By Brooke Katz

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As the COVID-19 omicron variant grips North Texas, Children’s Health is getting prepared for what’s ahead.

“We should anticipate that over the next several weeks we’re going to continue to see a pretty steep increase in the number of cases,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, the Chief of Infectious Diseases. “That’s going to mean a steep increase in the number of hospitalizations.”

His prediction comes as the area is already breaking records.

According to the DFW Hospital Council, there are 125 pediatric COVID patients in area hospitals. That tops the previous high of 111 patients.

“Essentially all these cases fall into one of two categories. One is the individual has not been vaccinated, and it could be that they’re just too young to be vaccinated. We’ve seen a lot of infants with COVID,” Dr. Kahn said. “The other bucket, of course, those kids who are on immunosuppressive therapy or transplant recipients, and they probably can’t respond to a vaccine.”

It’s not just the patients Dr. Kahn is worried about.

“My fear is that this is going to be a double whammy if you will. We’ll have a large surge of patients coming in, yet some of our staff won’t be able to work because they’ve contracted COVID.”

Dr. Kahn told CBS 11 News the best line of defense remains the vaccine.

“I have been speaking with parents of children who are not vaccinated in the ICU, and I think a lot of those parents regret the decision not to get their children vaccinated.”