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Staffing Strain Causes Hospitals to Temporarily Close Maternity, ICU Units

Analysis  |  By Jasmyne Ray  
   January 06, 2022

The holiday surge of COVID-19 cases has carried over into the new year, now forcing two hospitals to temporarily shutter some of their services.

In Florida, Holy Cross Health has temporarily closed its maternity ward as of Sunday, January 2. The hospital's neonatal intensive care and postpartum units have remained open.

The hospital's decision came after the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases at the organization, including staff members. Holy Cross is working with nearby hospitals Memorial Healthcare System and Broward Health to ensure maternity patients continue to receive care.

"We're prepared to receive them. They will get the absolute best of care, and we'll make sure that they and their babies are discharged as quickly as we can and go home and start their new families," Leah Carpenter, executive vice president and COO of Memorial Healthcare System, told local news outlet, 6 South Florida. "But we're very comfortable managing our COVID population and making sure that our mommies are kept safe as well as the babies."

Geary Community Hospital in Kansas plans to shut its ICU down by February 1 due to staff shortages and "fiscal situations beyond our control." A statement from the hospital issued Monday, January 3 explained that the unit will be closed "through a phased transition."

"While some departments will be impacted, emergency care, critical support services, and clinics will remain available for our patients," LJ Baker, director of human resources and external relations, stated. The hospital plans to retain as many of its staff by reassigning them to understaffed departments.

Like Holy Cross, Geary is working with other facilities in the area to coordinate treatment and services for its patients.

“While some departments will be impacted, emergency care, critical support services, and clinics will remain available for our patients.”


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