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Amid a surge in the number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the virus is bypassing a worrying number of frontline healthcare workers, more than 25% of hospitals across 18 states have reported that they are seriously struggling. Five more states are short of doctors, nurses and other medical workers as of Saturday, compared to two weeks ago, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services.

important facts

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About 59% of Vermont’s hospitals are reporting severe staffing shortages, the highest proportion in the country by nearly 6 percentage points since December 25, and more than three times the nationwide average of 19.3%.

To cover for absenteeism, Vermont hospitals rely on traveling nurse, which cost the state $75 million last year, while many residents are traveling in nearby states to receive care.

New Mexico remained the second worst-affected state, with 48% of hospitals reporting severe staff shortages, down four percent from two weeks ago; Troy Clark, president of the New Mexico Hospital Association, said, said KOB4 He expects shortages to get worse when factoring in travel nurses, and that workers were leaving because of burns.

The third worst affected is Rhode Island, where 47% of hospitals are reporting serious staff shortages, followed by West Virginia with 40%.

Seven states with severe staff shortages in more than a third of hospitals are: California (35%), Kentucky (33%), Oklahoma (33%), Arizona (33%), Wisconsin (32%), North Dakota (31). %), Massachusetts (30%).

About 138,000 patients were hospitalized with Covid-19 on Saturday, nearly 68% higher than the 7-day average of 81,837. last weekclose to record 142,000 Set on January 14, 2021.

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