Golisano Children’s Hospital at full capacity as COVID-19, other illnesses bring more kids in

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — In a tweet early Sunday morning, Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Chair and Physician in Chief Dr. Patrick Brophy said the hospital is full.

Hospital staff doesn’t normally see spikes in cold and flu viruses until later in the year, but this year it came early.

"In fall, normally we see episodes of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza virus, and a few other respiratory viruses," Brophy said. "They peak usually during fall, but we’re seeing that peak early this year in August already."

Eighty to eighty-five percent capacity is considered manageable for hospital staff. Golisano Children’s Hospital is currently operating at about 112% average capacity. Brophy thinks the current spike could be linked to people easing up on COVID-19 safety measures.

"We didn’t see it last year because of the masking and social distancing," Brophy said. "We really didn’t see much of a spike, so now we’re actually having that on top of this delta variant."

Last year, many hospitals stopped doing elective surgeries on adult patients. Brophy pointed out there are very few elective surgeries for kids, and when hospital staff is unable to find a bed for a patient, they’re forced to make some difficult decisions.

"Not only do we have kids coming in with what we normally deal with — RSV and parainfluenza — but now we have COVID on top of it," Brophy said.

Amid concerns about what could happen when kids go back to school in a couple of weeks, Brophy believes there’s a simple solution to prevent this kind of stress on hospitals: get vaccinated against COVID-19.

"I really want people to understand that this is a safe vaccine," Brophy said. "I would give it to my kids. I would give it to anybody. I have the vaccine and, it’s a way that we can actually get this behind us and get our kids back to school."

Click here to check if you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and where you can get vaccinated at a state-run vaccination clinic, or visit the Finger Lakes COVID-19 Vaccine Hub’s website.