Patient Safety | 08.16.21
Texas Hospitals Grapple With Staffing Shortages as COVID-19 Hospitalizations Increase
With the delta variant becoming dominant, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have continued to increase in Texas. As of late July, all trauma service areas are sitting below the 15 percent trigger that would permit local elected officials to roll back business capacity. However, with 52 percent of the state’s eligible population fully vaccinated, hospitals in Amarillo and elsewhere are concerned. Dr. Brian Weis with Northwest Texas Hospital System remarks, "We don’t have a whole lot more capacity. If we ever see a significant surge, when we have to reconfigure things pretty quickly . . . right now, we just [can't] mostly because of staffing shortages." In Abilene, the situation is so dire, hospitals have been reaching out to local nursing students. In Austin, meanwhile, hospitals have petitioned the state to step in with staffing reinforcements.