Children´s hospitals in the United States are at capacity limit due to the increased Covid-19 cases in minors, said Mark Wietecha, CEO of the Children´s Hospital Association (CHA).
Mr. Wietecha, the CEO of the association that represents the US´ more than 220 children´s hospitals, pleaded on Thursday for President Biden to support pediatric hospitals across the country as they approach capacity and confront staff shortages during the pandemic.
In the letter, Wietecha requests the federal government step in and offer emergency assistance to support staff to allow hospitals to respond to the growing pediatric admissions that could elevate more as the school year begins.
‘We ask for immediate support for pandemic-driven staffing cost increases through federal pediatric emergency assistance, specifically the release of provider relief funding and any other federal workforce support that can be quickly distributed and targeted to pediatric crisis response,’ Wietecha wrote in a letter to the White House.
Across the country, over 1,400 children are hospitalized with confirmed Covid-19, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, but experts warned of possible increased number since minors are not eligible for their shots yet, making them still vulnerable to contracting Covid-19.
Just weeks into the new school year, at least 90,000 children in 19 states have had to or are currently quarantining or isolating after contracting Covid-19 or coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the disease, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
According to AAP, more than 180,000 children tested positive for Covid-19 between Aug. 12 and 19, which accounts for nearly 4% of the more than 4.5 million child coronavirus infections reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
Currently, children accounted for over 1 in 5 new Covid-19 cases last week, according to AAP.