SAN FRANCISCO – As we head into the holidays under the triple threat of COVID-19, flu and RSV, Bay Area children’s hospitals are preparing for a potential surge in sick kids.
Hospitals are already making contingency plans, in case they run out of space in their ERs.
In a scene reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic, hospitals are turning to tents with emergency beds, in case they run out of space indoors.
On Tuesday, Chopper 5 was over UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, which has added a tent. The Mission Bay campus has 17 emergency room beds, this tent adds another seven.
Judie Boehmer, the hospital’s chief nursing officer, told KPIX 5 those beds will hold kids who are “less ill.” She also said most of the children they’re seeing are under 15 months old, though RSV is also especially dangerous for seniors.
“Remember, now the weather is colder, so we’re not outside in our gatherings as much. We’re more inside, where we are more closed in. and there isn’t that good circulation,” Boehmer said.
Boehmer recommends everyone get vaccinated, try to limit the number of people you’re around and to mask up when you’re indoors.
Meanwhile, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland campus has more than twice as many pediatric beds as San Francisco’s, and they’ve already opened an annex if they need to treat more children.