North Texas hospitals getting extra healthcare workers from state as hospitalizations rise

Local hospitals got word Thursday that reinforcements are on the way.

Roughly 1,000 hospital staffers will soon supplement North Texas facilities. Those healthcare workers will likely have a tall task ahead.

There are projections hospitalizations could eclipse levels we’ve seen in the pandemic.

North Texas hospitals have reached a critical moment, needing North Texans to help turn the omicron wave around.

A new model from UT Southwestern predicts Dallas County hospitals will see 1,200 patients hospitalized at the same time by the end of the month. That would be the highest level seen in the pandemic.

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This time around, more staff are not able to take care of patients with the virus impacting them as well.

Steve Love is with the DFW Hospital Council.

"But based on the end of the discussions as we went around the region, 10 to 15% of the hospital staff is out every day.

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Hospitals got some good news Thursday.

The state of Texas will supply 1,000 extra staffers to hospitals over the next few days across 19 counties in the North Texas area.

Love says it is good news, but more are needed.                

"When I look at some of the requests that are made, the hospitals make a request to the state through the RAC, that number is sometimes as high as 4,000," he said.

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While along with the unvaccinated, many vaccinated are also catching the omicron variant, doctors say it is still primarily those who are not vaccinated filling hospital beds.

JPS Hospital in Fort Worth released data Thursday showing of 175 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. 145 of them are not vaccinated. That’s 82%.

Hospitals are asking people, regardless of vaccination status to wear masks and distance. To help yourself and healthcare workers on the frontline out.

"We need to do that now, even though you're vaccinated. Even though you've had your booster, and you may get infected," Love said. "And you probably won't be very sick. In fact, you may even be asymptomatic. You could still spread this virus, and we've got to knock down the spread."

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As for the projections on hospitalizations, UT Southwestern researchers noted that gaps in data due to the holidays may actually lead to an underestimation of the current number of people hospitalized for COVID-19, which could mean the trajectory of hospitalizations is already underestimated.