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Pediatric coronavirus cases continue to rise

Posted at 5:28 AM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 08:28:57-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — During a media briefing on Wednesday Dr. Marjorie Bessel with Banner Health gave an update on COVID cases at Arizona hospitals. Bessel says workers are seeing more pediatric cases of covid-19. As a matter of fact, the numbers more than doubled in the last month.

“During the month of August, 412 pediatric patients at Banner hospitals were either admitted or placed in observation status with COVID or suspected COVID. This is higher than the month prior when we only saw 174 pediatric patients that were COVID positive or suspected COVID," Bessel said.

Bessel says 44% of COVID or suspected COVID patients in the entire state of Arizona are being treated at Banner hospitals. Now teams are working to get new staff up to speed to treat the new flow of patients.

“Staffing continues to be an area of opportunity. Our staffing agencies have made great progress in securing out of state workers to support us during this surge. We have hundreds of new travel nurses and respiratory therapists who are in orientation and are starting their assignments at Banner sites each week,” Bessel said.Bessel also says 90% of patients are unvaccinated. Adding that vaccination can help save lives and keep staff healthy and available to treat all patients.

“COVID fatigue and compassion fatigue is very real. Our frontline healthcare workers have been at this for over a year and a half. They come to work they take care of our patients and they do with an incredible degree of compassion,” Bessel said.

Meanwhile monoclonal antibody treatments are available for those 12 and over. However, you do need to be a high-risk patient to qualify.

More than half of patients on ventilators at banner hospitals are COVID patients.