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Omicron putting pressure on Arkansas hospitals, staffing shortages due to too many Covid-19 cases, report

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Little Rock, Arkansas – Hospitals across Arkansas are having hard times in the last couple of weeks because of the increasing number of healthcare workers who test positive on the virus or are simply quarantined because they have been in contact with someone who tested positive.

The rising number of patients and lower number of healthcare workers available seems to be a challenging issue for hospital managers who are trying to treat as many patients as possible during these difficult times.

One of the hospitals with this problem is the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences who is down by 800 healthcare workers who are not cleared to work because of a Covid-19 exposure. The information was confirmed by the chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Doctor Cam Patterson.

“Our healthcare system can’t operate without 20 percent of its employees and that impacts you whether you have Covid-19 or if you have a heart attack or a stroke, there may not be someone there to take care of you. That is my biggest concern. Just like planes not being able to fly over the holidays, hospitals might not be able to operate because of Covid-19,” Patterson said.

According to Patterson, the recently announced CDC guidelines about the shortened quarantine period people have to take will surely help them in getting back to normal as their employees will be eligible to come back at work earlier.

Just like many other health experts and officials, the encourages people to get vaccinated as possible and those eligible to get the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccines. He added that vaccines, especially the booster dose, are very important in creating additional immunity against the Omicron variant.

Currently, majority of the patients in UAMS are either unvaccinated and/or immunocompromised.

For more Covid-19 related data in Arkansas, please visit Arkansas Department of Health website.

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