Department of Health issues warning as hospitals overflow
Jun 29, 2022, 12:40 PM | Updated: 4:11 pm
Many hospitals around the state are once again full — and some are having to ration care.
The State Department of Health’s Nathan Weed says the reasons include low staffing and a lack of space in rehab facilities for patients ready to be discharged.
“Emergency departments are reporting significant stress due to workforce shortages and difficult to discharge patients,” Weed said.
The state is seeing a slight uptick in COVID hospitalizations at the moment. According to the Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard, 10% of hospital beds are occupied by those experiencing serious symptoms. COVID-19 hospitalization peaked in January during the Omicron surge before decreasing but has slowly started rising again and now over 600 patients are hospitalized right now.
But there’s more to it than that — the State Department of Health’s chief science officer, Dr. Tao Kwan-Gett, says there are also the usual summer injuries, as well as people who delayed care during COVID.
“Pandemic disease rates are still impacting hospitals but so is the delayed care for people that haven’t been able to go to hospitals,” Kwan-Gett said. “Also, there is seasonality, in summer we tend to see more people injure themselves.”
Regional hospitals are hardest-hit — so the state is moving patients from those facilities to urban hospitals that can take them.