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Our US southern bureau chief Oliver Laughland brings us the newest from New Orleans, the place workers shortages and spiralling instances are pushing hospitals to breaking level:

Because the Omicron variant rips by means of the US, states within the south proceed to report file case numbers amid critical concern round hospital workers shortages.

In Mississippi, officers warned this week the hospital system was on the verge of disaster on account of workers shortages as native media reported most hospitals within the state have been at or had reached capability throughout the Omicron surge.

The state already faces a power nursing scarcity, exacerbated by the pandemic, with roughly 3,000 positions vacant, based on a survey by the Mississippi Hospital Affiliation. Round a 3rd of the state’s hospital nurses have left for different jobs, based on the analysis, a lot of them to higher paying positions out of state.




People wait in long lines for coronavirus testing, as the Omicron variant continues to spread in Memphis, December 2021.

Individuals wait in lengthy traces for coronavirus testing, because the Omicron variant continues to unfold in Memphis, December 2021. {Photograph}: Karen Pulfer Focht/Reuters

Final week Mississippi recorded its highest seven day common of recent Covid instances, 7,185, because the pandemic started, based on state well being division knowledge. As of Thursday the variety of individuals hospitalized with Covid within the state had risen to 1,332 individuals. Well being division knowledge confirmed that 90% of Covid deaths for the interval between 16 December 2021 and 12 January 2022 had been amongst unvaccinated individuals.

“The sport has modified because the Delta wave,” mentioned Dr Alan Jones, chancellor of medical affairs at College of Mississippi Medical Heart, the state’s largest hospital, throughout a Tuesday press convention reported by Mississippi At this time.

Jones continued: “The challenges we face are actually round staffing. Compounding that’s that it is a rather more infectious variant, taking extra workers out that we have now within the workforce.”

In Nashville, one of many metropolis’s largest hospitals was being compelled to reassign specialist workers to deal with the Omicron surge. As of Tuesday, Tennessee hit its peak Covid optimistic seven day common of 14,345 new instances, based on CDC knowledge.

“We have now tons of workers which have Omicron Covid,” mentioned Dr Todd Rice, affiliate professor of drugs at Vanderbilt College Medical Heart, in an interview with native radio. “One in all our largest issues is simply discovering workers to deal with sufferers as a result of we have now so many workers which are out sick.”

You’ll be able to learn Oliver Laughland’s alarming dispatch right here:



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