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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The number of children diagnosed with COVID-19 has climbed over the past couple of weeks in Kansas City.

The Johnson County Health Department said Tuesday that the number of children under the age of 4 with COVID has nearly tripled when comparing the first week of July to the first week of August.

There have been nearly a dozen children age nine or younger diagnosed with COVID-19 in Kansas City, Missouri, so far this month, according to the KC Health Department.

Dozens of children across the metro have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since July 1, but not all have needed to be hospitalized.

On Monday, 22 children were hospitalized at Children’s Mercy Hospital due to COVID-19. By Tuesday, that had dropped to 11 children. The hospital said four of those patients are in the ICU.

Doctors warn just because the number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped overnight, it doesn’t mean Kansas City is out of danger.

Doctor Angela Myers said Children’s Mercy Hospital is stretched thin because of the recent COVID-19 surge and other respiratory illnesses like RSV.

“Keep in mind we had no RSV at all once the pandemic hit in March 2020. We saw 0 RSV for well over a year because kids were at home and quarantined or they were wearing masks when they were out,” Myers said. “Now we are seeing certain viruses when people aren’t being masked and they are coming together in a population of children who don’t have any pre-existing immunity.”

Myers recommended that if your kids are old enough to be vaccinated, don’t hesitate. She said they should also be wearing masks and social distance, even if they are fully vaccinated.