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California’s COVID-19 hospitalizations reach record level

A soldier prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine
Marcy Sanchez/Landstuhl Regional Medical Cente
A soldier prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Chalk it up to the highly contagious omicron variant, kids exposed during in-person instruction at school and other public places, and infants and pre-schoolers being ineligible for vaccination.

The state has tallied nearly 850,000 cases of COVID among kids, ranging from newborns- to-17-year olds, since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, 44 have died.

This peak in hospitalizations of kids across the state has surpassed records set during last winter's surge, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly last week.

The state reached a high of 90 pediatric admissions in one day on Jan. 4th, according to the California Department of Public Health. The previous high of 41 pediatric admissions in one day occurred in January 2021, a record surpassed earlier during the omicron surge on Dec. 29 with 50 admissions.

California's public health department is running a statewide marketing campaign and doing community outreach to raise awareness around vaccination. The campaign targets parents and is going out on social media platforms like Twitter and Snapchat. In an email the department said the community outreach is focused on the state's more impacted communities.