Hospital officials discuss increase in pediatric COVID-19 patients

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — As COVID-19 cases and adult hospitalizations are high in the Gem State, children are also feeling the impact.

In a media briefing Wednesday, child health officials spoke about the toll of COVID-19 on children in the state of Gem.

According to the medical director of St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital, Dr. Kenny Bramwell, the COVID-19 rates among children are now five times higher than this summer.

Currently, St. Luke’s has compared five pediatric COVID-19 patients with 300 adult patients.

Despite the space currently available for pediatric patients, there is a lot of concern as more children across the country get sick.

“These cases will continue to increase and we may reach a point where there are limitations in the care we can provide to children,” Bramwell said.

Bramwell reiterated that St. Luke’s is currently nowhere near a rationing point.

However, children are not only physically challenged.

“I’ve never seen so much anxiety, depression and other mental health problems in children, right up to a very young age,” said Dr. David Peterman, CEO of the Primary Health District.

Last year, many school districts had mask mandates. Many have not taken the same precautions this year.

Peterman says masks and vaccines work and is very frustrated with the state of schools in Idaho.

“Some of what I’ve seen from school boards can only be labeled as shameful from my perspective,” Peterman said. “At some point, we have to think beyond ourselves and our community, and especially children, and if you think of kids getting COVID-19 and spreading it to someone who is immunocompromised or older, and that’s when you just head begins to shake.”

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