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Our US southern bureau chief Oliver Laughland brings us the most recent from New Orleans, the place workers shortages and spiralling circumstances are pushing hospitals to breaking level:

As the Omicron variant rips by the US, states in the south proceed to report record case numbers amid severe concern round hospital workers shortages.

In Mississippi, officers warned this week the hospital system was on the verge of disaster resulting from workers shortages as local media reported most hospitals in the state have been at or had reached capability through the Omicron surge.

The state already faces a continual nursing scarcity, exacerbated by the pandemic, with roughly 3,000 positions vacant, in line with a survey by the Mississippi Hospital Association. Around a 3rd of the state’s hospital nurses have left for different jobs, according to the research, lots of them to higher paying positions out of state.

People ready in lengthy strains for coronavirus testing in December 2021, because the Omicron variant continued to unfold in Memphis. Photograph: Karen Pulfer Focht/Reuters

Last week Mississippi recorded its highest seven day common of new Covid circumstances, 7,185, for the reason that pandemic started, in line with state well being division information. As of Thursday the variety of individuals hospitalised with Covid in the state had risen to 1,332 individuals. Health division information confirmed that 90% of Covid deaths for the interval between 16 December 2021 and 12 January 2022 had been among unvaccinated people.

“The game has changed since the Delta wave,” stated Dr Alan Jones, chancellor of medical affairs at University of Mississippi Medical Center, the state’s largest hospital, throughout a Tuesday press convention reported by Mississippi Today.

Jones continued: “The challenges we are facing are really around staffing. Compounding that is that this is a much more infectious variant, taking more staff out that we have in the workforce.”

In Nashville, one of many metropolis’s largest hospitals was being compelled to reassign specialist workers to deal with the Omicron surge. As of Tuesday, Tennessee hit its peak Covid-positive seven-day common of 14,345 new circumstances, according to CDC data.

“We have tons of employees that have Omicron Covid,” said Dr Todd Rice, affiliate professor of medication at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in an interview with native radio. “One of our biggest problems is just finding employees to take care of patients because we have so many employees that are out sick.”

You can learn Oliver Laughland’s alarming dispatch right here:

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