coronavirus COVID-19 kids children
Representational image. ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images


  • Dr. Anita Henderson pointed out that Mississippi has inadequate pediatric equipment to treat children
  • An analysis found an 830% jump in COVID-19 cases among children during the first two weeks of school this year
  • The state health department has ordered COVID-positive individuals to isolate
  • Parents are concerned about the nationwide increase of coronavirus cases among school kids

Coronavirus cases among children in Mississippi continue to climb, with a pediatric expert warning of the dire consequences that the state will be in given its “inadequate” resources for treating children.

Speaking for Mississippi Today’s “The Other Side” podcast, Dr. Anita Henderson said “we’ve got a runaway train in our state in terms of children,” adding that adults should “do everything in their power to put kids first, to do what’s right for the children.” Henderson pointed out the painful truth about Mississippi having “one pediatric children’s hospital” and “one pediatric ICU” in the state that’s already “overwhelmed.”

Henderson’s comments came following the release of a Mississippi Today analysis that estimated an 830 percent surge in COVID-19 cases among children in the state during the first two weeks of school as opposed to figures from last August’s first two weeks of school.

Late last week, Mississippi State Epidemiologist Paul Byers said the state is in “as bad of a situation as we can be.” Byers added that the fastest growing number of COVID-19 cases was detected among children and teens aged between 5 and 17, The Clarion-Ledger reported.

Mississippi has been witnessing a significant increase in child hospitalizations related to the virus. At the Children’s of Mississippi, 28 kids were hospitalized due to confirmed COVID-19 test results or suspected cases as of Friday, data from the University of Mississippi Medical Center revealed.

Data from the Mississippi State Department of Health also revealed that since the virus was first detected in the state in March last year, 207 patients aged 17 and below have been hospitalized due to COVID-19.

As part of the efforts to strengthen the state’s battle against COVID-19 and the Delta variant, the MSDH issued an alert Friday that mandated all individuals who’ve tested positive for the virus to isolate for at least 10 days. Violators will be fined up to $5,000 or face potential jail time of up to 5 years, FOX reported.

The MSDH reported 7,249 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 56 deaths linked to the disease from Aug. 20 to Aug. 22. The state has reported a total of 413,498 confirmed infections and 8,047 deaths since the pandemic started.

Meanwhile, parents around the United States, not just within Mississippi, have expressed concerns about the health of their children as the new school year began. Data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association found that there was a 23 percent increase in COVID-19 cases among children nationwide during the week of Aug. 5 compared to the previous week, NPR reported.

Parents have urged schools to require mask-wearing in schools. As of last week, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he will not be issuing a mask mandate in schools. He instead urged people to get vaccinated.

Children with sufficient antibodies will not be forced to quarantine when exposed to a Covid patient, a move aimed at limiting school-year disruptions
A 12-year-old in New Jersey passed away within a few days after testing positive of COVID-19. In photo: a health worker gets a blood sample from a child. AFP / JACK GUEZ