Children’s Hospital seeing increase in pediatric COVID-19 cases
"COVID does impact kids and continues to do so in challenging ways," said Chandra Chacon, CEO of Children's Hospital.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Despite COVID-19 cases slowing down in parts of the state, Children’s Hospital has seen the largest increase of pediatric COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.
CEO of Children’s Hospital, Chandra Chacon, spoke about the hospital’s current situation at the Nebraska Hospital’s Association weekly press conference on Monday.
“COVID does impact kids and continues to do so in challenging ways,” said Chacon.
In recent weeks, Children’s Hospital has experienced its highest number of pediatric patients. On Friday, the hospital housed 18 children with COVID-19.
Despite the recent rise in patients, Chacon says they have not seen any pediatric deaths and very few of the children have had to be on ventilators.
Children’s has reported their highest COVID-19 positivity at 44 percent, the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.
The increase in positivity rates has impacted the hospital with staffing issues and the availability of elective surgeries.
Chacon also spoke about a recent increase in mental health issues in children stemming from the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has really disrupted kids’ lives in a way that has taken an impact on their social, emotional and mental health,” said Chacon.
Before the pandemic, one in five children experienced a mental health condition, now it is one in four, according to Chacon.
During the Q&A portion of the press conference, Chacon was asked about recent data suggesting COVID-19 will peak soon in the state.
Despite the potential of COVID-19 cases peaking, Chacon says the hospital is staying prepared for whatever is next.
“We’re just looking at staying strong and predicting that COVID is here to stay and we need to be prepared for other spikes in volume, but really be prepared for respiratory viral season as well,” said Chacon.