LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– The latest wave of COVID-19, fueled by the Omicron variant is continuing to set off ripple effects across the Ochsner Healthcare System.
President and CEO Warner Thomas says “Depending on the day, we could have bed shortages depending on the escalation of cases.”
Omicron brought positivity and infection rates much higher than Delta.
Thomas says the number of people visiting ERs throughout the regions were also dramatically higher.
“During the period, we saw record volumes in the ERs going back to surge one” continues Thomas.
But medical experts says we could be on a change of course.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Hart says in Region Four we are close if not already hitting our peak in the Lafayette area.
Hart adds, “We are several days between 115 and 120. We saw a nice dip last week. We are probably at a plateau.”
One major issue affecting Ochsner Health is staffing.
Out of 34,000 employees currently 628 are in quarantine.
The Omicron peak saw about 1,400 employees out while the Delta peak saw only 530 employees out.
Thomas explains, “It is a major challenge. We have not been able to operate all of our ORs or in-patient beds because of the staffing limitation across our system.”
Previous monoclonal antibodies treatments proved to be powerless against the Omicron variant.
However, Sotrovimab is proving to be affected but not widely available to everyone in need.
“It is in short supply throughout the US. We are giving it to higher risk patients for complications,” Dr. Sandra Kemmerly says.