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St. Luke's Magic Valley stops admitting children as hospital fills due to COVID-19
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St. Luke's Magic Valley stops admitting children as hospital fills due to COVID-19

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St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center

St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center is shown at sun up on Oct. 19 in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center said it will temporarily not admit children patients as the hospital deals with an increase in COVID-19 patients.

Patients under the age of 18 from the Magic Valley needing treatment will be transferred to St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise — 128 miles away from the Twin Falls hospital.

Pediatric patients already in the hospital will stay in Twin Falls and newborns and neonatal intensive care unit patients will still be admitted at the Twin Falls hospital, the St. Luke’s Health System said.

Other patients should still go to the Twin Falls hospital, but expect to be transferred.

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“Parents should absolutely follow the same steps they would normally if their child is sick and needs emergency, primary or urgent care. Come to St. Luke’s Magic Valley,” spokesperson Michelle Bartlome said. “We will always care for your child. If a transfer is necessary, we will facilitate that transfer.”

On Thursday, 31% — 37 of the 119 — of the patients admitted to the hospital were COVID-19 patients, according to the hospital’s data. Of all patients in the hospital (those admitted Thursday and those already there), 24% are COVID patients. More patients are being treated at St. Luke’s Magic Valley than have been there at any point during the pandemic.

Bartlome said the policy became effective at 7 a.m. Friday and will be reevaluated on a regular basis as hospital resources fluctuate.

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