Senior New Jersey health officials warned on Wednesday that the state is preparing to “surge” the hospitalization rate in the latest wave of coronavirus cases starting next week, which may trigger a new round of restrictions, especially for elective surgery.
Although the hospital stay remained between 3,500 and 3,900 for several weeks, well below the peak of 8,000 in the spring, Ministry of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said that due to insufficient staffing, hospital officials are worried about the coming weeks.
“We are preparing for a predictive surge that may begin next week to mid-February,”
She said: “We will not have the appropriate level of staffing that people are familiar with, that is, regular staffing.” “So if the hospital needs to gradually develop to what we call emergency staffing and hope that there will never be a crisis staffing, we Will work with them.”
Governor Phil Murphy warned that the hospitalization of more than 5,000 patients may introduce some new restrictions, especially when it comes to elective surgery, which includes procedures such as tumor removal.
In the spring outbreak, New Jersey benefited from the arrival of medical staff from other parts of the country to help treat patients. Now that the virus is raging across the country, health officials do not want the same support-which may mean a shortage of staff to meet the high needs of patients.
State data show that as of Wednesday night, 3,638 people in 71 hospitals across the state were receiving treatment, a drop of 88 patients from the previous day.
However, New Jersey on Wednesday announced 6,922 new confirmed positive tests recorded in a single day, and another 95 deaths. On Wednesday, the seven-day average number of newly confirmed cases increased to 5,670, an increase of 22% from a week ago and an increase of 18% from a month ago. This is the highest 7-day average of the outbreak so far, although the lack of testing in the spring may underestimate the extent of the first wave of infections.
Officials say that due to worsening symptoms and people seeking advanced medical care, the hospitalization rate tends to increase within one to two weeks after the surge in new cases.
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Murphy said on Wednesday: “(We) are looking at that number, which is like an eagle.”
Persichilli said that the medium-scale outbreak model predicts a peak hospitalization of 4,000 to 4,500, while the high-prevalence model is 6,000.
Persichilli said the advanced model “will be difficult” to manage.
Murphy added: “By then, we will have some leverage that we cannot currently use.”
The state of 9 million residents has now lost 20,161 residents in the COVID-19 outbreak-18,070 confirmed deaths, and the possible death toll is 2,091. The number of possible deaths was revised from 2,059 to higher on Wednesday. Following 1,890 in December, New Jersey has announced 969 confirmed deaths this month.
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