More military medical personnel are helping hospitals treat Covid-19 as staff shortages increase

The greater portability of the Omicron variant – which has resulted in millions of new cases in just one month – has put frontline workers at a higher risk of exposure and must quarantine and recover after positive tests. And the health authorities are working to fill any gaps in coverage.

Over the past week, states such as Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, and Georgia have mobilized the National Guard to help with patient care.

“We still face a very serious situation with Covid-19 in Delaware, particularly in our hospital facilities,” said Governor John Carney on Monday as about 100 members of the National Guard are training to become certified nursing assistants.

Ohio Air National Guard Cpt. Lanette Looney, who oversees the mission at the hospital, where 28 guards help with medical and non-medical duties, found that they had also faced Covid-19 infections.

“Within two days of our arrival, we had four members of the guard symptomatic of a sore throat, headache, body aches, fever and nasal congestion and all of them tested positive for Covid,” she told CNN’s Gary Tuchman.

Teams of military medical personnel are working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide health service support in several states including Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, U.S. Army North said in a statement on Tuesday with.

An Air Force team of 15 is set to support a hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire, and another 20-person Navy team will support a medical center in Buffalo, New York, the statement said.

More than half of New York state’s Covid-19 hospital admissions are currently in New York City, where approximately 75-80% of hospital beds are occupied, officials said Wednesday. The city’s health commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi said that while he expects hospital admissions in the city to increase in the coming days, the local hospital admission rate is still well below its spring 2020 peak. The hospitals in the city are overloaded due to a lack of staff.

As healthcare workers fall ill, hospital admissions continue to rise across the country. More than one in five hospitals with an ICU – more than 700 hospitals – said at least 95% of ICU beds were occupied for the last week of December, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health.

In California, where health officials announced Wednesday that the state’s indoor mask mandate will remain in effect through at least mid-February, Dr. Mark Ghaly, Secretary of State for Health and Human Services, it would be “the impact of COVID on our hospital system and collective performance” to serve the Californians “that will help determine when the mandate will be lifted.

Jordyn White, a member of the Ohio Air National Guard, prepares to check a patient's vital signs at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

CDC consultants vote for a recommendation to expand boosters

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday updated their Pfizer / BioNTech Covid-19 booster recommendations to include children aged 12 and older, at least five months after completing the primary series of vaccinations.

The agency’s advisors voted on Wednesday for the expanded use of boosters for children in this age group, as infections are increasing at a rapid pace across the country.

“It is vital that we protect our children and adolescents from COVID-19 infection and the complications of serious illness,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky in a press release, announcing that she supports the advisory group’s vote.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday extended its approval for emergency vaccination of Pfizer vaccine boosters to children ages 12-15.

The CDC also updated the guidelines on isolation times this week.

In light of the criticism, CDC is updating the Covid-19 isolation recommendations with instructions on testing

Recent agency guidelines suggested an isolation period of five days from the onset of suspected symptoms or the date of a positive test, and wearing a mask around others or in public for an additional five days if they are not symptomatic. If a person still has symptoms such as a fever after five days, they should remain in quarantine for at least 24 hours until they are free of fever.

For those who can get their hands on a rapid test, the CDC updated its isolation phase guidelines on Tuesday. If a person has access to a test and is fever free, it is best to do a rapid test near the end of the five day isolation period, it said.

The recommendations do not recommend a test for people in isolation, but they do provide guidance on how those people should respond to a test result if they choose to take one. If it is positive, people are advised to continue their isolation until 10 days after symptoms start. If the test is negative, people can stop isolation, but it is recommended that you wear a mask around others until day 10.

The CDC, which received criticism last month for halving the recommended time frame for isolation, says the changes are aimed at “focusing on the time when a person is most contagious. … These updated recommendations also facilitate individual social needs and wellbeing, resumption of work and maintenance of critical infrastructure. “

Students and teachers alike have Omicron. to fight

In the midst of the boom, some school districts have decided to return to distance learning for the time being. However, this has created friction on numerous fronts.

On Tuesday evening, the Chicago Teachers Union voted to teach virtually instead of in the classroom, which triggered the cancellation of classes on Wednesday.
The difficult debate over whether it is safe for children to return to face-to-face learning has been based on data showing an increase in infections.
Parents: What are your concerns about student return to school?
The American Academy of Pediatrics said the number of new Covid-19 cases in children increased by nearly 64% in the previous week. according to Data released Monday.
And in the week leading up to Sunday, an average of 672 children were admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 every day, the highest such number in the pandemic, according to CDC data.
To contain the tide, health professionals are urging to further mitigate practices such as wearing masks, as well as those who are not vaccinated and who are entitled to receive doses before they become infected, in order to keep themselves and those around you from serious Protect diseases.

“Being in the hospital is not a picnic. And the people in the hospital are mostly unvaccinated people,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Tuesday.

“The vaccine and booster vaccine cause mild infections and keep you out of the hospital. And the vaccines actually work. It’s the unvaccinated people that I worry about. Adults and children together. “

CNN’s Ben Tinker, Sahar Akbarzai, Laura Ly, Naomi Thomas, Deidre McPhillips, Virginia Langmaid, Holly Yan, John Bonifield, Kaitlan Collins, Katherine Dillinger, Mike Callahan, Artemis Moshtaghian, Laura Studley and Albert Lutan contributed to this report.

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