January 12, 2022
“Many places across the country are getting to the point where even their backup staff are getting sick,” Dr. Gillian Schmitz, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in an interview. She said the strain on front-line workers is worse now than at any other point in the pandemic. “Pretty much the whole country right now is feeling this surge of cases that is impacting staffing.”
Hospitals faced a shortage of nurses well before the U.S. first detected a case of the omicron variant in early December. The American Nurses Association in September called on the Biden administration to declare the nursing shortage a national crisis, as the delta variant was surging in many parts of the country at that time.