr. Wilson says they did this to help with testing demand in the area.

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