New Jersey hospitals and long-term care amenities are dealing with employees shortages amid a “tsunami” of COVID-19 instances, and hospitalizations have climbed by practically 60% because the finish of final month, Gov. Phil Murphy and well being officers mentioned Monday.
Murphy, a Democrat, spoke throughout a distant information convention whereas he quarantines since his spouse examined optimistic for the virus Sunday.
“This omicron tsunami has modified the sport but once more,” Murphy mentioned. “Take omicron significantly; put on your masks; get your booster don’t take a cavalier angle.”
Hospitalizations within the state climbed from practically 3,000 on Dec. 27 to over 4,700 on Sunday, in line with the governor. That is come as hospitals and nursing houses face employees shortages, Well being Commissioner Judy Persichilli mentioned. She urged that the scarcity is because of employees being out sick and added that hospitals and nursing houses are planning for the lack of 30% of their employees at minimal.
Among the many measures hospitals and nursing houses are taking are planning to extend shifts from the standard eight hours to as much as 10 or 12, in addition to redeploying administrative employees to work with sufferers, she mentioned. They’re additionally planning to increase the variety of sufferers that groups of healthcare staff see from as much as eight sufferers to fifteen. One other change consists of utilizing EMTs to vaccinate folks in order that healthcare staff at vaccination websites can return to hospitals to alleviate the pressure from employees shortages, she mentioned.
The state Well being Division and Workplace of Emergency Administration can also be working with the Federal Emergency Administration Company to assist deploy “strike groups” to hospitals and nursing houses, Persichilli added, although particulars weren’t clear.
Whereas hospitalizations within the state are usually not on the 2020 peak, they’ve surpassed that stage within the southern a part of the state, Persichilli mentioned.
Like a lot of the remainder of the nation, New Jersey’s optimistic instances have skyrocketed attributable to vacation gatherings and the virulence of the omicron variant, in line with Persichilli.