DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – More than a third of those tested for COVID-19 return positive in DFW Metroplex.
On Wednesday, January 5, the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council reported 2,681 patients with COVID-19, or an increase of 165 patients from Tuesday in inpatients with COVID-19.
There were 125 pediatric COVID-19 patients in the area’s hospitals on Wednesday, an increase of 22 pediatric COVID-19 patients from Tuesday.
This corresponds to 19.4% of available bed capacity.
The council also reported that they have adult-staffed ICU beds available at 73, and COVID-19 patients account for 32.3% of adult ICU patients.
“We continue to see our COVID-19 hospital admissions increase every day,” said Stephen Love, president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council.
These numbers, according to Love, are the highest since late September, “What does matter is put real pressure on staff.”
Staffing, which is a shortage, as Love said, there are several reasons why it is because COVID-19 fatigue sets in along with retirees, nurses joining travel agencies, or staff getting sick themselves.
“Our staff lives in the community, so with 14,000 employees, there’s really no way for us to avoid our people getting infected with COVID and having to be out,” said Joseph Chang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Parkland Health & Hospital System.
Chang told CBS 11 News a few weeks ago that they had about 30 patients in the hospital with COVID, now that number is up to 190.
With the CDC’s recommendations to reduce the number of days of quarantine from 10 to 5, Chang said it would help with staffing: “Having people out 5 fewer days is certainly helpful, but you know some people are actually still sick of day 6 day 7 and we will not ask them to come back if they are actually still sick with some real symptoms. “
But highlights that there was already a shortage of healthcare professionals before the pandemic, “Ideally, I would have another 800 clinical staff here today on the ground working if I could.”
Chang told CBS 11 that they are trying to boost morale, and if anyone sees a health care worker working in the community, they should say “thank you” as they work hard during this pandemic. Chang, along with other health leaders, is asking the community to help them end this pandemic.
“What we really need is for our community to come together, get vaccinated, 100 percent, and then we can really turn this thing out a lot better than we are,” Chang added.