Latest COVID-19 spike leading to more hospitalizations, but many facilities are dealing with staff shortages

Doctors are calling the omicron surge another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MIAMI – Doctors are calling the omicron surge another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rapid spike in cases is stressing hospitals, creating staffing shortages and becoming a concern for medical personnel.

Some urgent care facilities have had to modify hours or close altogether.

The numbers are astronomical as nearly 48,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on Monday in Florida as the omicron variant continues to spread.

Infectious disease expert with Florida International University Dr. Aileen Marty weighs in.

“There’s a mixture of Covid fatigue that is driving people to be less cautious,” said Dr. Marty. “With these astronomical numbers, even if the percent of people that need hospitalizations are lower, the number in the hospitals are enormous.”

Jackson Health System hospitals currently have 517 patients with COVID-19, and only 112 are vaccinated, 49 of whom are immunocompromised transplant patients.

Jackson had to open two more Covid ICU wings to keep up with the demand.

“The majority of the patients admitted into ICU due to COVID reasons are unvaccinated,” said Jackson Health Dr. David De La Zerda. “The majority of the patients admitted to the hospital, unrelated to COVID that are positive, are vaccinated, meaning those (who are) sick are still unvaccinated.”

Broward Health hospitals have 268 covid positive patients. Nearly 80 percent of those patients are unvaccinated.

“We really just look at it as another wave and let’s address it head-on and try to mitigate it as best as possible,” said Dr. Joshua Lenchus with Broward Health Medical Center.

Baptist Health has 848 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are awaiting test results. Officials there say the surge is also impacting their work force.

Around 500 staff members are not working due to Covid-related reasons, impacting hours of operation at some urgent care centers while closing some down altogether.

At last check, at least seven urgent care facilities are closed.

Dr. Marty said in the next few days COVID-19 cases should peak, provided there isn’t a new variant.

About the Author:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.