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Local pediatricians overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients

Local pediatric offices flood as kids get cold flu and Omicron variant
Posted at 7:19 AM, Jan 05, 2022

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Getting an appointment with your child’s pediatrician may be harder than you think.

Like local hospitals, pediatric offices are swamped.

Anderson Hills Pediatrics operates offices in Anderson and Amelia. Both offices said they’re filling their daily appointments by 9 a.m. Dr. Kathleen Driscoll said the office has seen children with coughs, colds, flu, strep and COVID-19. She said they're struggling to keep up with the volume of calls because parents have questions about exposures, new testing options and new quarantine guidelines.

The office is trying to streamline things by offering COVID-19 testing from the car. Dr. Driscoll said they are testing about 65 kids each day, a number she described as “insane.”

The office is seeing the highest positivity rate since the pandemic began: 32% of patients tested are coming back positive. Dr. Driscoll is pleading with the community to take the spread seriously.

"Hunker down," Driscoll said. "Please don't go out to big social settings."

She understands that people are sick of staying home and are tired of hearing about how contagious the latest variant is.

“But when I say that this omicron variant is contagious, it is so contagious," Driscoll said. "We are seeing people whose parents are vaccinated and boosted who are getting it. Kids in the 5-11 age group who just got vaccinated a month ago are getting it. So it's getting everybody.”

Dr. Driscoll adds that there is light at the end of the tunnel. She suggests that lying low for the next two weeks as the omicron variant peaks could protect you.

She says local doctors are doing everything they can to treat patients in the offices and at home. Experts maintain that omicron symptoms aren't as severe in children and often don’t require hospitalization.