LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The hospitals are relaying the same message saying this surge hit them a lot harder, and much faster than anticipated.

They say it will be much faster on and can only hope it is much faster off. Chief Medical Director with Our Lady of Lourdes Dr. Henry Kaufman says, “Omicron has reinforced one thing. We will never get rid of this. It will become a part of humanity. It has become a part of humanity.”

As the omicron variant pushes daily COVID case totals to shatter previous records and statewide hospitalizations eclipsing the 2,000 mark, area hospitals are feeling the 5th wave.

In the Ochsner healthcare system, they are treating over 100 COVID positive patients, 18% are in the ICU, 11% are on ventilators. Chief Medical Director with Ochsner Lafayette General Dr. Amanda Logue adds, “We are seeing increases in hospitalizations over the last few weeks.” Dr. Logue says 186 employees are currently out due to COVID. “That is definitely higher than we have seen in previous surges. It crosses all healthcare,” Logue explains.

Our Lady of Lourdes is seeing a dramatic increase in the number of admissions. Dr. Kaufman says mid-December, the hospital saw five COVID patients. They are now at 60 COVID positive patients, nine are currently in the ICU, six are on ventilators. Dr. Kaufman continues, “There’s an expectation that the number of people in the ICU on vents will likely succumb to their disease.”

With the increase in admission, Our Lady of Lourdes announces some changes to daily operations on their main campus. They have ceased all elective surgical procedures that require in-patient stay.

“We are having to skip over phase plans of surge plan to accommodate the lack of change we are seeing,” adds Kaufman.