BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations and new confirmed coronavirus cases has fallen in Idaho, but the numbers are still high enough to leave hospitals overwhelmed, Elke Shaw-Tu said , Administrator of the Idaho Public Health Division
BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19 and new confirmed coronavirus cases has declined in Idaho, but the numbers are still high enough to leave hospitals overcrowded, the administrator of Idaho Public Health Division Elke Shaw-Tulloch.
This means hospitals will remain under a ‘crisis care standards’ designation for now, giving them the ability to ration healthcare as needed to deal with high numbers of COVID-19 patients in the units. intensive care and hospital beds.
The state’s positivity rate for new cases is still more than double the 5% target set by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Shaw-Tulloch said. More than 1,000 new cases were reported to the state on Monday, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. More than 3,570 Idaho residents have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
But for some parents, hope was on the horizon Tuesday as a CDC advisory committee voted unanimously to recommend that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine be approved for use in children 5 to 11 years old. . More than 23,000 doses of childhood vaccines have already been shipped from vaccine manufacturers in Idaho, said Sarah Leeds, director of the Idaho immunization program, and more than 11,000 doses have been delivered to the State Tuesday.
If CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky gives final approval to children’s doses as scheduled, Leeds said, healthcare providers in Idaho could start firing as early as the end of the week. or at the start of the next.
“This is an important step forward in our ability to prevent COVID-19 disease in children,” Leeds said.
About 55% of eligible residents aged 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far, according to the state, but vaccination rates are much higher in the older and lower age groups in younger age groups. About 33% of 12 to 17 year olds are fully immunized in Idaho, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
The number of new pediatric cases of COVID-19 has also declined since it peaked at around 1,700 new cases in one week in late September. However, they remain high overall, with just under 1,000 new pediatric cases recorded during the last week of October. This is close to the level of COVID-19 cases of children the state saw in last winter’s outbreak.
Although children typically suffer from milder coronavirus disease than older adults, they are not without risk, said pediatrician Dr Lisa Barker.
“It’s really important to know that children are not immune to the harms of COVID-19, although serious illnesses are less common in this age group,” said Barker.
In the United States, there have been more than 8,300 hospitalizations of children aged 5 to 11, about a third requiring intensive care, according to government data. At least 94 children have died nationwide, according to CDC data.
Some children develop a rare but serious inflammatory disease around four weeks after their infection with COVID-19, Barker said. The multisystem inflammatory system in children, also known as MIS-C, causes inflammation in multiple organ systems and can lead to hospitalization and even intensive care in children, Barker said.
A 6 year old child she was caring for had a very mild coronavirus case but returned to her office about a month later “with just sort of head-to-toe symptoms” including a rash, fever prolonged and signs of internal organ inflammation, Barker said. The child required a long hospital stay.
“It’s important to recognize that the viral disease itself isn’t the only danger to these little guys,” she said.
Rebecca Boone, The Associated Press