On the Site:


Utah doctor says we need to return to basics to stop COVID-19 spread among children

Sep 7, 2021, 5:15 PM | Updated: 8:09 pm

MURRAY, Utah — Doctors in Utah and across the region fear the current surge of COVID-19 could overwhelm our hospitals.

Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious diseases doctor at Intermountain Healthcare, said the data shows the rise in case counts is being driven by children.

He recommended a return to the pandemic basics to stop the surge.

“We’re going to have to pivot back to that, especially in those children that are unable to get the vaccine,” said Stenehjem. “We know what works. It’s a matter of making sure that we can implement that.”

Utah hospitals are effectively full. They don’t have the staffing to add more beds.

They’ve also had to turn down requests for help from out-of-state hospitals, which are in worse shape.

“My biggest concern right now is… yes, it’s with the people that are in the hospital that are struggling in the ICU, those adults,” said Stenehjem. “But, I’m also very concerned about our children and what’s going to happen in the next coming weeks.”

Stenehjem said COVID-19 hospitalizations among children are rising nationally.

“I suspect we will see that occur here in Utah, as well, and if we continue to see this rise in kids getting infected, we’re going to see higher hospitalizations,” he said. “We’re going to see spillover from children into adults, and that’s going to further complicate our challenges in the hospitals, as well.”

To stop the surge, Stenehjem said, “Immediately, we need to pivot to public health measures by wearing masks in classrooms, in order to keep kids in school. What I worry is going to happen is we’re going to have significant outbreaks in schools, which is going to lead to schools shutting down.”

Hospitals in northern Idaho went into crisis standards of care Tuesday because their system has been overwhelmed, and they do not have adequate resources to provide regular care.

“That’s something we want to avoid at all costs, if it all possible,” said Stenehjem.

It’s a problem facing hospitals across the country. Healthcare workers are the number one shortage.

“We don’t have healthcare workers that we can pull from other parts of the country because they’re having challenges staffing their own hospitals,” said Stenehjem.

Utah hospitals, he said, are getting multiple requests from multiple states. They want to know if Utah hospitals can take their COVID-19 patients.

“Over the weekend, we had to deny 10 transfer requests from out of state, other people looking to place patients in our facilities, and we’ve had to deny 10 of those.”

Slowing transmission of the virus will ease the burden on hospitals, said Stenehjem, so he recommended getting vaccinated.

If you’re not vaccinated, he said to mask up and social distance in order to stop the spread.

KSL 5 TV Live


FILE - COVID-19 antigen home tests indicating a positive result are photographed in New York, April...

Associated Press

More free COVID-19 tests from the government are available for home delivery through the mail

Americans can order more free COVID-19 tests online for home delivery.

8 days ago

FILE - Doses of the anti-viral drug Paxlovid are displayed in New York, Aug. 1, 2022. The COVID-19 ...

Amanda Seitz, Associated Press

COVID-19 treatments to enter the market with a hefty price tag

The COVID-19 treatments millions of have taken for free from the federal government will enter the private market next week with a hefty price tag.

1 month ago

Toddlers dance during play time at Living Water Child Care and Learning Center as center director J...

Associated Press

Child care programs just lost thousands of federal dollars. Families, providers scramble to cope

After two years of receiving federal subsidies, 220,000 child care programs across the country were cut off from funding Saturday Utah

2 months ago

Thomas Perlmann, secretary of the Nobel Assembly, right, announces the winner of the 2023 Nobel Pri...

David Keyton and Mike Corder

Nobel in medicine goes to 2 scientists whose work enabled creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize in medicine for discoveries that enabled the development of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and could be used in the future to create other shots.

2 months ago

child in doctor's office...

Mike Anderson

Flu, COVID cases expected to rise in Utah

The number of COVID-19 diagnoses continues to stay above what we saw over the summer but now some doctors are starting to see early signs of the flu as well.

2 months ago

President Joe Biden in State Dining Room at the White House...

Associated Press

Biden has gotten the updated COVID-19 vaccine and the annual flu shot, the White House says

The White House says President Joe Biden has gotten the updated COVID-19 vaccine and the annual flu shot.

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Utah doctor says we need to return to basics to stop COVID-19 spread among children