NORFOLK, Va. - The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters is not full, the hospital confirmed Wednesday.
News 3 reached out to the hospital after seeing this claim on social media.
A spokesperson for the hospital did confirm to us that they are seeing an increase in patients with COVID-19. While there is a higher number of patients in some areas of the hospital than usual, officials say "we are definitely able to take more COVID-19 patients if needed."
There are currently 11 children at CHKD who have been diagnosed with the virus; some are in the intensive care unit, while others are on general floors.
"The public should not be concerned that CHKD is at or near capacity in any area of the hospital at this time. We are still capable of taking care of all patients at CHKD," the spokesperson told us.
The hospital is seeing more admissions for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, but officials say this is is in line with their expectations during the winter. The PICU remains busy, but they say neither the unit nor the hospital as a whole is full.
CHKD is urging everyone age 12 and older who is eligible to get vaccinated do so as soon as possible, as "this pandemic is real, and it is not sparing our children."
You can read the hospital's full statement on the matter below:
We are seeing an increase in hospitalized patients who have COVID-19 as either their primary or secondary diagnosis. Unfortunately, some of these children are quite sick. We do have some areas of the hospital where the census is higher than usual, but we are definitely able to take more COVID-19 patients if needed.
There are designated beds for patients with infectious diseases throughout our hospital. Some are in the pediatric intensive care unit. Some are in general care units. It depends on what type of care is needed and what symptoms the child has. Currently, we have 11 children in the hospital who have COVID 19, with some in intensive care and some on general floors. Not all the patients were admitted for COVID-19; some were admitted for other reasons and tested positive for COVID-19.
The public should not be concerned that CHKD is at or near capacity in any area of the hospital at this time. We are still capable of taking care of all patients at CHKD. We are seeing more admissions for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections, similar to our expectations during the winter. Our pediatric intensive care unit remains busy, as we have many other conditions that require intensive care. However, the PICU is not full, nor is the hospital.
We are monitoring the situation on a daily, if not hourly basis. We have contingency plans in place as we have had throughout the pandemic. Our most important message to the public is to be vigilant and to get vaccinated. We urge every adult and all children over the age of 12 who are eligible to be vaccinated to do so asap. This pandemic is real, and it is not sparing our children. We must do everything possible to prevent our children from suffering the tragic consequences of COVID that have befallen too many adults.