FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Cook Children’s Health System set new highs Wednesday, Jan. 12 for patients coming to emergency department and urgent care clinics, and admitted patients testing positive for COVID-19.
The sudden increase was leading to longer wait times at the medical center in Fort Worth, and staff scrambling to cover the demand.
Where previous variants of the virus were affecting more juveniles, Cook staff said children of all ages are testing positive this time, including infants.
There were 69 admitted patients Wednesday at the hospital who had tested positive for the virus. That blew past a previous high of 51.
Chief nursing officer Cheryl Peterson said the number of admitted who were there because of virus complications, as opposed to being admitted for another reason and testing positive, was likely “similar” to what was happening at nearby JPS Health Network.
The JPS president told county leaders Tuesday, approximately 50% of their positive patients had been admitted for something other than the virus.
The emergency department at Cook saw 440 children in a 24-hour period across Tuesday and Wednesday.
Not all of those people needed hospital care though, with some of them looking for tests, Cook staff said. Some were interested in confirming positive home tests.
“There is no need to repeat that test,” Peterson said. “I want to be clear.”
Children who are showing symptoms this time are often presenting with a barking-like cough, similar to croup, according to Cook pediatrician Bianka Soria-Olmos.
“When the positivity in this community is this high, it’s really hard to shield, I like to use that word, it’s really hard to shield the vulnerable,” she said.
Soria-Olmos said there has been a large volume of people looking for tests of calling after their children have been exposed.
If a child’s symptoms are mild, even a two to three-day timeframe she said was okay before getting in to a pediatrician to confirm if it’s the virus.
Though the numbers are higher, not as many children are needing intensive care this time, and are often being released sooner than during past surges.
“But that’s all very dependent on the risk factors any patient possesses,” Peterson said.