Shoals pediatrician says he has several patients hospitalized with Covid

A Shoals pediatrician told WAAY31 that Covid is not stopping.

Pediatrician Wayne Melvin said his office has been overrun with Covid patients. Just this past weekend he had 5 patients hospitalized with Covid. He is the most children he has ever had in hospital with the virus.

“We have 10 to 20 positive cases a day, and we have the most in the hospital that we’ve had since the beginning of this,” says Melvin of Tennessee Valley Pediatrics.

Melvin said Covid hadn’t affected kids that much last year.

“I had 5 in the hospital this weekend. An extremely sick person who is now in the pediatric ICU,” said Melvin.

Melvin said it’s not just Covid. They see huge numbers of RSV and flu.

“August is normally our quiet month and this is busier than any winter month we’ve ever had,” says Melvin.

Melvin’s practice, Tennessee Valley Pediatrics, partners with Helen Keller Hospital.

The hospital does not have a pediatric intensive care unit, but lately they have had to treat children there because there are no beds available for them elsewhere.

Melvin shared a situation he encountered with one of his patients who is sick with Covid.

“I had to keep him with Keller much longer than I would have liked. He was so sick and kept going downhill. It just got to the point where we couldn’t keep him here any longer. All the pediatric ICUs in the state are now full. Huntsville (Wednesday) night to get a bed open and we could send this kid there,” Melvin said.

Melvin said Thursday that the child he was supposed to send to Huntsville is still in the hospital but is showing improvement.

Melvin said children should wear masks at school and anyone near a child should be vaccinated.

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