TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-St. Luke's Magic Valley announced Friday that it would temporarily stop taking in young patients in Twin Falls as they deal with an overwhelming amount of COVID-19 patients, instead transferring the children to St. Luke's Children's hospital in Boise.

The hospital system said any child that is admitted to the Twin Falls hospital will be cared for and said parents should bring their children in if they need emergency, primary or urgent care. However, if a transfer is needed the child will be taken to the Boise hospital. Newborns and those needing care in the NICU (newborn intensive care unit) will be admitted at St. Luke's Magic Valley. This week hospital officials in the Magic Valley said they have seen a large influx of people needing treatment for COVID-19 and indicated St. Luke's Magic Valley would have to begin cutting back on general hospital operations because of the influx.

All but one of the eight counties in the South Central Public Health District went into the "red" or critical category for COVID-19 this week with an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

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