Even in places coping well, a sense of foreboding prevails. California has seen relatively steady infection rates in recent weeks, with hospitalizations around the levels they were in July, before delta took hold. But the most populous state had 11 confirmed omicron cases as of Wednesday, which “presumes we’ll see dozens more in the next days, hundreds more in the next weeks, thousands more” after that, Governor Gavin Newsom said on ABC television.
In Amarillo, elective surgeries have been canceled and emergency rooms are jammed with virus patients who must wait as long as five days for a hospital bed, Weis said in a phone interview. Regional hospital officials have petitioned the state for additional staff “but there’s little hope they can come through,” he said…
In Michigan, hospitals are hitting a critical point. The state’s 22,883 inpatient beds are more than 85% occupied, said John Karasinski, spokesman for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.
“The situation is dire and compounded by several factors,” Karasinski said in a phone interview. “The Covid-19 surge is stressing hospitals, their workforce and capacity. There are ongoing staffing shortages. It existed before the pandemic and has gotten worse during the pandemic.”