LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- More than 1,700 COVID-19 patients have filled Nevada hospitals, pushing occupancy dangerously close to the heights of the first winter surge.
According to Gov. Steve Sisolak, various facilities have placed a pause on elective and non-emergency procedures, in an effort to sustain bed space and scarce staff.
The Nevada Hospital Association said in its previous weekly report that facilities in Southern Nevada recently requested aid from the state, as staffing has reached "crisis" levels for two weeks in a row due to shortages exacerbated by sick employees.
The majority of new COVID-19 patients are in Clark County.
"We are doing what we can. We do not have medically-trained National Guard to send in there. We have asked for federal assistance. Every governor, every state is asking for the exact same thing," Sisolak said in an interview with FOX5." The vast majority of people coming to the hospitals are unvaccinated. The best thing you can do... is get boosted."
On Thursday, Nevada Division of Emergency Management David Fogerson also weighed in on the request for aid, and discussions with Clark County.
"How do we incentivize maybe some of those traveling nurses from other areas to come here to Nevada, to our hospitals? They are a very scarce resource. California has ordered 10,000 nurses. Texas has ordered 13,000 nurses," Fogerson said.
One anonymous nurse, who works with several hospital systems, messaged FOX5 about the plight across the Valley.
"Too many patients. Not enough beds. It’s literally the whole Valley now...we can’t keep up and are exhausted. Patients are sick. There is nowhere to put them," she said.
According to a spokesperson with Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, some of its facilities have already reached capacity or are over-capacity. Facilities cannot turn any patients away.
The healthcare system released this statement:
Our hospitals are experiencing a significant increase in COVID patients as well as a critical staffing shortage. This is an extremely challenging situation and we are doing everything we can to ensure our hospitals can continue to operate while also keeping our staff and our patients safe.
Our Surgery Governance Committee has been reactivated and is reviewing all surgical cases. Urgent and emergency surgical cases continue but elective surgical procedures that require an overnight hospital stay are on hold. Outpatient procedures not requiring a hospital stay are ongoing.
The best way to support our staff and keep our hospital available for those most in need is to follow public safety protocols for COVID-19, get vaccinated, receive a booster vaccine as soon as you are eligible, wear a mask, and follow public health protocols for handwashing and social distancing.
Please do not come to hospital Emergency Rooms for COVID testing. Emergency Room resources need to be available to treat serious medical conditions like heart attacks, strokes, etc. If you are suffering from mild COVID symptoms, are asymptomatic, or seeking to rule out a casual exposure. Go to public testing sites.