Health and Safety

All Articles in the Category ‘Health and Safety’

Special Update: COVID-19 Bivalent Boosters Available

Seattle Children’s is now offering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 updated (bivalent*) booster vaccine and the Moderna bivalent booster vaccine to our patients, workforce members and community members. Individuals can receive a bivalent booster dose if it has been at least two months since they completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination series or have received the most recent booster dose with any authorized or approved single-strain (monovalent) COVID-19 vaccine.

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COVID/Capacity update

We Anticipate a Strong Surge in COVID-19 Infections and Respiratory Viruses as Kids Return to School This Year

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COVID-19 and Capacity Updates

Regional Capacity Situation Update

  • Hospitals across the state have been reporting high occupancy for several months. Most major systems are well over 100% inpatient & ICU capacity.   The region is also seeing high sustained PICU census.
  • Hospitals serving adults are the most impacted and are reporting extreme levels of Emergency Department boarding and use of auxiliary spaces such as conference rooms for patient care.
  • Staffing constraints at many hospitals are further impacting bed availability.
  • Following sustained high transmission of COVID-19 in our region, we are finally seeing a plateau in transmission.

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COVID-19 and Capacity Updates

Update on Emergency Department and Hospital Capacity

  • Seattle Children’s continues to experience very high census and significant capacity constraints in the Emergency Department and inpatient areas.
  • The recent closure of Fairfax Behavioral Health and decision by Providence Everett to close its pediatric beds to make space for adult patients have further constrained our hospital capacity.
  • Last Friday, July 1, the hospital moved to contingency status for staffing. Contingency falls under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Disaster Planning guidelines and is part of a continuum that ranges from “conventional” to “contingency,” and, finally, “crisis.” Moving to contingency means that the workspaces, staff and/or supplies used are not consistent with daily practices but maintain or have minimal impact on usual patient care processes.
  • We continue to run under a disaster incident command structure to rapidly manage issues and ensure safe care for the patients that need us.
  • Our region is reporting that most hospitals are over 100% capacity and some are reporting their highest occupancy ever. This is resulting in rural critical access hospitals (those without critical care capabilities) frequently boarding critically ill patients in their Emergency Departments for prolonged periods of time. It is also stressing the EMS system and impacting 911 response times in certain areas of the state.
  • It is imperative that our provider colleagues manage patients in primary care whenever possible and appropriate. If sending patient to the Seattle Children’s ED, please call our Communications Center at 206-987-8899 first. This will help us to manage and plan for necessary space and staffing. Please also inform the family we will see them as soon as we can but there is likely to be a wait.
  • See our Emergency or Urgent Care Referral Guide.

COVID-19 Vaccination for Children Ages 6 Months to 4 Years Old

Seattle Children’s is now able to offer COVID-19 vaccines to children ages 6 months to 4 years (under 5 years old) based on approvals last month from the CDC, Washington State Department of Health and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

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Four Ways to Boost Childhood Vaccination Rates

Washington state is down 13% overall in the number of vaccines administered compared to pre-pandemic levels. The National HPV Roundtable estimates that it may take 10 years to catch up on cancer-preventing human papilloma virus (HPV) immunizations.

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Special Update: Seattle Children’s Now Offers COVID-19 Vaccines to Children Ages 6 Months to 5 Years Old

Starting today, Seattle Children’s is offering appointments to children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years (under 6 years old) to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, based on recent approvals from the CDC, Washington State Department of Health and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup. We are grateful to be able to offer COVID-19 vaccines to young patients.

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Update on COVID-19 and Hospital Capacity

  • Our Emergency Department (ED) continues to experience very high volumes. Children are coming in for a variety of reasons, primarily related to COVID-19, other viruses, mental health concerns and normal childhood injuries.

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News on Measles, COVID-19 and Our Current Hospital Capacity

A special bulletin of Provider News was sent on Monday, May 2 with the following information. We are including it here again for those who may have missed it:

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Special Update: Important News About Measles, COVID-19, and Our Current Hospital Capacity

From: Dr. Elaine Albert, Medical Director, Inpatient Access and Dinarte Viveiros, Vice President of Patient Care Services and Associate Chief Nurse, Inpatient and Emergency Services

Measles Mimics

  • We have had a number of patients present to our Emergency Department (ED) and Urgent Care (UC) with possible measles. While we are not seeing an increase in measles cases, an unidentified patient or family member concerning for measles can have a huge impact on our facilities.  These have caused the closures of our urgent care clinics and ED waiting rooms at times. Confirmed measles cases have resulted in exposures and the need for immunizations or immunoglobulin for patients who are unvaccinated or severely immunocompromised.
  • If you suspect measles and are sending a patient for evaluation, please call first at 206-987-8899 so we can provide a safe way to enter a room and be evaluated without impacting other patients. Please also advise the family to wait in their car and call us on arrival.

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Grand Rounds

Provider Grand Rounds

Year-round on Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m. Learn more.

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