Hospitals prepare for potential COVID-19 surge in January as case numbers increase
Many hospitals are preparing for a potential overall COVID-19 surge in January, as the state closes in on the record-high for COVID-19 pediatric hospitalizations.
The total number of patients is now closer to 3,000, which is a number not seen since last winter. The trend is expected to continue for weeks, with additional problems on the horizon.
Dr. Dan Varga, the chief physician executive at Hackensack Meridian Health, says they're running low on front-line workers. About 600 employees across its health network are currently out because of the virus.
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Varga says they still have enough for now, but some have been moved around the network to support fellow workers. To top it off, the healthy workers are running out of treatments to help patients.
"The one remaining monoclonal antibody treatment we have is in very, very short supply. We're trying to allocate that to the most vulnerable, but we'll run out of that in relatively short order," Varga says.
Almost all COVID-19 patients at Hackensack Meridian have the Omicron variant.
Varga hopes the White House will increase the antibody treatments sooner rather than later.