LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada Hospital Association (NHA) reports that unvaccinated patients are putting a strain on our healthcare system. Leaders heading the state’s fight against COVID-19 spoke with reporters Friday about the current crisis.
The state is reporting that our levels right now are worse than the surge in cases and hospitalizations we saw last summer.
So, what does that mean for hospitals? Overcrowding and staffing shortages, as well as some surgeries being postponed.
The next question is, why is this? Patients who have refused to get vaccinated are taking up resources.
Gov. Steve SIsolak said Thursday the delta variant is spreading like wildfire, and almost all the Nevadans who have died of COVID this year have been unvaccinated. The NHA reports that 31% of patients in intensive care units are suffering from the virus.
Five hospitals in our area are reporting staffing shortages.
The I-Team asked about hospital levels during Friday’s briefing.
“It is something we are constantly trying to stress is that this is very real and that we always need to be working to get more people vaccinated because if we don’t, we know what the future holds; we are seeing it in other states right now,” answered Michelle White, chief of staff. “It could be a very, very serious reality for Nevada in the near future if we don’t prevent folks from getting in there in the first place.”
She points out it is very rare for vaccinated individuals to end up in the hospital with COVID-19.
In Clark County right now, about 47% of people eligible for the vaccine have received it. But leaders say that’s not enough because we are seeing a surge. Their message? Get vaccinated.
“That takes not just a government directive or a mandate or private sector. That takes the public and everyone involved to really all meet in the middle and make sure that we’re getting shots in arms,” White urged. “Those who have shots in arms will likely never end up in a hospital for COVID. That’s the facts, and so, we have to focus on that path because the other alternative is looking pretty scary.”
In areas where workers are canvassing and doing outreach, the state reports they are seeing an increase in vaccinations.
The COVID vaccine is free. If you feel the vaccine or testing aren’t accessible to you, you can contact the state and put in a request here. They may try to set up a location near you.