COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — During Tuesday coronavirus briefing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was joined by Dr. John Barnard who is the chief of pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Barnard is also the president of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Barnard has been leading a team of physicians and researchers across Ohio’s six children’s hospitals to analyze the prevalence of COVID-19 among children under the age of 18.
“Children get coronavirus infection. Let’s be really crystal clear. They get coronavirus infection and they get it not infrequently,” Dr. Barnard said. “It can be a very serious disease in certain children.”
Dr. Barnard said Ohio children’s hospitals have done roughly 14,000 tests during the past five months for children who have coronavirus symptoms resulting in an 8.6 percent positivity rate.
“Of all the children that we’ve encountered across the state, 8 percent have required admission to one of our children’s hospitals,” Dr. Barnard said. “Of those 8 percent, 1 percent have had to go into our intensive care unit and some have been really critically ill and on ventilators.”
Dr. Barnard said Ohio children’s hospitals have also done about 20,000 tests in asymptomatic children resulting in a positivity rate of 1.4 percent.
“We do think there is an increase in the number of children that are asymptomatic but test positive for COVID,” Dr. Barnard said.
Dr. Barnard said 17 year olds have the highest prevalence of coronavirus compared to all other ages under 18.