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


Seattle Children’s is planning for a high surge in hospital and Emergency Department (ED) volumes as local kids return to school, based on other states’ experiences. States with kids returning to school in early August are seeing large ED and hospital volumes, with several states reporting limited to no PICU capacity within 2 to 3 weeks of schools starting. Hospitals in the Southeast and Midwest are reporting significant surgical cancellations due to high hospital volumes, sick staff and kids too ill for surgery (from COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses).

Please help families avoid the ED whenever possible by caring for them in a primary care setting or directing them to Urgent Care if needed. If you send a patient to the ED at Seattle Children’s, please call our ED Communications Center at 206-987-8899 to alert us. This helps us plan for staffing and care. It does not guarantee families will be seen as soon as they arrive, which is sometimes their expectation. Please let them know to expect a long wait.


Helpful Resources:

Expanded Vaccine Access: South Clinic in Federal Way Is Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccination

Our clinic in Federal Way began offering COVID-19 vaccination this summer and has lots of room for appointments. Please encourage your patients and families in the South Sound region to consider South Clinic in Federal Way for their vaccination needs.

Learn more about our COVID-19 vaccine clinics at the main campus, OBCC and South Clinic in Federal Way.