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Hellen Keller Hospital facing staff shortages due to Omicron

Sands said not only is omicron causing inpatient numbers to soar but causing faculty shortages too.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 8:27 PM CST
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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WAFF) - Hospitals across the state including right here in the Shoals are seeing their COVID patient numbers increase again.

“We haven’t seen 25 since summertime when we had the delta surge,” said Helen Keller VP of Patient Services, Sherry Sands.

Sands said not only is omicron causing inpatient numbers to soar but causing faculty shortages too.

“We have 41 positive employees that are out so we’re dealing with some staffing issues just like everyone else is and having positive employees only compounds the issues we were already having,” said Sands.

She said about half of those 41 employees are nurses.

But although they are dealing with the perfect storm of staff shortages and increasing cases, they are continuing to trek forward.

“With this omicron variant it doesn’t seem like the patient is quite as sick as they were with the delta variant or the original variant so they are in pretty good spirits. We have three on the ventilator. That’s a lot better than having eight or ten,” said Sands.

And that gives them a little hope while preparing for another wave.

“Even if it is as bad in number, hopefully in illness severity it will not be as bad,” said Sands.

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