Hospital resources stretched thin after hospitalizations continue on steep up-curve

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 9:16 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Fresh off the holiday break and a stark figure greeted Louisianans and health leaders: more than 30 thousand new Covid cases and more than 1 thousand now in the hospital.

“Unfortunately, this increase has been the fastest increase that we’ve seen today, faster than original wave and faster than delta wave. This omicron wave has been the most rapid increase in terms of numbers of hospitalized patients,” said UMC’s Dr. Nirav Patel.

Patel says since previous surges some policies changed for the better, including how hospitals’ testing requirements are identifying Covid cases in unsuspecting incoming patients.

“They’re coming in with traumas. To our hospital. They’re coming in with psychiatric disease, for example. And then they’re found to have Covid as well. And I think that that’s important. It just shows how infectious this virus is this this area is compared to the other variants,” said Patel.

Unfortunately he says children are also winding up in the hospital in larger numbers with Covid as well. This is in part why New Orleans Public Schools re-emphasized their vaccine requirement for all students begins February first.

“As we are entering the season of omicron as we’re also entering that Mardi Gras season we want to make sure that our students are doing everything they can to protect themselves. And so that vaccine requirement is how we get there and how we stay where we’ve been and not lose those gains,” said Tiffany Delcour, the Chief Operations Officer for NOLA Public Schools.

Vaccines aren’t just encouraged among children, but also adults, especially the booster dose for protection from omicron. “Please get boosted because boosting really does make a difference,” said Dr. Julio Figueroa with LSU Health.

Especially because with so many falling ill, including hospital workers resources are stretched thin.

“We’re having issues with healthcare workers being sick, unnecessarily being so sick as to come to the hospital, but they’re being sick enough that they shouldn’t be there in the hospital,” said Figueroa.

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