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Mosaic staff strained as Omicron surge continues

“What we’re asking is the public to help us, to do your very best to try and minimize the number of folks that are getting Covid to the point they have to come to the hospital,” Dr. Laney said.

Posted: Jan 12, 2022 4:39 PM
Updated: Jan 13, 2022 8:51 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Staff at Mosaic Life Care are asking the public to do their part in reducing hospitalizations.

During a press conference Tuesday, Dr. Mark Laney along with the incoming chief medical officer Dr. Ed Kammerer said that the hospital is experiencing record high cases.

“When you look at the number of infections, it far surpasses last year’s,” Dr. Kammerer said. “When you look at the number of hospitalizations, we peaked at right around 100 last year, we’re currently running in the low 70s, mid 70s. So from a hospitalization standpoint we’re not as bad as we were last year. When you look at the number of infections inside of our community, it’s substantially higher which leads us to the potential for more problems.”

Now as the pandemic continues into 2022 and staff shortages, hospital staff are feeling the strain.

“We just started into our third year of Covid in effect,” Dr. Kammerer said. “So with that being said, the staff is tired, we have been working hard for a long time.”

With workers out sick, or open positions yet to be filled due to a nationwide shortage of nurses, Mosaic leadership has a plan in place to help ensure patient care continues as normal as possible.

“We do have an extensive plan in place, we’re here to take care of your needs. We are not curtailing any of our other activities because we want to make sure that we don’t harm any patients by not doing the appropriate care,” Dr. Kammerer said. “We have a tiered system approach that will meet our staffing needs. We’re actively looking for agency, we are drawing from our resource pool that we have of people inside our community of people who have already retired and volunteers can help stretch our staff.”

For now, the hospital is not in crisis mode, but things could still change.

“We have about 100 caregivers out with COVID right now and so that is just an additional stress on the system, this is one of the reasons that we have mandated vaccinations for our caregivers because we can’t afford to have a huge percentage of caregivers out with COVID because then it just really restricts our ability to take care of everyone else,” Dr. Laney said.

Mosaic still recommends vaccinating against both COVID-19 and the flu in order to help keep cases down.

“What we’re asking is the public to help us, to do your very best to try and minimize the number of folks that are getting Covid to the point they have to come to the hospital,” Dr. Laney said.

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Bitter cold temperatures have returned to the area with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero this morning. Temperatures will struggle to warm up today with highs in the 20s under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will slowly start to warm throughout the rest of the work week as dry weather continues. The weekend looks to be mild and sunny with highs in the 40s.
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