Experts say healthcare system in Amarillo is ‘taxed’ by staffing challenges, COVID-19 hospitalizations

NC10 COVID UPDATE
NC10 COVID UPDATE(KFDA)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Area health experts were once optimistic about COVID numbers remaining low during the holidays, but are now concerned as COVID-19 hospitalizations are taxing area hospitals enduring staff shortages.

“I’ve never seen the system so close to the brink of collapse,” said Dr. Brian Weis, chief medical officer for NWTH. “Some of these patients are waiting multiple days to find a bed...the system is stressed everywhere.”

NWTH has struggled with staffing challenges, especially when it comes to finding nurses, according to Dr. Weis.

As of this morning, 33 staff at NWTH are quarantined because of exposures or active cases.

“We don’t have staff to spare...to have 33 quarantined definitely sets us back,” said Dr. Weis. “Please keep yourself safe....we’re really struggling to make due with the supplies we have.”

This morning, BSA has 15 COVID patients in the ER waiting for rooms.

Many of those hospitalized at BSA are newly admitted patients.

“We continue to get a high-volume of new patients with COVID coming in,” said Dr. Michael Lamanteer, chief medical officer at BSA. “We are highly concerned about again, another surge that we’re having in Amarillo and here in the panhandle which is significantly taxing our healthcare system and infrastructure.”

The current new case average reported by the city is 318 new cases per day.

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