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How the omicron variant is impacting healthcare workers in Brazos county

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:50 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Omicron variant has caused COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations to surge, putting a strain on healthcare workers. Dr. John Davidhizar, the Medical Director at Integrity Urgent Care, joined First News at Four to talk about Omicron’s impact.

This current wave of sick people is overwhelming the health system in a way that we have not seen before--even during the pandemic. Dr. Davidhizar described Omicron’s spike to those before it saying “with this new Omicron variant, it’s almost like that entire peak of patients is is happening all at once, or that entire curve of patients is.” To put it into perspective, there are close to 800 new cases a day in Brazos County now, while with the Delta variant there were around 375 new cases daily. During the spike around one year ago, there were only about 180 cases on average per day. Dr. Davidhizar elaborated that ”it’s a factor of two or three times more patients getting sick at the same time.” On a positive note, the cases do appear to be more mild, however, that does not change the fact that a lot of people are getting sick. Patients’ need for testing and information on COVID is high right now.

COVID is not the only thing getting Americans to call in sick. Besides the Omicron Variant, the flu and allergies are causing trouble. Dr. Davidhizar noted that with everyone getting sick right now, things that are lower priority “that would be part of our normal daily duties, they just have to take a backseat because we have patients who are ill that need to be evaluated.” He gave the example of sending a sick note to someone’s office.

At the same time that the community is getting sick--healthcare workers are also getting sick with COVID and having to quarantine. With fewer personnel, this makes it even harder to handle the high demand for healthcare services.

After a year and a half of the pandemic, people are getting frustrated, and unfortunately, they can take this out on healthcare workers. It’s important to remember the strain healthcare workers are under too. It’s not all negativity though. Dr. Davidhizar noted that there have been lots of “good reviews and encouraging feedback.” There’s even more good news that the peak of this surge may be just around the corner.

Check out Integrity Urgent Care’s blog about Omicron.

Go here to visit Urgent Care’s homepage.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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