North Texas – Unlike the previous variants of the Covid-19 virus, majority of the Omicron cases will have mild to no symptoms which is good for the hospitals since they won’t be under high pressure from huge number of patients in most of the cases.
However, the Omicron is spreading fast infecting both those vaccinated and people with natural immunity resulting with skyrocketing number of new cases lately. At this point, the number of patients seems to be the lesser problem for hospitals, but they are facing staffing shortages because many of the healthcare personnel is easily getting infected with the virus prompting them to isolate.
The issue is seen in many counties and cities across the country especially in areas with high infection rates. So is the case with North Texas hospitals, struggling to stay operational with heavily reduced number of workers due to increasing infection rate.
A representative for rural Texas hospitals said some hospitals are having issues transferring really sick patients to larger facilities because they don’t have the staff.
Meanwhile, places like Parkland in Dallas got extra staff this week, but are requesting more.
The employees in the North Texas hospitals are having hard times lately battling with the virus in the increasing number of patients and healthcare workers.
Reportedly, nearly 1,000 healthcare workers are on their way to help North Texas hospitals, something that is already seen with previous Covid-19 waves.
“We’ve got a couple of hundred staff up there working already, and we’ll be looking to increase that over the coming weeks,” said Chris Van Deusen, spokesperson for Texas Department of State Health Services.
“I think one thing we’re seeing now is we’re seeing an increase, really, across a large part of the state. And so that certainly strains things a little bit more,” Van Deusen said.
49 healthcare workers are already headed to Fort Worth, but the local hospitals are seeking even more staffers in the upcoming period. Cook Children’s already has 12 extra staffers and expects a total of 21. In Dallas, Parkland got 68, but they also expect more in the upcoming days and weeks.
“We want to be realistic about this, but we think we can get the staff continuing to come into Texas,” Van Deusen said. “There are certainly people out there who are available, and we want to make sure we can get them here as quickly as possible.”
Alarming fact currently is the rising number of hospitalizations in children. According to the latest data, the last time pediatric hospitalizations in North Texas were this high was in September around the time Haylee was hospitalized, when they peaked at 132 children.
Currently, there are 128 children hospitalized across North Texas hospitals.