LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — More than 1,700 COVID-19 patients have filled Nevada hospitals, bringing occupancy rates dangerously close to the heights of the first wave of winter.
According to Governor Steve Sisolak, several facilities have placed a pause for elective and non-emergency procedures, in an effort to conserve bed space and scarce staff.
The Nevada Hospital Association said in its previous weekly report that facilities in southern Nevada have recently asked for help from the state as staffing levels have reached “crisis” levels for two weeks in a row due to shortages exacerbated by sick workers.
The majority of new COVID-19 patients are in Clark County.
“We’re doing what we can. We don’t have a medically trained National Guard to send there. We’ve asked for federal assistance. Every governor, every state is asking the exact same thing,” Sisolak said in an interview with FOX5. “Majority of the people who come to the hospitals are not vaccinated. The best thing you can do…is get a boost.”
On Thursday, Nevada Division of Emergency Management David Fogerson also weighed in on the request for help and talks with Clark County.
“How do we maybe encourage some of those traveling nurses from other areas to come here to Nevada, to our hospitals? They’re a very scarce resource. California has ordered 10,000 nurses. Texas has ordered 13,000 nurses,” Fogerson said.
An anonymous nurse, who works with several hospital systems, sent FOX5 a message about the plight in the valley.
“Too many patients. Not enough beds. It’s literally the whole valley now… we can’t keep up and are exhausted. Patients are sick. There’s no place to put them,” she said.
According to a spokesperson for Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, some of its facilities have already reached capacity or are overcapacity. Facilities cannot reject patients.
The healthcare system released this statement:
Our hospitals are dealing with a significant increase in the number of COVID patients and a dire staff shortage. This is an extremely challenging situation and we are doing everything we can to ensure that our hospitals can continue to operate while keeping our staff and patients safe.
Our Surgery Governance Committee has been reactivated and is reviewing all surgical cases. Urgent and urgent surgical cases continue, but elective surgical procedures requiring overnight hospitalization are suspended. Outpatient procedures that do not require hospitalization are underway.
The best way to support our staff and keep our hospital available to those most in need is to follow public safety protocols for COVID-19, get vaccinated, get a booster vaccine once you qualify, wear a mask, and public health protocols to follow for hand washing and social distancing.
Please do not come to the hospital’s emergency room for COVID testing. ER resources should be available to treat serious medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, etc. If you suffer from mild COVID symptoms, are asymptomatic, or are trying to rule out accidental exposure. Go to public testing sites.