SPOKANE, Wash. — Six children under the age of 18 are in critical care at Sacred Heart due to COVID-19, according to a Providence spokesperson.
This comes as the Spokane Regional Health District reported 291 new COVID-19 cases and 219 hospitalizations on Monday.
According to the SRHD dashboard, 68 people under the age of 19 have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county since the beginning of the pandemic. This age group makes up just over 2% of hospitalizations and less than half of a percent of deaths. Three people between the ages of 10 and 19 have died from COVID-19 in the Spokane area.
Providence hospitals have indefinitely paused additional surgeries and procedures due to rising COVID-19 cases and staffing issues. Providence will pause surgeries that can be delayed without harm or risk to the patient, and their healthcare teams are carefully evaluating each surgery and patient need so decisions can be made on a case-by-case basis in partnership with surgical leadership.
With many more kids heading back to the classroom after Labor Day, the CDC director reiterated the agency's recommendations on Tuesday, saying it's "critically important" for students, teachers, staff and visitors to wear face masks in schools.
Doctors say they are seeing a spike in cases among young adults and children as the highly contagious delta variant sweeps through unvaccinated populations. Medical officials say there is conflicting information on whether it makes people more severely ill or whether young people are more vulnerable to it, but it's clear the contagiousness means more young people and children are getting sick.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.