Hospitals nationwide face shortage of medical staff amid spike in COVID-19 cases - ABC News
Nov 21, 2020 1 min, 34 secs

And in North Dakota, the governor announced last week that to avoid a shortage of staff the state would implement “crisis” guidelines that allow nurses who test positive for COVID-19 to continue to work, as reported by the Grand Forks Herald.

And after struggling with shortages of personal protective equipment, intensive care unit beds, ventilators and other equipment, hospitals are now facing a shortage of a harder to replace resource - health care workers.

“While hospitals can add beds, it is much harder to bring in additional health care workers, many of whom are justifiably experiencing a significant emotional and physical toll due to the impact of the pandemic,” Nancy Foster, vice president of quality and patient safety policy for the American Hospital Association said in a statement.

Eighteen percent of hospitals in the country said they had a critical shortage of medical staff on Nov.

And 22% say they expect to experience a critical staffing shortage in the next week.

Six states, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, report that more than 30% of hospitals had a critical shortage of staff last week and several other states are just below 30%.

Virgin Islands, at least half of hospitals don’t have enough staff, and the second hospital in the Virgin Islands is expected to become overwhelmed in the next week.

“Our health care heroes have fought valiantly day after day but we have no reserves, we have no backup that we can suddenly muster to come in and save the day,” Alex Garza, chief community health officer of SSM Health said in a briefing last week.

And White House Spokesman Michael Bars said more than 2,100 federal medical personnel are on the ground around the country.

Federal agencies have sent medical staff to more than 10 states in response to requests for help over the last two weeks, the Federal Emergency Management Administration said in a statement Friday.


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